The project has now been running for three months, and we have completed our first case study – with more on the way!
49 participants consulted across 38 interviews, and 5 observations completed, with a further 40 interviews anticipated for completion by early February
Pilot case study (Bolton) completed and introductory blog published on the Theos website here.
MPs for several case study areas interviewed at Westminster
Croydon and a supplementary sample agreed as the 12th and 20th case studies
Case studies currently underway in Newham, Haringey, and Croydon, with imminent case studies upcoming (late January/early February) in Middlesbrough and Thanet
Dates for all 20 case studies and the mid-project review scheduled
A range of experts consulted in the social cohesion field, and literature review ongoing
Since the last commission meeting, the research team has completed the pilot case study in Bolton, begun interviews for our London case studies in the boroughs of Haringey, Newham and Croydon, continued to interview MPs for our chosen areas in Westminster, and finalised a timeline for all our case studies and dissemination schedule through 2019-2020. We have now completed 38 interviews (involving 49 participants) and 5 observations, with a further 40 interviews scheduled for completion by the start of February.
The Bolton pilot yielded fascinating interviews and insight into emerging themes, such as the importance of physical place and space to community cohesion, the relationship with local councils, and the centrality of strong personal relationships to successful community cohesion projects. We spoke with churches across the denominational spectrum, representatives from other faith communities, journalists, council officials, executives/staff of local charities, and local people with no professional link to social cohesion work. We were given tours of religious buildings and social action projects, visited social clubs, and attended community lunches and cafes. We are now in the process of transcribing these interviews and observations, and implementing our findings from the pilot into subsequent case study planning. We particularly noted the importance of the quality of relationship churches enjoy with the local council, both in terms of practical considerations like funding, and also in the recognition of churches as community stakeholders.