Saturday, 30 July 2011

What attaches people to their community

Surfing the Internet for something about soulful community I came across a site about a project called Soul of the Community.  It says this

What makes a community a desirable place to live? What draws people to stake their future in it? Are communities with more attached residents better off?

Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launched the Knight Soul of the Community project in 2008 with these questions in mind. After interviewing close to 43,000 people in 26 communities over three years, the study has found that three main qualities attach people to place: social offerings, such as entertainment venues and places to meet, openness (how welcoming a place is) and the area’s aesthetics (its physical beauty and green spaces).

Whilst our meeting houses, chapels and churches are not neighbourhoods it is worth thinking about these three characteristics
  • Social offering;
  • Welcome; and
  • Beauty. 
Although we believe that people are attached to others in a community and not the physical building, many of us have a very open love for our worship space and the place where we meet.  When newcomers first walk through our doors they will be confronted with our welcome and the physicality of the place.  So this seems to be quite a good starting point.  Time for a bit more thinking.

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