Catholic organisations in Wollongong Diocese have been recognised alongside other Christian denominations for their significant contribution to more than $9.7 million in “social impact value” across the Illawarra each year.
The recognition is reported in Australia’s first Cinnamon Faith Action Audit (CFAA) - an initiative of Cinnamon Network Australia, an organisation committed to helping churches demonstrate Jesus’ love in tangible ways to people experiencing vulnerability and isolation.
The survey measured the collective social impact of churches across the Illawarra in order to produce a detailed report of their collective influence, partnership, and resources for the benefit of people in need.
The audit involved responses from 101 churches and faith-based organisations and found that together they served more than 140,000 people each year.
Wollongong Catholic parishes and organisations, including CatholicCare, accounted for more than a third of responses, reflecting the long tradition of service to those most in need by the Catholic Church.
Jude Hennessy, director of the Office of Renewal and Evangelisation for Wollongong, said the ecumenical approach taken by Cinnamon Network Australia reinforces the benefits of collaboration between the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations in the diocese.
“We hope and pray that this report helps in the service of thousands of more people and in so doing, honours God, by being faith-based but not faith-biased, and serving all, especially those most vulnerable and in need,” Mr Hennessy said.
PHOTO: Church representatives at the CFAA launch event last week (from left): Trish Cooney, CatholicCare; Greg Parrish, Office of the Bishop; Jo Clark, Catholic Women’s League; Phil Inglis, Salvation Army; Debbie Gates, Office of the Bishop; Matt Baxter, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong; Jude Hennessy, Office of the Bishop; Nic Mackay, Cinnamon Network Australia; Paul Bartlett, Lighthouse Church; Peter Hill, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong