Survey: slow economy hurting churches' ability to help the poor

Parishes report increasing requests for help, but less money with which to lend a hand

BY: Rob Kerby


How is the economic downturn affecting churches across America?

Helping the homeless is becoming more difficult

More than 92 percent of the congregations responding to a recent survey said they had been impacted by members’ job loss and loss of income.

Only slightly more than a third said their church’s finances were healthy.

The Villanova School of Business and the Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership looked at more than 2,500 oldline Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox congregations in their “Faith Communities Today” survey.

The partnership is a multi-faith group of religious researchers and faith leaders representing over 25 faith groups. They reported their findings on Protestant churches earlier this year, reporting that oldline Protestant congregations spend close to half their budgets on salaries and benefits compared to 31 percent spent on salaries and budgets by Evangelical Protestant congregations – even though the oldline

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Related Topics: Charity, Homeless, Giving