Youth Work and Faith: debates, delights and dilemmas

Stanton, Naomi, ed. 2015. Youth Work and Faith: debates, delights and dilemmas. Lyme Regis: Russell House. [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

Following recent decline in state-sponsored youth work provision alongside growth in the faith-based sectors, thinking about youth work and faith is crucial, both to those working in faith-based settings and those working with them as partners or funders. This volume draws on the debates, delights and dilemmas of the relationship between youth work and faith. It is informed by a range of perspectives, from specific faith traditions as well as considering the cross-cutting issues. Since the 1990s, the balance of youth work provision has markedly shifted so that by the early twenty-first century it was claimed that, in England and Wales, more full-time youth workers were now employed in faith settings than secular ones (Brierley, 2003: 12; Green, 2006: 3). This text aims to address some of the underlying tensions within faith-based work and to embrace the contribution made by the faith-based sector to the youth work field. Whilst using the term ‘the faith-based sector’ to discuss the many expressions of youth work that come under the umbrella of faith, we note that the faith sector, like youth work overall, is not homogeneous; indeed, it incorporates a whole spectrum of missions, values, affiliations and interventions. Moreover, there are many people ‘of faith’ who work in the ‘secular’ sector and, increasingly, vice versa; particularly, as religious organisations have taken over previously local authority run youth clubs under the Government’s Big Society agenda and its concurrent austerity drive. Whilst we recognise this text is particularly timely in the current political climate, with the Government arguably using the faith sector as a device to shrink the state (which is, indeed, a thread of the chapter by Nigel Pimlott), we are keen to emphasise that tensions may emerge from the faith sector allowing itself to be embraced by the objectives and funding of the state.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


February 2015

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Date Deposited:

03 Oct 2017 16:32

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:33


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