As part of my Acts 29 church planter application process I had to submit a document that proved I had analyzed and understood the socio-demographics of my mission-field – Trevethin. This is an important, albeit challenging part of the church planting process. I had already done a little research into this but last week I came across some new facts and statistics that increased my compassion, prayer and commitment to this estate that I call home.
Check it out:
- Trevethin is among the 10% most deprived communities in Wales.
- Trevethin is the most deprived ward in Torfaen.
- Torfaen is the 2nd most obese ward in the UK (after the Shetland Islands!)
- Torfaen is the anti-depressant capital of the UK – 11 out of every 100 prescriptions are for anti-dperessants.
- The top 7 counties for anti-depressant prescription in the UK are all in the Welsh Valleys!
- Trevethin is trapped in high interest, easy access borrowing via door stop lending, thus reinforcing the poverty cycle.
- Domestic violence is a significant issue in Trevethin.
- The percentage of economically inactive people in Trevethin is among the highest in Wales.
- Trevethin has one of the highest numbers of cohabiting couples with dependent children.
- In 2017 Trevethin will have one of the highest numbers of children aged 5 and under.
- Trevethin has one of the largest numbers of children on the protection register in Wales.
I know that all our communities in Wales have deep need and as a friend of mine posted on Twitter earlier:
“The greatest problem with our country is not social deprivation but a spiritual deprivation. Its everywhere!”
I couldn’t agree more with that statement as social change without gospel change is essentially cosmetic surgery! However, understanding the issues that are confronting your community opens your eyes to gospel opportunities, stirs your heart to love, stretches your faith in prayer and generates fresh gospel urgency!
That’s been my experience at least!
Can I encourage you to do some research into the issues that are currently confronting your community – your mission-field! It might just inspire you to go deeper, further and braver with the gospel.