NCLS Research

Media Release: May 2014 - Community Connections Pack


NCLS Community Connections resources: profiling your community

NCLS Research is pleased to have released their 2014 Community Connections resources for local churches.

“The new Community Connections Pack of resources, based on national census information sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is uniquely tailored to each individual church in Australia,” said Dr Ruth Powell, Director of NCLS Research.

“The NCLS Community Social Profile (CSP) is the centrepiece of the resource pack. It contains a range of information about a local community, including population, age, education, income, housing and cultural background, that we believe impact ministry decisions churches need to make.”

Australia is changing. Our population is expanding, projected almost to double in the next 50 years. Migration accounts for 60 percent of Australia’s growth, bringing greater religious and cultural diversity. While Australians are increasingly well-educated, the income gap between the top and bottom earners has grown. Households are decreasing in size, with more single person households and almost a million single-parent families in Australia today. And mobility is on the rise, with people moving more regularly between neighbourhoods.

Changes such as these pose risks of social fragmentation. On the flipside, they present opportunities for networks of people, such as local churches, to expand and connect with a broad range of Australians. Churches can help to foster inclusion and a sense of shared vision and identity.

The best way for a local church to respond to change is to know the characteristics and trends of its own local area. “By profiling a church’s local area, we hope to support every church in the country as they seek to connect more effectively with their community,” said Dr Powell. “Using maps, pictures and tables we show the social make-up of a community, how it is distinctive and how it has changed, in an easy-to-understand format.”

NCLS Community Connections Pack: 2014 offer for churches

In 2014, Protestant churches were sent a Community Connections Pack, containing a Community Social Profile (CSP) of the local community around each church, a Guide and a Workbook, designed to help churches in their mission and ministry to the local area. Churches that purchase their Community Connections Pack will also have access to their Community Social Profiles online.

As in previous years, this pack was sent on a purchase or return basis. Churches and parishes can either choose to purchase it and keep it ($220 per church), or return it in the mail, with postage paid by NCLS Research.

NCLS Research is a cooperative project across 22 denominations in Australia. It is jointly sponsored by ANGLICARE Diocese of Sydney, the Uniting Church Board of Mission (NSW and the ACT) and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. The mission of NCLS Research is to use credible research to identify signs of hope and nurture life in churches and leadership, as well as encourage the wider community to reflect on its spiritual journey and the churches’ place within it.

Media Contact

For further information, images and interviews, please contact Ruth Powell, Director of NCLS Research on or +61 2 9701 4479.

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