Robert Putnam, in his best seller, Bowling Alone, has highlighted a trend in western society over the past 40 years ‐ people are less likely to join things. Yet it is this membership of face‐to‐face groups that provides part of the social capital of friendship, trust and belonging that binds communities together. Against this backcloth, Putnam shows how churches and other faith groups are holding up well, losing fewer members than other organisations and maintaining an active community life. Caroline Morris shows how the mental health service in Lambeth has actively sought out links with faith‐based groups.
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