Strengthening the work of faith-based organisations in education
This project investigated the role and impact of university chaplains in ensuring that universities treat fairly students and staff, who hold a religion or belief and help facilitate them. The project finding - that chaplains are a major resource for the CoE and for universities, formed the basis of the 2019 report by Aune, Guest and Law. It found that of the c. 1,000 chaplains, c. 60% are volunteers, and they are having a positive impact in helping improve universities’ ‘religion and belief literacy’ and meeting the religious needs of students and staff.
This project was led by Dr Chris Shannahan to develop intercultural and interfaith understanding of 17,500 pupils in 450+ schools across England and Wales. The project developed a ten-step path to sustainable schools linking which has been adopted by The Linking Network to guide its future development and the organisation of linking in 28 Local Authority areas across England. It demonstrated the particular benefits of links between majority white community schools and minority-faith schools, the importance of creative match-funding to sustaining schools linking and of active local government support.
This Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project involved Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, and the results informed the further development of theoretical understandings of Islamophobia.
Led by Professor Kristin Aune. This project identified the nature and extent of domestic abuse amongst churchgoers in Cumbria and how churches were responding to domestic abuse. It found that 1 in 4 churchgoers had experienced at least one abusive behaviour in their current intimate relationship, that only 2 in 7 churchgoers considered their church equipped to respond to a disclosure of domestic abuse, and that where a church had a congregation member who had undertaken domestic abuse awareness training, the church was able to respond to a disclosure of abuse more effectively.
Amongst the Last to Leave: Muslim Children in the Care System
Led by Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, the project investigated challenges facing the care system in finding fostering and adoption placements for children from Muslim backgrounds, specifically challenges recruiting Muslim adopters and fosterers and low levels of education amongst social workers about children’s religious needs. It found that reasons for the poor recruitment of Muslim carers included a perception among some Muslims that adoption and fostering were not religiously permissible and a lack of awareness that there were Muslim children in the care system. The Islamic Guidance document that was written by traditionally-trained Muslim theologians clarifies such misconceptions.