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Home  >  News  >  Going to Church 'Good for Health'

News

Going to Church 'Good for Health'

Tuesday January 5

New research published by the Evangelical Alliance suggests that going to church is good for physical as well as spiritual health.

Around 90% of the respondents to an Alliance survey reported that they had been in good health during the past year. This compares to around three quarters of English adults.

The research, published in the Alliance's idea magazine, was part of a wider survey on Christians’ and churches’ approach to issues of health and wellbeing. It also highlighted the role of the church as a place of refuge for people with ill health:  94 per cent said that their church offered prayer when they or a loved one was significantly ill or in hospital, and a large number also stated that their church helped by listening and counselling, cooking meals and more.

Amaris Cole, editor of Idea, said: "The Church is great for providing care for people, and helping them when times are tough. Evangelicals clearly benefit from their beliefs, and the community around them can make a life-changing difference.

"But there's much more that the Church can do to promote healthy lifestyles – less than one in 10 have heard sermons on living a healthy lifestyle or other health issues; if our bodies are temples we need to help people look after them.”

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "Clearly the research indicates going to church is good for your health, but if that's all it is then there's something missing. For church attendance to be true to itself, it must go deeper and be food for the soul.

"How about a New Year's resolution that goes beyond gym membership and explores the meaning of life?"


Comments

Fiona Tweedie - Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

“The interpretation of the statistics in this report is so bad that it beggars belief. The original should be retracted immediately and I have been in touch with the EA to say so. L&W do not do themselves any favours by regurgitating such appalling work.”


Fraser Boyd - Friday, January 8th, 2016

“I have to say I agree with Fiona above and I'm surprised that Life & Work has re-published the 'gist' of the 'story'. I would love to believe that we could attract people to church by claiming it's good for their physical health, but it simply isn't true, based on the research in the EA's article. Sadly, it's another example of people wrongly equating correlation with causation. ”


Nicolas Thomas - Saturday, January 9th, 2016

“Interesting thread!

I agree this can be misleading. Just poll people at a sports event out in the hills about their health, and it'll be about 98% good health. Yes, people who get out and about are generally having better health.

A better line is to say that standing up, singing out, and sitting down again is all good for your health -- as is walking to and from Church.

But finally, Christian faith and Christian fellowship is also good for over-all well being, to the extent that we are psycho-somatic beings. And knowing that we live in God's universe makes all the difference in the world!”


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