The Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith has endorsed The National Parenting Initiative – a campaign by a coalition of Christian leaders to engage churches in delivering structured programmes of support to parents during 2012.
In a statement today the Archbishop said: “I welcome the National Parenting Initiative as a timely encouragement to our Catholic parishes and schools to consider how they might support parents more explicitly. It’s quite a commitment to offer a parenting programme and quite a step to engage as a participant in such an experience. But we’ve recently seen, from a number of diocesan projects across England and Wales, that the immediate and the long-term benefits for parents, their children and for the church can be quite extraordinary.
“The love of parents is so important for a child’s personal development and growth. It is the gift that makes society possible. Parents surely deserve the best we can offer to help them develop their skills and grow in confidence for what we know to be a lifetime of ministry and service, to their children and to the common good.”
The campaign is a response to last summer’s disturbances and to concerns about our children expressed in the Good Childhood reports. The coalition believes that if all the churches unite to deliver structured parenting support that this would be a major practical contribution to the common good.
The goal is to have 5000 churches commit to delivering a programme this year to parents in their congregation and then to offer a programme to parents in the wider community.