Faith & Community Introduction
Warrington is a borough of contrasts, covering 182 square kilometres of rural villages as well as the town of Warrington itself, which is the largest and most densely populated area. The population has risen rapidly over the last 30 years with Warrington’s resident population now standing at 205,150 (mid-year estimate 2013)which represents an increase of 1,450 (0.7%) from mid 2012.
There is a marked difference in prosperity and the quality of life between the inner wards and the outer suburbs and villages. 33,000 residents (of whom 25% are children and young people) live in twenty specific neighbourhoods, mostly concentrated around the town centre and housing around, which are amongst the most deprived areas in the country.
There are approximately 48,700 children and young people under the age of 19 years living in Warrington. This is 24.3% of the total population in the area. Children and young people from minority ethnic groups account for 6.2% of the total population. The largest minority ethnic groups are Polish, Pakistani and Indian and there are 4.27% of children for whom English is an additional language.
“I know Warrington quite a lot, so I feel kind of safe here….everyone knows everybody on the estate – if something happens you can always go and get someone“.
Warrington young person
“I feel safe around my mum’s because I know people“
There has been a significant increase in the Polish community. The main language spoken at home from the School Census at January 2014 notes there were 404 Polish-speaking pupils out of the total cohort of 31,204 in Warrington. This is by far the largest group, after English-speakers. For information on Polish traditions and festivals please see the attached link.
For more information on the town of Warrington and statistics relating to children and young people in Warrington please see the attached links.
Warrington Faith Scene
Warrington illustrates a diverse but cohesive faith scene. The majority Christian tradition encompasses about a hundred congregations of the Anglican (Church of England), Roman Catholic, and Free Church (including Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed, Independent Methodist, Salvation Army, Pentecostal, Quaker) traditions. There are numerous chaplaincies to institutions and places of work or leisure. Whilst structurally Anglicans and Catholics north of the river look to Liverpool and those in the south look to Chester and Shrewsbury, there is a ‘Churches Together in Warrington’, founded in 1995 (in addition to Churches Together groups in many of the town’s neighbourhoods), which enables the Christian community to relate to the town and its institutions. Warrington Council of Faiths, founded in 2003, combines representatives of world faith traditions having a Warrington community, currently the Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths. There is a Hindu Temple, Muslim Mosque and Sikh Gurdwara in town. There are also other groupings such as Unitarians, Spiritualists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
Each community will have aspects of work with children and young people which involves safeguarding procedures, though locally managed, usually organised and monitored on a national basis by their respective traditions.