Faith in charity - charity regulator launches talks with Buddhist charities in Birmingham

The Buddhist Channel, March 15, 2007

Birmingham, UK -- The bridges and barriers to running a faith-based charity will be at the heart of discussions between the Charity Commission and Buddhist charities at a launch event in Birmingham tomorrow. The seminar is the first of its kind with the Buddhist charity community and is part of a larger nationwide campaign run by the charity watchdog to develop its knowledge of the issues facing faith charities.

Faith-based groups are one of the fastest-growing elements of the voluntary sector. One in seven charities in England and Wales has a religious core and the combined income of the 22,000 faith-based organisations is 5.12bn - reflecting the important contribution they make to our society.

Nationwide there are around 245 Buddhist charities, spread fairly evenly across the country. The total income for all registered Buddhist charities is over 27.5 million.

Kenneth Dibble, Director of Legal and Charity Services at the Charity Commission, said:

"The number and variety of faith based charities reflects the diversity of modern Britain. Charities often spring out of religious beliefs and many remain a bedrock of building faith and social capital. They are important vehicles for bringing people together for the common good. That's why the Charity Commission is visiting mosques, churches and temples all over the country to listen to the experiences of religious communities.

With over 30 Buddhist charities in Birmingham and the West Midlands alone with a combined income of nearly 2 million, it's clear that this community plays a vital role in the life of the city. Birmingham is a very important area to us in terms of the vibrancy and strength of the Buddhist community and we look forward to hearing the views of local people at the seminar."

The event will take place in the Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara, 216 New John Street West, Hockley, Birmingham, B19 3UA and will involve a range of invited representatives from the Buddhist community.