Single Friendly Church Network launches

Formerly known as Single Friendly Church, the Network has become a charity with the aim of putting single people back on the agenda for churches.

Christian leaders and representatives from many churches and partner organisations gathered to hail the charity launch at St Ethelburga’s in London on 22 November.

Single Friendly Church Network is on a mission to see single people of all ages thriving in UK churches. At the launch event, the charity premiered a short film Inspiring Change: The Single Friendly Church Network, telling the story of churches across the country who have committed to welcoming and valuing single people at all stages of life.

There was an interview with Rev Kate Wharton, one of the Trustees (author and Chair of the Church of England House of Clergy) and prayers were led by Bishop Pete Broadbent, one of the charity’s Patrons. The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, another Patron, sent a video endorsement in which he said: “It’s really important that our churches are places of welcome for everyone. I thank you for all you are doing and pray for God’s blessing on your launch and all you will do in the future”.

40% of adults in UK society are currently single and this is rising in every age group. However, single people are disproportionately missing from churches which tend to be family-focused. According to research, single people who do attend often feel invisible and isolated. 

The charity encourages churches of all denominations to complete a ‘Guided Audit’ on how Single Friendly they are – and to work to be more welcoming and inclusive to single people in every aspect of church life. Churches can then be added to a map of Single Friendly Churches across the UK so single people can find a local worshipping community where they are likely to feel most at home.

The General Secretary of Churches Together in England, Bishop Mike Royal, said “Single Friendly Church Network does really valuable work helping churches from any denomination to welcome single people into their congregations. I encourage all our Member Churches to engage with them and access their resources which offer support to make this important culture change.”

Watch the launch event video:

Single Friendly Church Network is a Charity and Network in Association with CTE.