Westminster Abbey is committed to an active programme of social engagement. Social engagement means the Abbey’s engagement with the wider world in ways which contribute generally to human flourishing and specifically to social justice.
There is a powerful theological mandate for this sort of engagement. It is a natural and inevitable outcome of living faithfully in the image of God. Social engagement is in itself an essential constituent of faith and must be integral to the mission of every church. It is also an expression of the moral and social values of many who have no religious faith or different faith.
Social engagement is an inherent part of the Abbey’s culture and values, and an embedded part of the Abbey’s daily work. It involves advocacy, service and hospitality, in word and deed, giving priority to supporting the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed. It is shaped by the Abbey’s distinctive national context, historic role and resources. Social engagement is a core part of the Abbey’s mission. It informs our overall strategy; is a normal part of intercessions and preaching; is part of the induction and training of Abbey staff; and is included in Abbey welcomes and guided tours.
Existing Abbey practice takes a variety of forms. These include:
The Abbey is always open to new areas of potential activity across a range of possibilities, measured carefully against the following criteria:
As part of our commitment to social engagement, the Dean and Chapter has decided to give particular focus over the next five years to:
The biggest challenge we face is actually time – getting all our work done alongside the daily routine of the Abbey as a working church, visitor attraction and home to 1,000 years of history.