Prince may work with Black churches on youth programmes

By staff writers
November 16, 2007

The Prince of Wales has met leaders of some of the UK's largest Black-led churches as he sought to lay the groundwork for intended civic collaboration to help tackle the problem of disaffected young people in modern Britain.

Charles, who will succeed Queen Elizabeth II, met the Black church representatives during the course of celebrations for his 59th birthday.

The Prince toured a Pentecostal church in north-west London with the Duchess of Cornwall. It was here that he held discussions with senior pastors and bishops representing congregations from across the country.

Discussions are believed to have encompassed projects for youth involving the Prince's Trust charity.

The heir to the throne's birthday was recognised during a special thanksgiving service held in his honour at Jesus House Church in Brent Cross.

Britain's Black churches are among those who have defied UK trends towards a decline in church membership and vigour.

Many were established after immigrants from the Caribbean and elsewhere in the 1950s, invited over by the government to solve its labour crisis, received a mixed - and in some cases unfriendly - welcome from the then indigenous churchgoers.

But waves of new Black churches and denominations have been established over the last 30 years.

In 2003-4 a directory was initiated by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland in collaboration with leading Black church figures.

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