Throughout my career I have been active in urban ministry and mission, community development and urban regeneration in multi-ethnic, multifaith communities in Newham, East London and Preston, Lancashire. As a reflective practitioner and researcher I have studied and written extensively on these topics. Though my first degree was linguistics, I moved through sociolinguistics to sociology of ethnicity and religion, into community and voluntary sector studies. Along the way I published in applied theology and urban geography. My research projects from about 1999-2006 have all centred around the concept and issues of faith communities and their role in urban regeneration and community cohesion.  Since March 2011to September 2106  I was working for the Evangelical Alliance as their research manager. On these web pages you can read about these projects, find a comprehensive publication list and download many of my published and unpublished papers.

Greg Smith's Recent Projects

21st Century Evangelicals (2011-2016)

All information and publications from this project can be found on this page 

A book based on the project

G.Smith - Edited Volume 2015

21st Century Evangelicals ; Reflections on Research

All the published outputs are also now available in this folder on my Google Drive


Bridge Builders Preston

Working for greater understanding and co-operation between the faith communities and local statutory agencies.

This project is

  • " An inter-faith action research pilot project running for 12 months from March 2005 and funded by the MB Reckitt (formerly Christendom) Trust (£10k) "
  • A partnership of various faith sector and statutory sector stakeholders linked with Preston's Faith Forum who have formed a local steering group to manage the project.
  • " Administered through the University of East London who employ our worker Greg Smith on a one day per week basis for this work. " Aiming to increase the capacity of religious organisations to engage as partners in urban regeneration and service provision in the community
  • " Aiming to improve the "religious literacy" of public servants and ensure they work with sensitivity, awareness and fairness with religious groups and individuals.

 For more information and all the reports and working papers for the project see:CLICK HERE  

Communities in Transition

Closely linked with the above project Communities in Transition is a research partnership on behalf of the Church of England's Commission on Urban Life and Faith, funded by Church Urban Fund and co-ordinated by Professor Elaine Graham of the Centre for Public Theology at the University of Manchester.

The research looked at the response of churches and communities in variaous urban areas to two decades of economic transformation and urban regeneration. Our contribution was to trace what has happened in two areas, Preston and Newham / Docklands since the Faith in the City Report of 1985.

From April 1st 2004 to September 2005 I was employed by UEL for 3 days each week on a JRF funded research project on

Religious Diversity, Community Cohesion and the 2001 Census

The project aims to analyse 2001 Census data for two sub regions, (Lancashire and East London) in order to establish the relationship between religious affiliation (and ethnicity) and key indicators of urban deprivation. We have mapped patterns of residential segregation at different geographical levels working upwards from census output areas. Alongside this, secondary analysis of national and local survey data sets will allow us to investigate issues around social capital and community cohesion in more detail. By bringing together Census and survey data and concentrating on two localities well known to the research team we hope to provide some important new insights about the role of faith communities in building various forms of social capital and helping or hindering local community cohesion.

Other members of the team are Prof. Allan Brimicombe of the Centre for Geo-Information Studies at the University of East London, and Dr. David Voas, a specialist in religion, at the Centre for Census and Survey Research in the University of Manchester and Dr Nabil Khattab lecturer in sociology at the University of Bristol. Some maps from the project are available here.


Smith G (2005) "Children’s Perspectives on Believing and Belonging"

London: National Children's Bureau for Joseph Rowntree Foundation 84pp. ISBN 1 904787 53 3

This research which was funded by JRF for 18 months from October 2002 looked at children's perspectives on their experience of being part of a local faith community and the way this relates to the shaping of their personal identities and social and friendship networks inside and outside of school. It takes place in the context of current debates about social cohesion and the growing role of faith based organisations in public policy including the issue of faith based schools. It addresses some key questions around religious, ethnic and other social identities, social capital and social cohesion from the viewpoint of children.

The project finished in March 2004 and a report was published in July 2005. Two Public launch events took place in November 2005.


JRF Summary Findings are available Here

Engaging Faith Communities in Urban Regeneration

At the end of September 2002 I finished working on a JRF funded research project on (click here for summary findings) set up in collaboration with Coventry University and Sheffield Hallam University.


Published Papers linked to this project include:


Faith in Newham

For all our friends in Newham and a marvellous resource for anyone interested in urban religion past and present and my research during the 1980's and 1990s .. Many thanks to Colin Marchant, Matthew Porter and Jeremy Acott for all the work that has gone into this.