Just published August 2023
Children, Religion and Social Capital: Bonding and Bridging in Multi-faith Urban Neighbourhoods by Greg Smith
Based on a research project I carried out 20 years ago

Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 33

New Vistas in the Study of Religious and Non-religious Belief


 2023  .Is there still Faith in the City. Blog

The Ordinary Theology of British Evangelicals : The Bebbington Quadrilateral and Beyond (October 2021)

 this is my final paper based on data from the Evangelical Alliance 21st Century Evangelicals Research Programme

Download direct from


In THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY 7 (2021): 31–54 ISSN 2049-4513

© THE AUTHOR    This is an open access article distributed under a CC BY 4.0 licence

Urban Mission 40 Years On (July 2021)

This first instalment of the William Temple Founation Urban Tracts series offers an overview of urban ministry since the early 1980s and draws out some important lessons from the last 40 years. Are there distinctive characteristics and key principles that are transferable to new places, new times, and a new generation of practitioners? As we head, post-pandemic, towards a ‘new normal’ for urban society and the church there are exciting opportunities to be grasped.

Or download here

On 7 September 2021 this as the subject of a webinar: A video recording of this is available above or at:


How can we create multicultural church? Blog Article for Psephizo May 2021

My latest William Temple blog considers some of the complex relationships between flag, state, and church: Is Britain Flagging

Trans-Atlantic Evangelicalism: Toxic, Fragmented or Redeemable? (2020)

also  a review of Chris Wright's new book





G.Smith - Edited Volume 2015
21st Century Evangelicals Reflections on Research

The draft text of this is 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

Summary Findings here 

(an unpublished paper arising from this work can be downloaded here.


"Community - arianism"

On line Book: Community and Communitarianism; Concepts and contexts by Greg Smith

This book length manuscript was first published in 1996 on the Web by UK Communities Online Download Pdfs of chapters


Published Academic Papers

Trans-Atlantic Evangelicalism: Toxic, Fragmented or Redeemable? (2020)

Greg Smith

In the wake of the 2020 US presidential election, Greg Smith investigates the rapidly changing, and often fraught, nature of evangelical identity in both the US and the UK. Drawing on survey data from the Evangelical Alliance, Smith offers a nuanced picture of evangelical self-understanding in relation to British values, moral questions, contemporary politics and our current culture wars. What, asks Smith, is the future for evangelical identity on both sides of the Atlantic?

or at


Evangelicals and the Encounter with Islam: Changing Christian Identity in Multi-Faith Britain.

Smith, G. (2018). Entangled Religions, 5, 154-209. or


Religion and Brexit: populism and the Church of England

Smith, G. and Woodhead, L., 2018. Religion and Brexit: populism and the Church of England. Religion, State & Society, 46(3), pp.206-223.



Greg Smith - Testimony and Theodicy: Evangelical Christians, answered and unanswered prayers for healing  in

Theology and Ministry  Volume 5 (2018) download from 



The Revenge of the Racists and the Silence of those who Worship the Lamb |

 Greg Smith (2018)

In a provocative and timely new Temple Tract, Greg Smith provides a sociological and theological reflection on populist nationalism, religious prejudice, xenophobia and racism in the contemporary context of the United Kingdom and especially England, with comparisons with the USA and Europe. Drawing on new empirical research on religion and Brexit voting trends, along with decades of activism in the church, Greg considers how we can better respond to the challenges of xenophobic and racist social attitudes.

Can be dowloaded for free at


Smith, Greg., 2017, 'Evangelical Social Action in the UK',

Crucible, the Journal of Christian Social Ethics, October, pp. 25–37

can be accessed here


Does Faith Make You Healthy and Happy? The Case of Evangelical Christians in the UK 

Greg Smith, William Temple Foundation : June 2017 The Journal of Religion & Society Religion and Politics [ Supplement 14 ]

Edited by Ronald A. Simkins and Zachary B. Smith, Creighton University Free Download pdf at



‘The Seven Pillars of Religion in the Public Sphere (or what on earth is religion?)’ by Greg Smith

Temple Tract Greg Smith - August 2016
ebook for the William Temple Foundation

available to download here:    

or here

Is God back? Whether one sees religion as declining or experiencing a resurgence, in 2016, questions of religious beliefs and actions are perhaps more present in public life than they have been in recent times. From politicians publicly professing their faith, to France’s infamous ‘burkini ban’, to legal disputes over icing cakes with slogans supporting same-sex marriage, religion is far from a silent elephant in the room.

Conversely, at the same time religious literacy appears to be declining. Greg Smith takes up the challenge of explaining ‘what on earth is religion’ writing specifically from the UK’s globalised, post-Christian context. Smith suggests that the best way to understand it is through looking at what he coins as the ‘seven pillars of religion’, which are distinct yet overlapping in nature. In doing so, Smith highlights and clarifies what this increased visibility of religion in public life might actually mean, both in terms of how we perceive modern society, and how we understand the changing nature of religion within it.


"Faith, Progressive Localism & the Hol(e)y Welfare Safety Net"

ebook for the William Temple Foundation 

Greg Smith April 2015

An analysis of the British welfare system takes a candid look at the role of faith-based organisations, asking how and why these groups have tried to plug service gaps. With case studies from local authorities in North West England, Greg Smith brings together and builds on some of the most significant research on religion, poverty and the welfare state from over the last decade. "Faith, Progressive Localism & the Hol(e)y Welfare Safety Net" is available to download now." Kindle version £2.99

or  here


Greg Smith 2011

Faith and Volunteering in the UK: Towards a Virtuous Cycle for the Accumulation of Social, Religious and Spiritual Capital?

Diaconia. Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice
2011/2,2  p. 175–193  available here


Smith G. Faith in Local Government: The emergence of religion in the politics of an Inner London Borough 1975-2006:   

in The Politics and Religion Journal  Volume IV (No. 2) - Autumn 2010 ISSN 1820 - 659X (online) or Here  

Great Gulfs and Chasms 2006

- Greg Smith on the Bridge Builders Project in Preston paper presented 15th June 2006 , NCVO, London at ESRC NCVO seminar on Faith-based voluntary action, published report from the ESRC or available on the web HERE


Smith G & Soteri-Procter A. (2004) Tracing and Mapping: the challenges of compiling databases and directories  in Social Research Update, Issue 42 published on paper and on the web quarterly by the Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2

Smith G. (2002). "Community Research: A practitioner's perspective on methods and values." The journal of community work and development 1(3): 31-48.

Smith G. (2003). Faith in the Voluntary Sector : A common or distinctive experience of religious organisations? Manchester, Working Papers in Applied Social Research, Dept of Sociology: University of Manchester.

 Smith G. (2001) 'Religion as a source of social capital in the regeneration and globalisation of East London', (2001) Rising East, (vol 4. No.3 Spring 2001). London, Lawrence and Wishart.


Smith G. (2006) Religious Identities, Social Networks and the Power of Information ;Field work issues in mapping religious diversity in London    in Fieldwork in Religion vol 1 no 3 September 2006


Smith G. (2004). "Implicit Religion and Faith Based Urban Regeneration"… in Implicit Religion Vl 7 No 2 Augut 2004

Smith G. (2004). "Faith in Community and Communities of Faith? Government Rhetoric and Religious Identity in Urban Britain." Journal of Contemporary Religion Vol. 19, No. 2, May 2004


Religion and the Rise of Social Capitalism (2002) in Community Development Journal (April 2002 edition) Oxford. OUP.

 Smith G. (2000 C..) Global Systems and Religious Diversity in the Inner City  Migrants in the East End of London" MOST Journal on Multicultural Societies, Vol. 2, No. 1 ISSN 1564-4901 © UNESCO, 2000

additional case study material is available here


(1998a) A Very Social Capital; Measuring the vital signs of Community Life in Newham in "Rising East" Vol.2. no.1. London Lawrence & Wishart ... reprinted in Building Civil Society&.(1998) eds. Knight B Smerdon M & Pharoah C . , West Malling Kent. Charities Aid Foundation pp 51-73

(1998b) Ethnicity Religious Belonging and Interfaith Encounter : Some Survey Findings from East London (1998) in Journal of Contemporary Religion Vol 13. No3 pp 333-351 "


(1996) "Ties, nets and an elastic bund: The concept of community in postmodern society" in Community Development Journal July 1996 (Oxford)

 (1995) "Poverty Ethnicity and Geography: Newham in the 1991 Census" working paper of Geography Dept. Queen Mary & Westfield College, London  Summary of this Smith G (1996) "Census Data" and the Church Urban Fund (guidelines for funders)". in Crucible..

Chapters in collections


Smith G. (2004) "Building Community; within and without the walls of the church" in eds Eastman M. & Latham S. (2004) "Urban Church; a Practitioners Resource Book" London, SPCK, ISBN 0-281-05603- X

Smith G. (2003), "The Christ of the Barking Road" in J.Vincent (ed) "Faithfulness in the City " published by Monad press, St. Deiniols Library, Hawarden, CH5 3DFand from 2011 a sequel from Preston : The Christ of Fishergate Hill by Greg Smith.. A contextual and Biblical Reflection

1996 "The Unsecular City" in Rustin & Butler "Rising in the East" London, Lawrence & Wishart ( much of the data and argument i s also in this presentation to the Marchant Seminar 1995)


"Community Development and Christian Mission" is one chapter in a book of essays in theology of community work from six practitioners. In "Changing the Agenda" (1989) British Council of Churches:

Entry on "City" in IVP's new Dictionary of Ethics and Pastoral Theology


Research Reports .. on local communities and Unrefereed publications and Grey Literature

Baker C. and Smith G., (2011) “Spiritual, religious and social capital – exploring their dimensions and their relationship with faith-based motivation and participation in UK civil society.”  Summary working paper Manchester: William Temple Foundation (Based on a paper presented at the BSA Sociology of Religion Group Conference, Edinburgh April 2010)   Statistical appendix Here


February 2006 :   Reports and working papers from the Bridge Builders Preston Project

A project funded by MB Reckitt Trust...Working for greater understanding and co-operation between the faith communities and local statutory agencies.All the reports and working papers of the project are available here


Urban Ministry and Mission in Preston : Towards a Strategic Overview. A paper for Preston Christian Action Network and the Anglican Commission On Urban Life And Faith OCTOBER 2004:


The Community Research Action Project (CRAP) was a piece of research carried out by Aston Mansfield CIU for the Canning Town SRB Partnership on the Rathbone Estate in Canning Town between November 2000 and March 2001. (summary of report)

 The Barking Road Community Audit



Directory Database of Religious Groups in Newham  1992

(funded by Aston Charities Trust) with report on the findings and implications of this commissioned by LB Newham Social Services Dept.

and 2nd Edition 1994-95

with 3rd edition 1999

4) 'Faith Makes Community Work,' 2000

Report of an evaluation of Shaftesbury's community worker scheme, in the wider context of faith-based regeneration funded by the DETR Summary Here

5) Review of Service of Newham Council for Racial Equality with Mark Patchett of MPCS Spring 1999

6) Feasibility study for East London Day Centre for Homeless People with Alexis Keir for Newham Community Renewal Programme, followed by evaluation of the Turnaround Project Spring 2000

7) "Networking for Urban Mission; A case study of the UK in the 1980s"

(it was refereed and accepted for publication in Urban Mission Journal in the USA but the journal went broke and ceased to publish

other papers on Social Network Analysis

Paper on religious networks in Newham presented at ISSR Toulouse 1997

looks at inter church relationships in East London...


Unpublished paper More than a little quiet care... analyis of the contribution of churches to social welfare in East London

IT Rams CD.. How Community Work Became Computer Work Published alongside Bulletin of Standing Conference on Community Development September 1999


Building Bridges or Barriers Christians and Muslims in Newham: in City Cries Journal of ECUM, No 36 (autumn 1998)



These pieces are archived here in this folder

"ON YOUR BIKE NEWHAM: The cyclists guide to East London" (1989)Greg Smith joint author with other members of London Cycling Campaign (Newham Group).

Smith G. (2000) "Cars Crush Cycling" in Electronic Journal: Social Issues Volume One. Issue 1 December 2000-March 2001 Special First Edition: The New Oil Crisis

Blogs Etc


For my latest writings and ravings and links to Willian Temple blogs see -

The Primitive Ranter Blog

The Common Good - who and what is it good for?



And another piece I've written, just published on the Church Action On Poverty
Blog. Benefit Sanctions - immoral and ineffective


Food Poverty and Tax Justice

On Romans 13 This is the text of a talk given by Greg Smith at the Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty Tax Justice Bus event in Preston on October 14th 2012.


Papers And Reports In  Community work and Urban Ministry Pre 1995

Smith G. (1989) "Evangelicals and Liberation Theology"
Christian Urban Resource Unit, University of Bradford

Smith G. (1991) "Poverty and its Alleviation ; Strategies for
Community Work"
from Christian Urban Resource Unit, University of Bradford

Smith G. (1993) "Neighbourhood Profiles; Pt.1 Some Background onSurveys and the Census. Pt.2 Doing a Survey and Presenting theResults" published as Alliance Briefings No 8 & No. 9 by Churches Community Work Alliance, Westhill College, Birmingham. (The same
material is also published by the Association of Community
Workers in their "Talking Point" series of papers and as part of
the ACW "Community Work Training Skills Manual".

Smith G. (1994) "(Almost) All You Could Ever Want To Know;
Newham in the 1991 Census, Implications for Community Work" in "Newham Needs and Responses ; CIU Annual for 1994" , Aston Community Involvement Unit.

Smith G. (1993) "West Ham Parish Survey Report" summary version     and Full Report

Smith G. (1994) "Neighbourhood and Networks in Newham; report on
a research project ...... by a team of medical students" from
Aston Community Involvement Unit.

Smith G. & Rodrigues D. (1994) "The directory of Research in
" published by Newham Community Research Forum available from Aston Community Involvement Unit.

Smith G (circulated by Aston CIU) "Census information on Newham;Update of Findings and Sources Spring 1995

"Grey" literature (Printed or Xeroxed only )


Smith G. & Byrne D. (1994) "The Religious Directory of Newham, 2nd Edition 1994-95" from Aston Community Involvement Unit.

 QMCW medical students with Smith G. (1993) "(UN)Wealth and (UN)Health; Survey Reveals Sickening Poverty In Newham" from Aston Community Involvement Unit.


Urban Mission 1983-1991 :Published monographs

Urban Mission 'Grey literature' : Ecum In House Publications

A number of discussion papers and reports written by Greg Smith

1) Biblical Bases of Socio-Political Action

2) Mission Audits: Resources for UPA Churches

3) Mission Audits: towards an appropriate methodology.

4) Base Communities: Models of Good Practice in Urban UK.

5) Mustard Seed Missions 1987
(a report on 17 local innner city evangelistic campaigns)

6) Crumbletown:  A role play exercise
looking at the politics of inner city housing.

7) Ray Bakke Tour 1987 ( A report on consultations in seven
British cities by Greg Smith & John Oliver)

8) Report on a visit to Singapore and Asia Theological
Association Urban Ministry conference. 

9)"Christian Youth Work in Newham 1986" with Shirley Jackson
A report of the Newham Youth for Christ Survey of 86 churches.

10) Newham Churches and Homelessness (1990) report on NCRP's
pastoral care of the homeless working party.
A summary popular
version called "Home Truths" is also available. Both from NCRP,
170 Harold Road, London E13 OSE.

Articles in Christian magaziner etc CITY CRIES and ECUM Bulletin :

I held partial editorial responsibilities for this magazine and
briefing notes on Urban Mission from 1987-91:

Articles published here by Greg Smith include:


Third Way articles etc   All of these Third way articles are now archived and available on Google Books.

Red & Yellow Black & white (ethnic churches)  Third Way August 1984

Open letter to Brian Griffiths February 1986

The Newham Sect (Christians in politics) 1987  In Third Way October 1987 

Review article on Books about Liberation Theology July 1989

On insurance (1991)  In Third Way April 1991

You and Who Else (on concept and theology of community)  In Third Way Feb 1995


Miscellaneous Other

Various articles and served on editorial board of "Church Growth
(1987 - 1992)

Various articles and partial editorial responsibility from 1980
to present in "Racial Justice" magazine of Evangelical Christians
for Racial Justice.