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Issue 465, 23 April 2001

Working religiously to map city

Leeds students have been asked to contribute to two publications following a first class report mapping the religious communities of Armley.

The undergraduate students from the Department of Theology and Religious Studies are to write for two bodies concerned with religion in education, following the success of their report, part of an ongoing project on the religious mapping of Leeds.

Going to jail - the students with Armley chaplain Father Andrew Clark at the prison

To compile the study, students attended religious services and interviewed religious leaders, members of congregations, community workers, teachers and children from local primary schools and religious youth groups.

They also spoke to the chaplain, governor and inmates of Armley prison, to assess the relationship between the religious provision in the prison and the wider community.

The report was presented at a public meeting, which was well attended by a wide cross-section of the community, showing the depth of feeling within each of the religious congregations in the area.

It was an educational experience for all involved, as many religious groups learnt about and met members of other groups for the first time.

The students also hope their work will improve communication between religious groups, social services and community groups.

"It is known as a socially deprived area," said student Aisha Hannibal. "But if you look beyond that, as we did, you see how much is actually happening here, and how much optimism there is for the future."

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