Community Religions Project'

About the project

Since 1976, the Community Religions Project (CRP) has conducted empirical research on religion and religions 'near at hand' in the cities of Leeds and Bradford and beyond.

"The City of Leeds itself contains population elements from south and east of the Hindu Kush.  In addition the hymns of Martin Luther are sung in German, the Catholic mass is celebrated by Poles, and Greek Orthodox perform their exits and entrances in the Church of the Three Hierarchs directly beside the main West Indian and Sikh communities of Chapeltown.  Moreover, Yorkshiremen are interesting too, and so is the Church of England in its mysterious empirical forms." (Michael Pye, paper presented at the Senior Seminar, 16 March 1977).

The results of the CRP's research, conducted by both postgraduate students and established scholars, have been made widely available through the publication of research papers and a monograph series.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s an SSRC-funded project explored 'conventional and common religion' in Leeds (in partnership with the Department of Sociology) while throughout the 1980s the CRP attracted University and Leverhulme Trust funding for two ground-breaking projects on minority ethnic religions and their changing character in Britain (1983-6; 1986-91).

In 1994 the centenary of the city of Leeds was celebrated with a series of public lectures on 'Religion in Leeds' while in 1996 a two-year project to explore 'Inter-Religious Social Action' in the city was funded by Leeds Church Institute. During the 1990s an 'Enterprise in Higher Education' award funded the development of a unique fieldwork-based module for Level 3 undergraduates.

'Religious Mapping of Leeds' seeks to 'map' religion and religions across the city's diverse districts and has run every other year as an option for over a decade now.

  • Religious Mapping of Beeston and Cottingley 1995
  • Religious Mapping of the University of Leeds 2002
  • Religious Mapping of Burley 2004
  • Religious Mapping of Chapeltown 2007
  • Religious Mapping of Harehills 2008
  • Religious Mapping of Headingley 2009
  • Religious Mapping of Beeston 2011

To download these papers, please go to the Downloads section

A further focus of CRP work has been research and consultancy in relation to the rising profile of religion in diversity training and 'community cohesion' policy.