THINK global – act local. That’s a slogan that people concerned about the environment have been using for years.

To me, it means you understand the big picture, you can spot trends and be aware of events happening around the world. But ultimately, it’s at the local level – on your doorstep – that you can make a real difference.

That’s why local churches can play a vital role in influencing for good the community around them. The Church of England is organised into around 13,000 parishes so that every inch of the country is covered by a local church.

Around the country, churches of all denominations are supporting local charities, running food banks, helping homeless charities and doing much else to make life better.

Like many other grassroots organisations – charities, High Street shops, pubs and restaurants - they are under pressure from changing social and business trends.

The St Albans and Harpenden Review, the Watford Observer and other local newspapers are also feeling the strain.

Much advertising has gone online to Facebook, Google and other global technology giants. Many people expect to get their news online, and for free. The costs of printing and delivering newspapers have soared.

Yet local newspapers have a vital role to play in holding local politicians to account, keeping people informed of decisions that affect them, and supporting the role of grassroots organisations.

Local newspapers are fighting back, using social media and web-based services to reach news readers and advertisers, but the way ahead remains unclear.

Local matters – whether it’s the local church, local businesses or the local paper. Let’s do all we can to support them.