E-Bulletin July/August 2022
This is a web version of IFN's July/August 2022 E-bulletin. A PDF version of this and past bulletins can be found here.
You can navigate to particular sections/articles using the links below.
- Faith and public life updates
- Inter Faith Network for the UK News
- Inter faith projects, programmes and developments
- Resources and study/training
- Calls for information, competitions and nominations
- Jobs, Internships and Volunteering
- Funding opportunities
- Special Weeks/Days/Months
- Diary Dates
Faith and public life updates
- Recent Government changes
- International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief
- IFN Faith Communities Forum Statement on Freedom of Religion or Belief
- Hot weather guidance
- Climate change
- Law Commission report on reform of weddings law
- Teaching of RE and Integrated Education in Northern Ireland
- Study on Faith and Charity
- Inter Faith Week
Inter Faith Network for the UK News
- E-Bulletin survey responses
- IFN AGM
- IFN Faith Communities Forum
- IFN meeting with inter faith linking bodies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- IFN link meeting for local inter faith groups in the South West
Inter faith projects, programmes and developments
- Summer relaxation - inter faith style!
- Visit My Mosque
- Prayers for the planet and for COP27
- The Great Get Together
- 20th Anniversary of Building Bridges in Burnley
- Inter faith cricket in Blackburn
- Rebuilding Watford's Peace Arch
- Tower Hamlets Health Faith Action Partnership
- Havering Interfaith Toy Collection
- Inter faith picnics
Resources and study/training
- Jewish-Christian glossary
- NaCTSO Protect UK website and app
- Welcome Directory for prison leavers
- IFN 'digital surgery' slots for local inter faith organisations
- Cross-cultural Communication training
- NHS Cadets project
Calls for information, Competitions and Nominations
Jobs, Internships and Volunteering
- Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme
- UK Government Find a Grant pilot
- Funding websites
- Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
- FCC Community Action Fund
On 7 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his pending resignation. He is expected to remain as Prime Minister until a new party leader is elected. Following the departure of a number of Ministers, Parliamentary Private Secretaries and Trade Envoys, the Prime Minister commenced appointment to resulting vacancies.
The Rt Hon Greg Clark has been appointed to the role of Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC). Minister of State Paul Scully MP now carries the brief for ‘Faith community engagement’, ‘Integration, anti-extremism, and religious hatred policy’, ‘Holocaust Memorial’ and ‘Hate crime strategy and anti-Muslim hatred’, among other responsibilities. https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers
On 5 and 6 July, the UK Government
hosted an International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief. The conference brought together governments, parliamentarians, faith and belief representatives, and civil society to urge increased global action on freedom of religion or belief for everyone. Among those present were many faith leaders and others from the UK.
The conference also brought together members of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA). The UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Fiona Bruce MP is chairing the IRFBA during 2022.
A ‘Fringe’ programme of civil society events was coordinated by the UK Freedom of Religion or Belief Forum. Events took place in a number of areas, including the cities of Birmingham, London and Manchester. A number of the fringe events were held on an inter faith basis, such as the Freedom of Religion and Belief Welsh Interfaith Conference 2022 https://www.wcia.org.uk/wcia-news/freedom-of-relifion-and-belief-welsh-interfaith-conference-2022/.
On the eve of of the International Ministerial Conference on Religion or Belief (see above), the IFN Faith Communities Forum issued the following statement: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/statement-on-freedom-of-religion-and-belief-from-the-faith-communities-forum-of-the-inter-faith-network-for-the-uk.
UK COVID-19 Inquiry
COVID numbers have recently increased again. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19latestinsights/infections In this context, guidance for places of worship remains important. An example of updated guidance, from the Church of England, can be seen at https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance.
Faith communities and vaccination
The drive to increase take-up of first and subsequent vaccine doses continues, with further boosters recommended for the Autumn for a number of categories. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jcvi-provides-interim-advice-on-an-autumn-covid-19-booster-programme
Faith communities are continuing to play a role in this, for example through providing locations for pop up or mobile clinics, for example Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Luton https://www.bedfordshirelive.co.uk/news/bedfordshire-news/fascinating-stories-behind-13-bedfords-5018524 and Glasgow Central Mosque https://www.glasgowworld.com/health/covid-booster-jab-drop-in-centres-glasgow-where-to-get-third-vaccine-near-me-without-booking-an-appointment-3509073
Remembering those lost and affirming all who have worked to help others
Remembrance and affirmation events continue to be held for those lost to COVID-19 and the work of those to help others. For example, https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/service-pays-tribute-to-efforts-of-haringey-faith-groups-in-vaccine-roll-out/.
Covid conspiracies and antisemitism
On 19 July the Community Security Trust published a new report exploring the antisemitism that is present inside the Covid conspiracy movement. https://cst.org.uk/ https://www.jewishnews.co.uk/shock-report-reveals-full-extent-of-antisemitism-in-covid-conspiracy-groups/
During July, the UK has experienced unusually hot weather across a number of days and there is the prospect of further such days in August. The UK Government issued advice https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england/beat-the-heat-staying-safe-in-hot-weather as did the governments of the devolved nations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england/beat-the-heat-staying-safe-in-hot-weather
The Salvation Army assisted Emergency Services during the heatwave https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/news/salvation-army-supports-emergency-services-during-heatwave and in a number of areas faith groups made cool spaces in their worship places available for people to come in away from the heat, for example https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2022/22-july/news/uk/churches-offer-cool-sanctuary-in-heatwave-britain. In London, places of worship are among those venues listed as 'cool spaces' to be used for respite in hot weather. https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/climate-change/climate-adaptation/cool-spaces
Scottish faith communities and COP26
Earlier this month Scottish faith communities sent a letter to COP26 President Alok Sharma calling on him to demonstrate what the Presidency has been doing to honour the Glasgow Pact commitments. The Glasgow Pact includes commitments from 197 nations to build resilience to climate change, curb greenhouse gas emissions and provide finance for both. Religious leaders and faith organisations are concerned that world developments have diverted attention from COP26 commitments and have signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sharma to discuss progress.
The letter was developed by the COP26 Interfaith Working Group and signed by faith leaders and organisations across Scotland. The COP26 Interfaith Working Group is made up of representatives from Scottish faith groups and organisations working on climate issues. The group is chaired by Interfaith Scotland with Interfaith Glasgow acting as Secretariat. https://interfaithglasgow.org/cop27-open-letter/
Faith communities and environmental issues
Faith communities continue to engage on environmental issues both together, through routes such as Faith for the Climate and individually through programmes such those highlighted on the FFTC website as well as through:
- Projects such as Eco Church and Eco Synagogue;
- Training opportunities such as the Hindu Forum of Britain’s Training Programme on Climate Change Awareness and Environmental Assessment & Management for Temple & Samaj Buildings, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund https://eamcc.hfb-charity.org.uk; and the Bahu Trust’s training for Imams https://bahutrust.org.uk/training/imams;
- Partnerships such as Eco Sikh’s work, including Tree Planting of the Oneness Grove – an inclusive forest space, marking the first of a series of collaborations between it and Forestry England Tree Planting with Eco Sikhs & Forestry England – youtube;
- Tree planting by other faith groups such as The Druid Network which have been planting in dedicated groves https://treesforlife.org.uk/groves/86224/ and by inter faith organisations such as Interfaith Scotland.
Thursday 22 September is’ Loss and Damage Action Day’, a global moment to stand in solidarity with those living with the worst impacts of climate breakdown, and to call on wealthy countries and big polluters to pay up for this loss and damage they continue, knowingly, to cause. Faith for the Climate is calling on faith groups around the UK to join in prayer, meditation, reflection and action to mark the day.
On 19 July the Law Commission of England and Wales published its recommendations to reform weddings law, proposing a fairer system that gives couples more choice over where and how their wedding takes place. The project sought to provide recommendations for a reformed law of weddings that allows for greater choice, based on the following principles: Certainty and simplicity; Fairness and equality; Protecting the state’s interest; Respecting individuals’ wishes and beliefs; and Removing any unnecessary regulation. One of the recommendations in the report is that couples will be able to have a wedding ceremony that reflects their values and beliefs, by: having a religious ceremony in a venue other than a place of worship and without having to incorporate prescribed words into the ceremony; having a religious ceremony led by an interfaith minister that contains aspects of each of the couple’s beliefs; having some religious elements, such as hymns and prayers, incorporated into their civil ceremony, as long as the ceremony remains identifiably civil. The full report can be found at https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/weddings/.
On 5 July a High Court judge ruled that the exclusively Christian-focused religious education taught at primary schools in Northern Ireland is unlawful and breaches human rights. The case was brought by a father and daughter in Belfast. Mr Justice Colton said the "unlawfulness identified requires a reconsideration of the core curriculum" in how it sets out the teaching of religious education (RE) and the provision of collective worship. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-62053430
On 6 July the UK Government announced a £1.9 million funding packages to support schools wishing to transform to integrated status. The funding will go to the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) and the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), which work to enable a greater number of children from different community backgrounds to be educated together. Roisin Marshall, the chief executive officer of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education, said: "The Council for Integrated Education empowers school communities to deliberately and intentionally attract children, young people and the adults, who identify as coming from both sides of our divided society as well as those from other religions and cultural backgrounds. https://www.itv.com/news/utv/2022-07-06/19m-funding-boost-to-help-schools-transform-to-integrated-status
A study on ‘Faith and Charity’, commissioned by UK NGO Human Appeal, was published in June. Research was conducted to explore why people donate to charities and how their relationship with charitable organisations has changed in recent years. The study showed that more than half of all respondents had knowingly supported a faith-based organisation in the last two years. It also found that two fifths of those who consider themselves religious would be more likely to support an organisation if it was rooted in their own faith, while a further one-in-five would support a charity active beyond their own stated faith. The report can be found at https://humanappeal.org.uk/about-us/publications.
Inter Faith takes place this year from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November. The aims of Inter Faith Week, which is led by IFN, are to:
- Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels
- Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
- Increase understanding between different people of religious and non-religious beliefs
The Week is timed to begin each year on Remembrance Sunday to enable people of different backgrounds to remember together the service of soldiers and civilians of all faiths and beliefs and to reflect on peace. https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/remembrance
Inter Faith Week is about highlighting the contribution of faith groups to society; spotlighting inter faith cooperation and understanding; and encouraging dialogue between those of religious and non-religious beliefs. It’s a fantastic platform to share, learn and build relationships with neighbours, colleagues and service users of different backgrounds, and to come together in service for the common good.
If you’ve not yet started planning, August is a great month to start to think creatively about activities that can bring something special to the Week!
What might you do? Perhaps an inter faith sports match; an inter faith art, poetry or photography competition; a quiz or speed-faithing event; an ‘Inter Faith Week Buddies’ scheme; an inter faith pilgrimage or peace walk; a learning activity about different faiths; an inter faith volunteering or social action opportunity; a tour of local places of worship; a social media series about the faith or beliefs of different members of your organisations; a dialogue or panel about issues like climate change or refugees; or an exhibition or stall about the different faiths in your community? There are so many possibilities – those are just a few!
Activity ideas for many different types of organisations can be found at: https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/ideas.
In preparation for the 2022 Week, IFN has been engaging in outreach to university chaplaincies, faith centres and student faith societies. Groups like LSE Faith Centre, University of Bath Chaplaincy and University of Durham faith societies have provided reflections on their experiences of Inter Faith Week and how IFN can improve on the Week going forward. This is part of a wider effort by IFN to increase the involvement of young people in Inter Faith Week. If you represent a university chaplaincy, faith centre or student faith or inter faith society and would be interested in a conversation about Inter Faith Week with the IFN team, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some basic information about Inter Faith Week that can be drawn off of for your own bulletin or newsletter can be found at: https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/copy-for-newsletters-inter-faith-week-2022.
Scottish Interfaith Week
Scottish Interfaith Week https://scottishinterfaithweek.org/ is led by Interfaith Scotland and will also take place from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November. Its theme this year is ‘Storytelling’, to coincide with Scotland’s Year of Stories.
IFN is very grateful to all those who took the time to complete the e-bulletin feedback survey circulated with the previous issue, as well as to those who completed the 2021 survey. Your feedback is helping us to continue to develop the e-bulletin, both in the short term and over the longer term.
In total, 77 people responded. The faith and public life updates; IFN news; and inter faith projects, programmes and developments were appreciated by nearly all. Resources and study/training was more highly valued in 2021 than 2022. The section ‘calls for information, competitions and nominations’ in its current form was not found useful by most respondents in either year.
In both years there was also particular enthusiasm for the longer think pieces that are occasionally included on specific topics (such as the environment or homelessness). These have not been included in the e-bulletin over the last 12 months, but are being reintroduced with the current issue with a short feature on summer relaxation – inter faith style! (see below).
The ways that people interact with the e-bulletin were fairly evenly split between those who read all/most of it and those who jump the sections or articles of interest. There was also a close to even split between those who download the PDF and those who read the web version, although the latter is now edging ahead. IFN is committed to retaining the PDF version across the coming year, but will also be working to ensure that both versions are available before the e-bulletin is circulated (previously, the web version was usually added shortly after the PDF was sent out). Since last year, a growing proportion of readers access the e-bulletin via their phone/tablet (a jump from 15% of respondents to 45%). This may be linked to the growth in use of the web version, which resizes and reflows depending on the device used to access it.
Overall, responses show that the e-bulletin is a valued resource. In both years, over 70% of respondents said that the frequency of the e-bulletin (bi-monthly) was about right, and the majority of respondents thought the e-bulletin contained about the right amount of information (60% in 2021 and 71% in 2022). 72% of respondents in each year thought that the e-bulletin helped them to carry out their work (a number of respondents were individuals reading for personal interest rather than work-related reasons).
Several respondents noted that the e-bulletin could be difficult to read. From this present issue, the text size and colour has been adjusted within the PDF version in ways which we hope make this a bit easier on the eye. However, please do get in touch with us if this does not prove to be the case! Where the web version is concerned, we would like to highlight that the website as a whole is equipped with a high contrast layout which also increases the default size of text on every page. To turn this on, navigate to the bottom of any page on the IFN website and select the ‘High-contrast layout’ option. You can also increase the text size within your browser.
Several respondents also said that the name ‘e-bulletin’ felt passé, given that digital communications are now more or less the default. We will be moving this Autumn to a new name for the e-bulletin.
IFN held its 2021 AGM, virtually on 5 July. The meeting welcomed into membership two new bodies: Durham University Chaplaincy Network and Woking People of Faith. It also elected the Revd Canon Hilary Barber as Co-Chair from the National Faith Community Representative Bodies category, welcomed five new Trustees and offered warm thanks to Trustees standing down.
After the main business of the AGM there was an opportunity, in IFN's 35th year, for member bodies to reflect on what is important about its work and what that might look like in the coming years. There was an opening presentation from IFN Trustee Professor Paul Weller on Freedom of Religion and Belief and the Inter Faith Network for the UK. This was followed by short discussions in breakout groups and then reflections from: Ms Charanjit AjitSingh, Hounslow Friends of Faith, International Interfaith Centre and World Congress of Faiths; Ms Linda Rudge, Chair of the National Association of SACREs; Mr Hassan Joudi, Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain and IFN Faith Communities Forum Moderator; and Dr Susan Siegel, Trustee of Interfaith Scotland and IFN Trustee.
IFN's Faith Communities Forum brings together national faith community bodies in IFN membership for discussion of issues of common concern. https://www.interfaith.org.uk/about/faith-communities-forum At its most recent meeting on 14 July the Agenda included: the impacts of recent Government changes; the Independent Faith Engagement Review, with a presentation from Government Faith Engagement Adviser Colin Bloom who led on this; Security of Places of Worship - the resource of NaCTSO, with a presentation from the Head of Business Engagement at the National Counter Terrorism Security Office; Inter faith engagement of faith communities; Issues of interest and concern; and a number of IFN matters.
Each year IFN convenes a meeting for IFN with the inter faith linking bodies in the devolved nations – Interfaith Scotland, the Inter Faith Council for Wales/Cyngor Rhyngffydd Cymru and the Northern Ireland Inter Faith Forum. The most recent meeting took place on 13 June. On the Agenda were: Updates on the work of each of the four bodies; Current Issues of particular interest and concern; Inter Faith Week and Scottish Interfaith Week; National inter faith linking bodies and comms; and IFN Matters.
IFN holds meetings for local inter faith groups to share news and good practice and learn from each other’s work to strengthen their own and benefit their local areas. Some are for groups from across the UK. Others are for groups within a particular region or a county. They provide an opportunity for sharing of news or programmes and projects being run by each group, including opportunities and challenges. Minutes of previous link meetings can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/about/local-inter-faith-linking.
The most recent meeting was held on 27 June for local inter faith organisations in South West of England. On the Agenda were: Round table sharing of news, information and ideas (including plans for Inter faith Week); and Discussion of issues of common interest and concern, including particular issues that emerged in the earlier discussion and tackling and reporting hate crime.
Summer is a time when members of local faith communities often come together to relax and enjoy picnics, sports, and other social events.
The Platinum Jubilee and Thank You Day
The lunch and picnic season got rolling with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for HM The Queen in early June, including the Big Jubilee Lunch and with Thank You Day (which fell on the Sunday of the long Jubilee weekend).
The Platinum Jubilee provided a perfect opportunity for people of different faiths to come together and celebrate with food and fun activities. Several local inter faith bodies, such as Faiths Together in Croydon and Newcastle Council of Faiths, held special Jubilee picnics and teas. An inter faith street party was held at the Britwell Community Centre in Slough, with encouragement from Thank You Day. https://www.sloughexpress.co.uk/gallery/britwell/177605/residents-to-gather-for-interfaith-platinum-jubilee-street-party-in-slough.html; https://insidecroydon.com/2022/05/11/faiths-together-jubilee-summer-picnic-park-hill-rec-jun-3/ and https://www.facebook.com/ncldiocese/photos/a.152695548175429/4802435253201412/
National examples included two picnics held by Religions for Peace UK (RfP) Women of Faith Network, one in partnership with Interfaith Scotland and Interfaith Glasgow, the other with RfP UK Interfaith Youth Network. https://www.facebook.com/UKWFN/posts/pfb
This year, the Big Lunch, organised by the Eden Project, was the Big Jubilee Lunch. https://www.edenprojectcommunities.com/the-big-jubilee-lunch A number of places of worship invited local communities to share a meal together. A shared meal at Westminster Abbey was the culmination of a special Jubilee Walk of Faith where members of different faiths visited different places of worship along the way. https://westminsterjusticeandpeace.org/2022/06/01/the-jubilee-walk-of-faith-3rd-june-morning/
The Great Get Together
The Great Get Together, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation, at the end of June also provided a chance to come together and celebrate what unites them. In London, the Women’s Interfaith Network hosted a summer boat trip on the Thames, inviting their members and friends to enjoy the sunshine and celebrate their friendships across faiths. https://wominet.org.uk/2022/07/13/news-win-summer-boat-trip-photo-gallery/
Local inter faith organisations like Reading Interfaith Forum; the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester; Guildford and Godalming InterFaith Forum and Sheffield Interfaith have all recently hosted inter faith picnics, inviting members of the community to bring and share food and have informal conversations together.
At this time of year, the inter faith and peace gardens that some inter faith groups have created afford relaxing spaces for many happenings. One example is a small Peace Garden in Luton created by Luton Council of Faiths with Edible High Town, Grassroots and Near Neighbours: “a small urban pocket park in the middle of High Town, Luton. It lies within the central High Town Conservation Area and next to a nationally listed Methodist Church, while tucked away from the nearby high street. There is a lawned area, large enough for an audience to sit in, and the garden is fenced and gated, with step-free access. A small mound provides a natural stage and amphitheatre feel. Large trees give dappled shade on a sunny day or protection from light drizzle.” It was the place, in July, for a special story telling event for children held by Edible High Town. http://grassrootsluton.org.uk/news-events And, “Inspired by the beautiful work Watford Interfaith Association have done building the gorgeous Peace Garden in Cassiobury Park, this summer” http://www.wifa.org.uk/the-watford-peace-garden/, Watford’s Dial Up hosted a poetry and spoken word open mic get together there this month. https://allevents.in/northwood/poetry-in-cassiobury-park-peace-garden/200022762098707
In June, linked to the Great Get Together, young people at Kumon Y’all, a charity based in Yorkshire, hosted an inter faith game of Boccia, with different faith communities coming together to relax and have fun. https://twitter.com/great_together/status/1550450307309703170
The Blackburn Diocese and Lancashire Council for Mosques hosted their bi-annual inter faith cricket match, which provided an opportunity to share food and fun and build lasting friendships across the different faiths. https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/20234229.blackburn-diocese-lancs-council-mosques-play-annual-cricket-match/ Havering Interfaith Forum will be holding its annual Cricket Match in August.
‘Street Cricket’ was launched by Cricket Wales in Cardiff and Newport in June and aims to inspire regular participation from 16-24 year olds in disadvantaged communities, while a weekly inter faith indoor cricket league has been established for Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims. https://nwzwire.com/glamorgan-cricket-is-breaking-records-on-and-off-the-pitch/
Visit My Mosque (VMM) is a national programme facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain. This year it takes place on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September and its theme will be ‘Welcome In’. The VMM website notes that “Visit My Mosque Day is a national day where mosques across the UK time their open days to be on the same day of the year”. The VMM website also notes that “Interfaith work is very important and many Muslim communities are very active in interfaith work” and refers to their visits to their local churches and synagogues and other places of worship, forming relationships with their congregations and maintaining those relationships throughout the year. For more information, visit https://visitmymosque.org/.
Interfaith Scotland is partnering with the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC to encourage a Global Prayer Campaign - ‘Prayers for the Planet and for COP27’. This is an initiative of Bishop Philip Huggins (Australia) and Ms Satwat Tanseem (New Zealand) and reflects the prayer vigil hosted in George Square, Glasgow by Interfaith Scotland and Interfaith Glasgow on the first day of COP26. If you or your community would like to host a one-off or regular ‘Prayers for the Planet and for COP27’. To download the Prayer for the Planet pack, visit https://interfaithscotland.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Prayers-for-the-Planet.pdf or, for more information, email email@example.com.
The Great Get Together is an initiative inspired by the late Jo Cox designed to bring people together to celebrate what they have in common. Faith and inter faith groups were among the many organisations taking part in the Great Get Together this year, with over 400 events taking place across the UK at the end of June. Examples of events that took place can be seen on the Great Get Together Map.
Building Bridges in Burnley, which was set up in the aftermath of the disturbances in 2001, has been celebrating its 20th anniversary. The celebrations have included a special service, afternoon tea, a 'peace in our time' event, a fun day and picnic, and a celebration at Daneshouse Football Club. https://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/people/landmark-anniversary-celebrations-for-organisation-set-up-to-bring-communities-together-in-burnley-in-aftermath-of-2001-disturbances-3723818
The Church of England Diocese of Blackburn and Lancashire Council of Mosques recently came together for their regular cricket match. Now held bi-annually, the cricket match has become a regular feature in the area and a positive way to build relationships between communities. https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/20234229.blackburn-diocese-lancs-council-mosques-play-annual-cricket-match/
Members of Watford InterFaith Association have come together to rebuild the Watford Peace Arch, which had been attacked by vandals. Watford Mayor Peter Taylor and MP Dean Russell attended the opening of the new arch. https://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/20228490.watfords-peace-arch-unveilved
Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum is working with FaithAction to run a project to look at how faith settings support the health needs of their communities. Funded by Tower Hamlets Public Health, working with East London Mosque and supported by Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum, FaithAction is supporting seven local faith settings and faith based organisations to deliver vital health focused projects to the local community. https://www.faithintowerhamlets.org/
Havering Interfaith Forum has organised an Interfaith New Toy Collection for disadvantaged children in Havering during July. It is working in conjunction with Havering Social Services to collect toys for distribution to vulnerable, disadvantaged children in Havering. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This time of year sees many inter faith initiatives holding special picnics. This month, for example, they have been held by the Muslim-Jewish Forum in Greater Manchester, Reading Inter Faith Group, Canterbury and District Inter Faith Action, and Guildford & Godalming Interfaith Forum.
A new Jewish-Christian Glossary has been created by the Church of Scotland and the Jewish community. Ministers and rabbis worked together to define some of the key terms used in both religions to allow users to learn more about their own and each other's religion by discovering key similarities and differences between the faiths. https://churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2022/articles/new-glossary-important-step-for-jewish-christian-relations-in-scotland
Background to the process and reflections from some of the participants can be found (with a sample from the Glossary) in the opening sections of the draft that was released for the Assembly. https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/94361/christian-jewish-glossary_abridged_v2.pdf
The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has worked with security service partners to produce evidence-based guidance that is tested and assured and provides the single place of public messaging when it comes to counter-terrorism advice on how to prepare for the unlikely event of a terrorist attack. The guidance comes from a number of research sources.
The main website where the guidance can be found is called Protect UK. https://www.protectuk.police.uk/
As well as guidance, the website also includes free e-learning packages, available to enable any individual to become more informed about the threat from terrorism and actions they can take to deal with those threats.
There is also a Protect UK app which can be accessed via Apple or Android. The app is designed for those who have more of a public facing interaction. It includes quick-time actions, for example guidance on who to contact if you find a suspicious item; and also how to find a local counter-terrorism security adviser.
The Welcome Directory is a multi-faith organisation, working to help faith communities to become places where people who leave prison find acceptance. The Directory notes that “Unfortunately, only approximately 20% of prison leavers with faith feel able to connect with new faith communities upon release, primarily due to fear of rejection. We maintain a directory of registered faith communities who are committed to welcoming and appropriately supporting prison leavers with faith. The directory is used by prison chaplains, probation workers and prison leavers themselves, to help them forge connections with welcoming communities upon release.” To find out more on how to be involved, visit https://www.welcomedirectory.org.uk/ or get in touch via email@example.com.
IFN is continuing to make available free half hour digital ‘surgery’ slots for local inter faith organisations who would like a chance to talk about how their group might strengthen their use of digital communications. Any local inter faith group interested in booking a slot can email IFN Project Director, Ashley Beck, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interfaith Scotland is holding an online training session on the morning of Thursday 11 August on ‘Interpreting Culture – Improving Cross-Cultural Communication’.
The training is intended for anyone whose work (or life) brings them into contact with people from a range of cultural backgrounds - whether service users, customers or colleagues. It may be particularly helpful to people who live in Scotland, but have another cultural background and to those who work with refugees and other migrants. There is a cost to attend. For more information, and to book, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/interpreting-culture-improving-cross-cultural-communication-tickets-290762286827?aff=ebdsoporgprofile.
NHS Cadets is a new scheme created by St John Ambulance in partnership with the NHS, providing opportunities to explore skills, knowledge and volunteering roles within healthcare. It is aimed at young people aged 14 to 18 who are from communities currently under-represented within the NHS and St John Ambulance. The programme offers health awareness sessions, courses to develop leadership and communication skills and an experience volunteering within the NHS. It is a free programme, consisting of weekly, 2-hour sessions on one evening. Cadets will be supported throughout their volunteering journey by our NHS Cadets Team. The initiative is seeking young people who might not have previously considered volunteering in healthcare. This includes refugees or asylum seekers and young people from ethnic minority communities.
New groups are opening in September 2022, with the aim that by 2023 10,000 young people will have enrolled. For more information, visit https://www.sja.org.uk/get-involved/young-people/nhs-cadets/nhs-cadets-join/.
Each year a number of people receive Honours for services to inter faith work or community cohesion. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is looking for nominations for people who work or volunteer in a number of areas which include ‘Faith, integration and communities’. All nominations must be made on an official citation form and nominees should not be informed that they have been nominated. The form can be found at DLUHC Birthday 2023 Honours nomination form. The deadline for nominations is 1 September. For more information, email email@example.com.
The Inter Faith Network for the UK currently has an opportunity for online volunteers with good desk research and writing skills who would like to offer 4-8 hours a week to help on different aspects of IFN’s work to promote inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK. To express an interest in volunteering, please complete the application form at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/vacancies/volunteering.
The St Philip’s Centre in Leicester is seeking volunteer faith practitioners to build up its team of those who host, facilitate or teach schoolchildren. For further information, contact Riaz Ravat (Deputy Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org. (All roles are subject to a DBS check at the appropriate level.)
The deadline for applications to the Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme has been extended to 28 July. Places of worship and associated faith community centres in England and Wales can apply for funding for a range of security measures to help tackle the threat of hate crime. This could include the installation of measures such as, but not limited to, CCTV cameras, security alarm systems and perimeter fencing to improve security protection at their site and help worshippers feel more safe. (The Jewish community receives funding through a separate scheme.)
Further details of the funding scheme and how to apply are at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme.
The UK Government's Find
a Grant pilot is part of the Grants Applicant Programme (GAP), being delivered by the Government Grants Management Function in the Cabinet Office and aims to make applying for and finding government grants simpler, faster and fairer. https://grantscommunity.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/12/the-first-gov-uk-release-of-the-find-a-grant-pilot-is-now-open-for-everyone/
The pilot phase includes 23 grant schemes and can be found at https://www.find-government-grants.service.gov.uk/.
My Funding Central is a database of grant funding and social investment sources. This service is available to organisations with an annual income below £1m and is free for organisations under £30k. https://www.myfundingcentral.co.uk/ Similar websites for funding in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found at Funding Scotland - https://funding.scot/, Wales Council for Voluntary Action - http://www.wcva.cymru./funding and Grant Tracker for Northern Ireland - https://www.grant-tracker.org/.
The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme gives grants that cover the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use as places of worship. The scheme covers repairs to the fabric of the building, along with associated professional fees, plus repairs to turret clocks, pews, bells and pipe organs. The Grant Scheme is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and administered by Topmark. The Government has recently confirmed that funding through the scheme will be available until March 2025. http://www.lpwscheme.org.uk/
The FCC Communities Foundation is offering grants between £2,000 and £100,000 for projects which involve the provision, maintenance or improvement of public amenities including community spaces in places of worship, which are registered charities. Projects must be based within 10 miles of an eligible FCC Environment waste facility. The current round closes on 7 September. https://fcccommunitiesfoundation.org.uk/funds/fcc-community-action-fund
Visit my Mosque will be taking place on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September. This year’s theme will be ‘Welcome In’. https://visitmymosque.org/
Great Big Green Week takes place from Saturday 24 September to Sunday 2 October. An opportunity for faith and inter faith groups to take part in events to tackle climate change and protect nature. https://greatbiggreenweek.com/
National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from Saturday 8 October to Saturday 15 October. https://nationalhcaw.uk/
Week of Prayer for World Peace takes place from Sunday 16 to Sunday 23 October. https://weekofprayerforworldpeace.co.uk/
One World Week will take place from Sunday 23 to Sunday 30 October. www.oneworldweek.org
Scottish Interfaith Week Scottish Interfaith Week is led by Interfaith Scotland. It will be held from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November. www.scottishinterfaithweek.org
Mitzvah Day will take place on Sunday 20 November. It is an annual day of faith-based social action led by the Jewish community where people give their time to make a difference to the community around them. Many events and projects held for the day have an inter faith focus. www.mitzvahday.org.uk/
Sewa Day is a day of faith-based social action led by the Hindu community. It normally takes place on 4 dates across the year. Due to COVID there are currently no fixed days; rather, ‘every day is Sewa day’ and volunteers are helping people continually as they are able. https://www.facebook.com/sewaday/
A few examples of forthcoming events are listed below. Those listed are all virtual, except where noted. Events are also listed on the IFN website at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/events.
Crawley Interfaith Network is holding its next meeting on Thursday 28 July. The topic will be ‘My faith’s key beliefs and principles’ and the speakers will be from the Brahma Kumari, Ismaili and Zoroastrian communities. It is being held at 7.30pm. For more information, email email@example.com or telephone 07833 252551.
Brighton and Hove Inter Faith Contact Group is holding its next monthly prayer hour on Thursday 28 July at 7pm. The theme will be 'Home'. Attendees will have the chance to share readings, reflections and silence. To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
York Interfaith Group is holding its next meeting on Tuesday 2 August. This will be a ‘bring and share’ vegetarian supper from 7pm to 9pm at the Unitarian Chapel, St Savioursgate. Participants are invite
Havering Interfaith Forum will be holding its annual Cricket Match on Sunday 7 August at 2pm. For more information, contact the Forum’s Secretary at email@example.com.
Glasgow Women of Faith and Community is hosting a Summer Garden Party on Friday 12 August. Food and drink will be provided, with participants invited to bring their own food too if they would like to. It is being held from 12pm at Holyrood Gardens, behind St Mary’s Cathedral. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hounslow Friends of Faith is holding its annual Interfaith Walk of Peace and Friendship on Saturday 13 August. This will begin at 11.15am and will include visits to Christian, Hindu, Jain and Muslim places of worship. For further details, visit https://m.facebook.com/Hounslow-Friends-of-Faith-724712751039387/.
Faiths Together in Lambeth and MFHA are running a 2 day Adult Mental Health First Aid Training course on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 August. It will be held from 9.15am to 5.30pm each day at the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society, 16 Ostade Road, Brixton Hill, London SW2 2BB. To request a place, email email@example.com and for more information, contact Maureen on 07968 672 878.
The London Interfaith Fun Run, organised by the Faith & Belief Forum and Maccabi GB, will take place in Barnet on Monday 29 August. For more information, visit https://faithbeliefforum.org/event/london-interfaith-fun-run-22 or email Jessica@faithbeliefforum.org.
The St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is holding an event on Friday 9 September on ‘Personal resilience in turbulent times’. Author, former politician and now Anglican minister Jonathan Aitken will be speaking about cultivating personal resilience for times of adversity and change. It will be held from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. For more information contact Clare Martin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Religion Media Centre is holding its annual lecture on Tuesday 20 September. The topic will be ‘Considering the future of religion in Britain’ and the speaker will be Professor Linda Woodhead, F.D. Maurice Chair in Moral and Social Theology, King’s College London and co-founder of the Westminster Faith Debates. The lecture is being held at 6.45pm at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8AU. For more information, and to book, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/considering-the-future-of-religion-in-britain-tickets-389596683167.
Leeds Concord Interfaith Fellowship is holding its next meeting on Tuesday 27 September. The theme will be ‘Understanding Faith-Based Chaplaincy & Counselling’. The panel will include: Ansa Ahmed (Hope Bereavement Services), Jay Anderson (Pagan chaplain), Mark Clayton (Martin House Hospice), and Satwant Kaur Rait (Sikh NHS Chaplain). It is being held at 7.30pm at Mill Hill Chapel, City Square, Leeds. For more information, email email@example.com.
More information on events and projects in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales:
Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum: www.niinterfaithforum.org
Interfaith Scotland: www.interfaithscotland.org
Inter-faith Council for Wales: https://www.interfaithcouncilwales.cymru/
You can sign up to IFN mailings at any time by using the form on IFN’s website at: www.interfaith.org.uk/news/gdpr or let us know that you would like to unsubscribe by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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