E-Bulletin May 2022

E-BULLETIN SURVEY 2022

With this issue comes a special survey about the e-bulletin. We would be very grateful if you could spare a few minutes to help us develop and improve the e-bulletin by completing the survey at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/e-bulletin_2022/

This is a web version of IFN's May 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. 

Sections

Items

Faith and public life updates

Inter Faith Network for the UK News

Inter faith projects and developments

Resources and study/training

Calls for information, competitions and nominations

Jobs, internships and volunteering

Funding opportunities

Special Weeks/Days/Months

Diary Dates

 

E-BULLETIN SURVEY 2022

We would be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete this year's e-bulletin survey. Your responses will help us to continue to shape the e-bulletin and our wider communications into valued resources for inter faith practitioners at all levels.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/e-bulletin_2022/

Thank you!

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SUPPORTING IFN'S WORK FOR INTER FAITH UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION: A MESSAGE FROM ITS CO-CHAIRS

The Inter Faith Network for the UK has worked since 1987 to fulfil its charitable aims, “to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain including an awareness both of their distinctive features and their common ground and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country”.

IFN works for inter faith understanding and cooperation by: 

  • Encouraging inter faith initiatives at all levels
  • Providing a trusted source of information on faith and inter faith issues
  • Enabling discussion and common action rooted in shared values, including through the IFN Faith Communities Forum
  • Sharing good practice and producing resources to help inspire and strengthen inter faith initiatives
  • Carrying out projects and programmes such as on youth inter faith interaction and exploring women’s local inter faith initiatives
  • Encouraging religious literacy and good relations work in contexts from schools, to workplaces and statutory agencies
  • Leading on Inter Faith Week – a special programme which is helping ever more organisations and individuals develop links of friendship and cooperation and deepen religious literacy

If you are in a position to do so, please do consider a donation at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/donate to help IFN’s vital work to continue and grow so that we can help support people of different backgrounds, and also institutions in pursuit of IFN’s vision of: a society where there is understanding of the diversity and richness of the faith communities in the UK and the contribution that they make; and where we live and work together with mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good.

Thank you.

The Revd Canon Hilary Barber and Mr Narendra Waghela

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FAITH AND PUBLIC LIFE UPDATES

Covid-19 guidance

Across the UK, rules requiring people to wear masks in indoor spaces like shops and restaurants have come to an end although guidance remains in place for some settings.

General UK Government information on COVID-19 is at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do. The NHS guidance can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

General guidance for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is at:

The current position on wearing face coverings in each of the four nations can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52530518.

Guidance for places of worship in England was withdrawn by the UK Government on 29 March. The guidance on safe use of places of worship in Scotland has now been archived.  There is no longer any guidance specific to places of worship in Wales or Northern Ireland.

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Coming back together

More faith festivals of different faith communities fell close together in April and early May than has occurred in many years: Rama Navami, Songkran, Vaisakhi, Mahavir Jayanti, Holy Week and Easter, Passover, Hanuman Jayanti, Ridvan, Adar Mah Parab, Beltane/May Day, and Eid-ul-Fitr. The lifting of most COVID restrictions (see above) was in time for the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Sikh and Zoroastrians communities to be able to come together to celebrate their respective festivals during this time and for many sizeable gatherings such as Easter services, community iftars and celebration of Eid; and Vaisakhi parades.

More information about faith festivals can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/religious-festivals, with thanks to the Shap Calendar Group.

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Ukraine - faith community support

National faith communities continue to respond to the impacts of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The last issue of the e-bulletin covered the first period of this, with examples of services and vigils.  Some have been held subsequently, such as a service at Winchester Cathedral; a vigil in Haringey; a national vigil arranged by the Inter Faith Council for Wales; an online multi faith prayer event by Interfaith Scotland; and prayers for peace with faith leaders from across Kirklees.

The principal focus has been on raising support for the needs of those in Ukraine and assisting refugees.   A few examples are below. A collation of Churches’ responses and helpful resources can be seen at https://ctbi.org.uk/church-response-to-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/. Faith-based humanitarian agencies, such as Christian Aid and CAFOD, have been raising funds and in some cases offering support on the ground, including through cooperative efforts such as that involving Caritas and Khalsa Aid. Initiatives such as Muslim Hands have also been assisting on the ground.

Volunteers from a number of communities sprang into action after the invasion to raise funding and supplies for those in need. For example, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha supported relief efforts from a base in Poland. Closer to home, many collections were taken up and there were special fundraisers such as a match between the University of Leeds Jewish football team, Hapoel Hyde Park and students from the Birmingham JSoc.

Government guidance for those wishing to sponsor Ukrainian refugees, last updated on 29 April, can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions#full-publication-update-history.  Faith communities have been helping in a number of ways to assist Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK. For example, the Church in Wales held a webinar outlining practical ways for churches to assist refugees coming to the UK; the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies of British Jews established the Jewish Community Refugee Task Force in March to help the Jewish community  respond to the refugee crisis caused by the invasion; Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees has set out practical advice for faith groups to respond; and the Network of Buddhist Organisations (UK) has set out advice for Buddhists wishing to help Ukrainian refugees. 

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HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

A special 4-day weekend of events to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen will take place from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June.  More information can be found at https://www.royal.uk/platinum-jubilee-central-weekend and information on how to get involved can be found at https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/get-involved-with-the-platinum-jubilee/.  The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a toolkit for the Platinum Jubilee, including activities, music and decorations to help people with their celebrations in June. This can be found at https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/toolkit.

The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour) will be held on Thursday 2June starting at 11am.

For the Jubilee Beacons project the principal Beacon will be lit at special ceremony at Buckingham Palace at 9pm on Thursday 2 June.  Thousands of community beacons will also be lit by communities, charities and different groups throughout the regions of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories and 54 beacons will be lit in capital cities of the Commonwealth.  

The morning of Friday 3 June sees a Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, preceded by a peal of bells from Great Paul, the largest church bell in the UK.

On the evening of Saturday 4 June there will be a Platinum Party at the Palace. This will be a special live event that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainers and will be broadcast live on the BBC.  During the bank holiday weekend, the BBC is offering local communities a special one-off TV Licence dispensation.  This will allow those arranging community events in venues across the UK, where TV is not usually watched, to screen the live programmes throughout the weekend without needing to purchase a licence.

On Sunday 5 June, the Big Jubilee Lunch will take place where people are encouraged to take part through street parties or picnics, tea and cake or garden barbeques. While not part of the Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend programme, Thank You Day will be taking place on 5 June and is encouraging people to say thank you to Her Majesty The Queen as well as to one another.  It has linked in with the Big Jubilee Lunch and is also encouraging other activities.

From 2.30pm to 5pm on Sunday, a Grand Jubilee Pageant will also be taking place along the Mall and surrounding streets. The Platinum Jubilee Pageant has commissioned artists and communities from around the country and Commonwealth including military personnel, performers, key workers and volunteers from across the UK, to come together to tell the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign and changing society.

The Queen’s Green Canopy programme continues through to the end of 2022. It is encouraging the planting of trees to mark the Jubilee. The next planting season is from October to December.

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Faith communities, asylum seekers and refugees

As well as their work in supporting refugees from Ukraine, faith communities continue to work individually and together on matters relating to asylum seekers and refugees from many other places around the world such as Afghanistan and Syria.

As noted in previous issues of the e-bulletin, in the context of concern for wellbeing of those seeking sanctuary, a number of faith leaders and faith organisations expressed opposition to aspects of the now Nationality and Borders Act (enacted 28 April). Concerns continue to be expressed by some, for example by the Methodist Church in Britain.

There has likewise been disquiet expressed by some faith leaders and faith organisations about the impact on those seeking sanctuary in the UK of the Government’s agreement with Rwanda which was announced by the Home Secretary on 14 April.  The Government does not agree with the criticisms levelled at the Act and Rwanda agreement.  It has, however, ahead of a legal challenge, put aside plans to turn back people crossing the English Channel – a separate issue on which many faith groups had campaigned. 

The Great Get Together, which takes place from 24 to 26 June has as its theme this year ‘Welcome’.  It has again partnered with Refugee Week to run a Great Walk Together across that weekend. They are encouraging community walks all over the UK in “a UK-wide celebration of the power walking has to bring people together”, celebrating the Great Get Together’s #MoreInCommon message, its 2022 ‘Welcome’ theme, and Refugee Week 2022’s theme of ‘healing’.  For more information, visit https://www.greatgettogether.org/2022 and https://refugeeweek.org.uk/simple-acts/walk-together-2/. Refugee Week also has a number of resources for faith communities, which can be found at https://refugeeweek.org.uk/monthlymeet-refugee-week-in-your-faith-community/.

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Hate crime

There have been a number of recent incidents which have been treated as religiously or racially motivated hate crimes, such as the forcible removal of a turban from a Sikh schoolboy in Leicester and an attack on worshippers outside a mosque in East Ham in London.

In March the Crown Prosecution Service agreed the following shared definition with police for racially and religiously aggravated crime: “Any incident/crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or religion or perceived race or religion.”

Information on reporting hate crimes can be found below.

REPORT HATE CRIME AND WORK TOGETHER TO HELP TACKLE IT

Report hate incidents online through True Vision or via 3rd parties eg Community Security Trust (CST), Tell Mama UK and Stop Hate UK; at a police station; or by ringing the police on 101 (non-emergency) or 999. 

https://gov.uk/report-hate-crime

https://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/report-hate-crime-and-third-party-reporting/ https://reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/hate-crime/

https://www.psni.police.uk/crime/hate-crime/reporting-a-hate-crime/

 

See also Looking after one another: the safety and security of our faith communities (IFN and partners) which contains practical pointers for working together to counter hate crime.

https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-faith-communities-2017

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Freedom of Religion or Belief Ministerial Conference

As noted in the February issue of the e-bulletin, on 5 and 6 July the UK Government will be hosting a Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief. The conference, known as ‘The Ministerial’, aims to boost global efforts to tackle persecution and “drive collective action in promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the world so that everyone, everywhere can practise their own religion or belief freely”. Planning for the Conference is led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Fiona Bruce MP is the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and as such is supported by a special team within the FCDO. Ms Bruce is also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief (APPG). There will be a range of 100 events in and around the Ministerial, forming an ‘FoRB Fringe’. The APPG is encouraging involvement around the UK. A form for those interested to apply to host an event is at https://endthepersecution.uk/forb-fringe/

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Proposed changes under the Treasure Act 1996

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, all finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same finds, over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items as treasure under the Treasure Act 1996. Treasure belongs to the Crown, unless a prior interest is established. During the passage of the Treasure Act 1996, the UK Government undertook, in the House of Lords, to introduce a statutory instrument to exempt finds that came under the Church of England’s legal system, to remove any confusion for finders. The Government’s intention is to proceed with the introduction of the exemption in 2022.

As part of this process, the DCMS has undertaken to consult with other faith groups, so that any questions or concerns may be raised. The Government believes that any treasure finds related to other faiths are sufficiently protected through the Treasure Act 1996. No other religious denomination is subject to a legally enforceable system which would protect important archaeological, historic or cultural objects. The purpose of the Church of England exemption is “simply to remove confusion and potential conflict where finds could potentially be subject to two legal processes already in existence”.   Any questions or concerns about this proposal, can be sent to contact treasure@dcms.gov.uk. The deadline for responses is 17 May.

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New safeguarding principles for LGBT+ people in faith communities

UK faith leaders were among those agreeing to a new set of safeguarding principles to protect LGBT+ people in faith communities, at a conference of the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives held in London in March.  The Commission is co-chaired by the Revd Paul Bayes, former Bishop of Liverpool.

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Northern Ireland Fair Employment (School Teachers) Bill

A Bill ending a religious exemption to anti-discrimination law in the recruitment of teachers passed its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly in March.  The Fair Employment (School Teachers) Bill attracted cross-party support and was passed without the need for a vote. 

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Report on RE roundtable

An RE Policy Unit Parliamentary roundtable, ‘Religious Education: Underfunded and Undervalued’ chaired by Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley MP, brought together pupils, parents and leading speakers in the area of religious education and interested parliamentarians to discuss the continued value that RE brings to children and young people across England.  A report on the discussion, which took place on 1 March, can be seen at: https://www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/REPU-March-Roundtable-Report-final.pdf.

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Inter Faith Week

Inter Faith Week 2022

Inter Faith Week 2022 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will be held from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November.  Its aims are to:

  • Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels;
  • Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society;
  • Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs increasing inter faith understanding and cooperation, and promoting more engaged and connected communities.

In 2021, 830 activities are known to have taken place during Inter Faith Week. Thousands of people of all ages took part directly and millions encountered the Week’s messages through social media.

Why not join the thousands who will be taking part this year? It’s a great opportunity to highlight the contribution of faith groups to society, and to encourage understanding, cooperation and dialogue between those of different faiths and also between those of religious and non-religious beliefs.

There are lots of ideas on how to take part at https://www.interfaithweek.org/ as well as guidance on activity arranging and social media assets (eg logo and message boards). You might,  for example, be interested to try the Inter Faith Buddies scheme. This helps bring individuals together to talk about their beliefs and issues of shared interest. It can be used year-round and works very well in the Inter Faith Week context. See https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/inter-faith-buddies for more information and practical pointers. A video of three local inter faith practitioners talking about their Buddies experience can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHgNwAQsJyk and another example, from Interfaith Scotland, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzmbmtn175s

Scottish Inter Faith Week 2022

Scottish Interfaith Week is led by Interfaith Scotland and will this year be held from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November.  https://scottishinterfaithweek.org/  2022 has been designated Scotland’s Year of Stories and the theme for Scottish Inter Faith Week will be linked to this. 

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INTER FAITH WEEK FOR THE UK NEWS

2019-2021 Biennial Review

IFN has published a special Biennial Review of its work, '2019/2021: A Review of the work of the Inter Faith Network for the UK through a time of COVID'.  It begins with a message from the Trustees in which they reflect on the extraordinary nature of that period and the many ways that IFN and its member bodies have stepped up to the challenges that COVID has brought.  It is packed with stories and images of the period.  The Review can be downloaded from https://www.interfaith.org.uk/static/a-review-of-the-work-of-the-inter-faith-network-for-the-uk-through-a-time-of-covid

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IFN National Meeting

IFN held its National Meeting on 22 March. This was IFN’s 35th Anniversary Year National Meeting and was chaired by IFN Co-Chairs the Revd Canon Hilary Barber and Narendra Waghela. The theme for the meeting was ‘Working in partnership for the Common Good’.  It provided an opportunity to explore how faith organisations and inter faith bodies are working for the common good in partnership with other types of body such as local authorities; emergency services; universities, FE colleges and schools; healthcare organisations; companies; and sports organisations. 

In the morning session there were presentations on: ‘National organisations and faith communities working together for the common good’, by Catherine Davies, Head of Remembrance and Emma Vernalls, Remembrance Officer, Royal British Legion and a response from Nitin Palan of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha; ‘Faith-based charities working with secular agencies’, by Fadi Itani OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Muslim Charities Forum; ‘Multi-faith social action for the well being of refugees’, by Grace Buckley, Scottish Faiths Action Together on Refugees (SFAR), Secretary, Archdiocese of Glasgow Justice and Peace Commission and member of the Scottish Bishops’ national Justice and Peace Commission; and ‘Partnerships at the heart of local civic life – the Coventry experience’, by Manjit Kaur, educationalist, member of the Coventry Sacred Space Project and Coventry Multi Faith Forum and of Coventry and Warwickshire SACREs. At the end of the morning session IFN’s Executive Director, Dr Harriet Crabtree OBE, offered a short remembrance of Dr Natubhai Shah MBE, IFN Trustee, who had died earlier that month. 

In the afternoon session there were presentations on: ‘Partnerships at challenging times’ by Vijay Jassal, Assistant Director, Policy & Strategic Partnerships, National Emergencies Trust (NET) and Thelma Stober (NET Trustee); ‘Partnership for the common good’ by Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society, with responses from Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg, Senior Rabbi of Woodford Forest United Synagogue in London, under the Chief Rabbi’s auspices, and Vice-Moderator of IFN Faith Communities Forum and Roz Miller BEM, Director, Islington Faiths Forum.  At the end of the afternoon there were closing reflections from Paul Smalley, NASACRE and RE Council for England and Wales, Trupti Patel, President, Hindu Forum of Britain and IFN Trustee and Susan Siegel, Trustee, Interfaith Scotland and IFN Trustee.

During the day there were workshops on: COVID-19, coming together at a time of need and the emergence of new networks and partnerships; Emergency services and faith communities, developing and deepening community links; Employers, staff networks and faith communities – working for religious literacy and good relations; Faith communities working in partnership with SACREs and schools; Sports initiatives and inter faith engagement – partnerships for learning, empowerment and cohesion; Faith communities and healthcare – partnerships for health and wellbeing; Inter Faith Week: a time for forging new connections and partnerships; Local authorities and faith groups – dimensions of partnership; Partnership working between local inter faith bodies and higher education institutions; and Working in partnership for the safety and security of communities. 

Videos of the main plenary presentations can be seen at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/ifn-national-meeting-2022-working-in-partnership-for-the-common-good. The meeting report is under preparation.

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Dr Natubhai Shah and Leonie Lewis

The e-bulletin does not carry obituaries.  However, in this issue, we note with sadness the recent deaths from illness of two trustees: Dr Natubhai Shah MBE and Leonie Lewis MBE.  Both were widely known and respected both within their own communities (Jain and Jewish) for their community work, as well as within the inter faith world.  Words from IFN about them can be seen here and here. IFN’s Executive Director, Harriet Crabtree, attended their funerals on behalf of the Board. Leonie Lewis had served as an IFN Trustee since 2020. She was also a Trustee of IFN member body Faiths Forum for London.  Dr Shah had been involved in IFN’s work since its earliest days, serving at various points as an honorary officer.  He died shortly before IFN’s National Meeting and a remembrance of him was offered at that.  

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IFN office arrangements

The IFN office moved at the end of April to Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3RB. The phone number and email address remain the same. 

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INTER FAITH PROJECTS AND DEVELOPMENTS

London Interfaith Fun Run

The Faith and Belief Forum and Maccabi GB have recently launched the London Interfaith Fun Run which will take place in Barnet on Monday 29 August. They are calling on charities to participate in this event which can be used as a fundraising and profile-raising platform. Participating charities will: be able to recruit unlimited runners/walkers who will fundraise for their charity; have a stall in the Charity Fair; and contribute to other programming on the day including performances, delivering family activities, interactive dialogue sessions, and more.  For more information, visit https://faithbeliefforum.org/event/london-interfaith-fun-run-22  or email Jessica@faithbeliefforum.org.

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Interfaith poetry anthology

Interfaith Scotland is working together with the Scottish Poetry Library to create a book of poems on the theme of ‘The Gift’. The poems will be written by people from different faith and belief backgrounds, writing about what inspired them and helped bring them through the pandemic. The deadline for submissions is 14 June. More details can be found at https://standrews.anglican.org/uncategorized/opportunity-to-submit-a-poem-for-interfaith-poetry-anthology/.

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Faith trails and walks

It is that time of year when faith walks and trails begin again.  This weekend, for example, saw a Diverse Open Doors Day trail in Bristol organised by the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum which took in a Buddhist monastery, a Greek Orthodox Church, a Black Christian Church, a Muslim Mosque, a Sikh Gurudwara, a Jewish Synagogue, a Hindu Temple, and a Bahai Centre. There was a Spirituality and Mental Health theme and also a link to the Platinum Jubilee. Participants started with langar at the gurdwara.

Next month sees the inaugural East Finchley Faith and Peace Walk, bringing communities together to celebrate the rich history, open spaces and diverse faiths in East Finchley in London.  It is being organised by the Barnet Multi Faith Forum and Middlesex University Interfaith Network. The day will be divided into regular stops so you can stay with the walk as long as you can to hear about the work of the venues, enjoy light refreshments and use facilities. Details under Diary Dates.

Find out more about organising faith walks and trails at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/inter-faith-walks-pilgrimages-and-faith-trails and open door days at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/open-door-days. A number of these, such as the Watford Inter Faith Association Interfaith Pilgrimage, take place during Inter Faith Week.  If your area does not yet have an annual faith communities’ open-door day or faith trail, why not consider arranging one for Inter Faith Week 2022 (13 to 20 November)? 

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RESOURCES AND STUDY/TRAINING

Resources

Inter Faith Buddies

Inter Faith Buddies is a scheme designed by IFN to bring individuals together to engage in dialogue.

  • The scheme involves two people of different faiths or beliefs keeping in touch on a weekly basis for 6 weeks;
  • choosing or developing questions on which to share their thoughts and experiences; and
  • if they wish, sharing at an in-person or online event, in an agreed way, some reflections on what they have gained from the experience.
     

It is an opportunity for sharing and learning, on a one-to-one basis across a limited period of time, about what is important to us, in the context of our wider community. The process may, of course, lead to longer term conversations and new forms of practical co-operation.

This video clip from Surrey Faith Links gives a flavour of the experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHgNwAQsJyk.

Interested in taking up the idea within your organisation?

If you are an organisation interested in taking up the Inter Faith Buddies idea, visit https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/inter-faith-buddies for more information and practical pointers.

Interfaith Scotland has used the scheme in a number of contexts, for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzmbmtn175s.

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Interfaith Inspiration videos

Interfaith Scotland has produced a series of videos featuring stories of people’s faith or belief journey and what inspired them to get involved in inter faith engagement.  These can be seen on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXayqHrHCAE

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Study/training

IFN 'Digital surgery' slots for local inter faith organisations

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 ashley.beck@interfaith.org.uk.

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Woolf Institute Summer School

Applications are open for the Woolf Institute Summer School.  This aims to “increase tolerance and interdependence through the design of a curriculum and a learning environment conducive to academic study and fostering understanding of the diversity of beliefs, attitudes and perspectives” and the curriculum will include an interdisciplinary approach to the study of interreligious and interfaith relations.  For more information, visit https://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/study/summer-schools.

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CCJ Campus Leadership Programme

Applications are now open for the Council of Christians and Jews’ 2022-23 Campus Leadership programme. This programme is open to students who are keen to explore other religions and to take a stand against intolerance.  Initial training will take place from 6 to 8 September.  For more information, email campusleadership@ccj.org.uk or visit https://ccj.org.uk/campus-leadership. The closing date for applications is 1 July.

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Cambridge Interfaith Programme Summer School

Applications are now open for the Cambridge Interfaith Programme 2022 Academic Summer School. The Summer School will run from 4 July to 15 July, with online timetabled sessions supplemented by unscheduled activities for participants to complete independently. There is a bursary scheme available.  For more information, visit https://www.interfaith.cam.ac.uk/news/academic-summer-school-now-open-applications.

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CST Safe Webinars on security for places of worship and faith communities

The Community Security Trust Safe programme is offering a series of webinars on many aspects of security, intended for places of worship and faith communities.  For more information, visit https://cst.org.uk/about-cst/safe-security-advice-for-everyone.

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CALLS FOR INFORMATION, COMPETITIONS, AND NOMINATIONS

Calls for information

DHSC Call for Evidence on Vitamin D

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a call for evidence on vitamin D.   This seeks views on how to improve the vitamin D status of the population in England, in line with existing recommendations, as well as addressing associated health disparities and improving health outcomes through maximising the benefits of vitamin D.  There is a specific need to get views from ethnic minorities and those who cover themselves outdoors for cultural or religious reasons.

DHSC welcome views on: how guidance or campaigns can be tailored in order to better reach these groups and to take account of religious and cultural diversity; and how health and care professionals, community leaders and faith leaders can work alongside these groups to raise awareness and deliver messages in culturally appropriate ways, and examples of innovative and/or good practice.  The call for evidence closes on 15 May.  For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/vitamin-d-call-for-evidence/vitamin-d-call-for-evidence.

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Research into contribution of faith groups during the pandemic

Spurgeon’s College, a theological college for Baptist ministers and church leaders, has initiated a campaign to record the valuable contribution of faith groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.inspiremagazine.org.uk/stories/view?articleid=3515   The results will be submitted to the British Library as an official record.  The research form can be completed at https://faithincommunity.org.uk/faithincommunity-record/.

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Competitions

NATRE Spirited Arts competition

The National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE)’s annual Spirited Arts competition is open for entries until 31 July. This year NATRE is partnering with the Jo Cox Foundation and the theme is ‘We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us.’  For full details of the competition, visit https://www.natre.org.uk/about-natre/projects/spirited-arts/spirited-arts-2022.

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JOBS, INTERNSHIPS AND VOLUNTEERING

The Inter Faith Network for the UK - Volunteers

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.

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Faith & Belief Forum - HR & Operations Manager

The Faith & Belief Forum is seeking to appoint an HR and Operations Manager.  The closing date for applications is 16 May.   For further information, visit https://faithbeliefforum.org/career/hr-operations-manager/.

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Council of Christians and Jews - Campus Leadership Programme Manager

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is seeking a Campus Leadership Programme Manager for its campus inter faith dialogue programme. For the 2022-23 academic year, CCJ is collaborating with St Peter's House, which hosts chaplaincy for the Manchester student community.  The new Programme Manager will be based in Manchester and will lead the nationwide Campus Leadership Programme as well as work closely with faith-based student groups in Manchester. The closing date for applications is 23 May.  Interviews will be held on 13 June 2022 in Manchester. For more information, email campusleadership@ccj.org.uk.

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St Ethelburga's Centre - Volunteering opportunities

The St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace has a number of opportunities for volunteers and interns to support them in their work.  For further information, visit https://stethelburgas.org/get-involved/vacancies-and-volunteering/.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

New UK Government Find a Grant pilot

The UK Government’s new Find a Grant pilot was released on 12 April.  This 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

The pilot phase includes 23 grant schemes and can be found at https://www.find-government-grants.service.gov.uk/.

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Funding websites

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. Similar websites for funding in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found at Funding Scotland, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Grant Tracker for Northern Ireland.

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Listed Places of Worship grant scheme

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. 

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FCC Community Action Fund

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 8 June.

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Subsidised fundraising workshops

The Foundation for Social Improvement offers subsidised training programmes for small charities across the UK.  The courses cover a wide range of subjects from event planning to leadership. Many of the courses focus on fundraising and sustainability skills in particular.   Further information and dates for upcoming courses, now being held online, can be found at http://www.thefsi.org/services/training.

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SPECIAL WEEKS/DAYS/MONTHS

Dates for Special Weeks, Days and Months taking place throughout the year

The Big Lunch this year is an official part of HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June. Across the years millions of people from different backgrounds have joined together to take part through street parties, BBQs, iftars and picnics. It is on 5 June.

Thank You Day takes place on Sunday 5 June. It is a UK-wide initiative inviting people to get together to say thank you to one another, to family members, key workers, good neighbours and volunteers.  It has a particular link to the pandemic and how people have responded. This year it will encourage people to say thank you to Her Majesty The Queen as well as to one another.

Refugee Week will take place from Monday 20 to Sunday 26 June. Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.  The theme for the 2022 Week is ‘Healing’.

The Great Get Together, inspired by the late Jo Cox MP, is taking place from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 June.

Srebrenica Memorial Day takes place each year on 11 July. This year's theme is 'Combatting Denial: Challenging Hatred'. It is organised by Remembering Srebrenica. 

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from Saturday 8 October to Saturday 15 October.

One World Week will take place from Sunday 23 to Sunday 30 October.

Inter Faith Week, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will take place from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November. See above.

Scottish Interfaith Week is led by Interfaith Scotland. It will be held from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November.

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.

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.

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DIARY DATES

Information on some of the inter faith events taking place around the UK

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.

The University of Birmingham Multi Faith Chaplaincy is holding an event on Tuesday 10 May on the topic of ‘Jewish-Christian Relations in Post-War Britain: Legacies of suspicion and the challenges of interfaith’.  It will be held from 6pm to 7.30pm in St Francis Hall at the University.  For more information, contact Alex Ferranti at a.ferranti@bham.ac.uk.

Elmbridge Multi Faith Forum is holding its next event on Tuesday 10 May.  The theme will be ‘My Islam, differences among Muslims’.  It will be held at 7pm for a 7.30pm start at the East Molesey Islamic and Cultural Centre, 94 Road Walton Road, East Molesey KT8 0DL. Speakers included will be a Sunni, Shia and Sufi. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, all welcome. For more information, and to register, contact Kawther Hashmi at KawtherH@smef.org.uk or on 07827 974792. 

Halifax Minster, Calderdale Interfaith and other partners are holding a Celebration of Wellbeing and Mental Health on Wednesday 11 May.  The keynote speakers will be Jim McManus, Director of Public Health Hertfordshire, and Jonny Richardson Glenn, CEO of Healthy Minds Calderdale.  It is being held from 10am to 2.30pm at Halifax Minster, Church Street, Halifax HX1 1QL.  To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-celebration-of-wellbeing-and-mental-health-tickets-311209655457

Shirley House Interfaith Centre is holding its next event on Wednesday 11 May.  The topic will be ‘Faith and Belief in Buddhism’ and the speaker will be Mike Fitter.  It begins at 7.30pm and is being held at Shirley House, 31 Psalter Lane S11 8YL. It is also hoped to offer a Zoom option. For more information, email shirleyhouseinterfaith@gmail.com or call 0114 267 8289.

The Great Get Together and Refugee Week are holding a webinar on Wednesday 11 May at 2pm for anyone thinking of organising a walk as part of the Great Walk Together in June. For further information and to book, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-great-plan-together-great-walk-together-support-tickets-315266810517

Nisa-Nashim Jewish Muslim Women’s Network is holding its annual conference on Sunday 15 May.  The theme will be ‘Navigating Crisis’. The speakers will be former MP Ruth Smeeth, Nusrat Ghani MP and Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary at DEFRA. It is being held from 10am to 1pm. For more information and to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nisa-nashim-online-annual-conference-tickets-318714873767

The Religion Media Centre will be holding its annual Religion Media Festival on Monday 1 May on the theme of 'Exploring Belief'. The progrmame of confirmed speakers can be found at https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/events/exploring-belief-the-2022-religion-media-festival/. The festival will be held from 10.30am to 4pm at the JW3 Centre in London.  To book, visit https://www.jw3.org.uk/whats-on/exploring-belief-religion-and-media-2022

The Council of Christians and Jews (South East London branch) is holding its next meeting on Tuesday 17 May.  This will be on ‘Isaiah – the historical personality’.  Rabbi Larry Becker will be leading the discussion.  It is being held at 8pm, with refreshments from 7.45pm, at St Stephen’s Church, College Road, London SE21 7HN.  For further details, email stephenweil6@gmail.com

Woking People of Faith will be holding its annual Interfaith Football Tournament on Saturday 21 May.  Book your six-a-side team now by emailing treasurer@wpof.org.uk. The tournament will be held from 9am to 4pm at the Winston Churchill Sports Centre, Hermitage Road, St John's, GU21 8TL. There will be medals for all players as well as a trophy for the winning team. Lunch will be served. More details to follow. 

Woking Action for Peace, Churches Together in Woking, Surrey Faith Links, Woking Environment Action, Woking People of Faith, Woking Soroptimists and Woking Quakers are holding the next Woking Debate on Saturday 21 May.  This will be a play by Journeymen Theatre about immigration called ‘The Bundle’. The event will take place from 11am to 12.30pm at Christ Church, Jubilee Square, Woking GU21 6YG. For more information, visit www.wokingdebates.com

Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith is holding its next meeting on Monday 23 May.   The theme will be ‘Sacred Numbers’ and will be looking at the numbers that are important in shaping the rhythm and pattern of life to those of the Jewish, Christian and Bahai faiths. It is being held from 7.30pm to 9pm at the Focolare Centre, 69 Parkway, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6JG.  For more information, email theresa.whifg@gmail.com.  

Interfaith Wolverhampton and City of Sanctuary Wolverhampton are holding a fundraising film event on Tuesday 24 May.  They will be screening ‘The Shape of Water’ at 6pm at the Lighthouse Cinema, The Chubb Building, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton. Refreshments will be provided from 5pm.  For tickets, email admin@ifwton.org.uk or call 07853 251929.

Calderdale Interfaith is holding a women-only event on Tuesday 24 May. This will be on ‘Sharing Mary – Bible and Quran side by side’ and will be led by Madeleine Russell. It is being held at 1.30pm at the Halifax Opportunities Trust, Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre, Halifax HX1 5PG.  To book, contact Perveen on 07776 107362.

The St Philip’s Centre is running a series of Hindu-Christian Conversations.  These each take place on Thursdays from 12pm to 2pm at St Philip’s Church, Leicester LE2 1HN. The next one is being held on Thursday 26 May on the theme of ‘Royalty and faith’. Vegetarian food will be available.  To book, email courses@stphilipscentre.co.uk or telephone 07707 640885.

Woking People of Faith is holding an event on Thursday 26 May. This will be on the theme of ‘Faith in Harmony’.  It will include musicians from different faiths and cultures and a meal. It is being held from 7pm at the Parkview Community Centre, Blackmore Crescent, Sheerwater, GU21 5NZ. To book, email administrator@wpof.org.uk

Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum is holding its next Women's Group Meeting on Monday 30 May.  The theme will be ‘Faith and Food’.  It is being held from 7.30pm to 9pm at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road, Cookham, SL6 9HJ.  For further details, email sally514@btinternet.com.

Newcastle Council of Faiths is holding an Afternoon Tea to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on the afternoon of Thursday 2 June.  This will be held from 4pm to 6pm at Newcastle Reform Synagogue, The Croft, off Kenton Lane, Gosforth, NE3 4RF.  For more information, and to book, email l.hillary@newcastle.anglican.org.

Interfaith Scotland and Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network are hosting an Interfaith Family Picnic on Sunday 5 June.  This will be an Intergenerational Celebration of Service and Gratitude for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and Thank You Day. Participants are invited to bring their own picnic. It is being held from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at the Hidden Gardens, 25A Albert Drive, Glasgow G41 2PE. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/interfaith-family-picnic-tickets-318867099077?aff=ebdsoporgprofile.

The St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is holding its next ‘Listen to the World’ open mic night on Tuesday 7 June.  This evening of live music will feature Afghan performer Elaha Soroor and will mark Refugee Week and its theme of 'Healing'. The floor will also be open for open mic spots. Free tickets for refugees and asylum seekers.  It is being held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm in person at the Centre in London and also online. For more information, contact Jo Winsloe Slater at jowinsloe@stethelburgas.org.

Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, is holding a Multi-Faith Networking Event on Tuesday 14 June.  Faith groups from across Bedfordshire are invited to attend. It will be held from 6pm to 8pm at Venue 360, The Riverside Suite, 20 Gipsy Lane, Luton LU1 3JH.  For more information, and to register, visit https://www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk/bedfordshires-multi-faith-networking-event-2022/.

The St Philip's Centre in Leicester is holding its AGM on Wednesday 22 June.  This will include a talk on ‘Learning to Live Well Together’ by The Rt Revd Saju Muthalalay, Bishop of Loughborough.  It will be held from 5.30pm to 7.00pm at St Philip’s Church, Evington Road, Leicester LE2 1HN.  Light refreshments will be provided. To book, email admin@stphilipscentre.co.uk.

Barnet Multi Faith Forum and Middlesex University Inter Faith Network have jointly organised the first East Finchley Faith and Peace Walk on Saturday 25 June. It will begin at 10.30am at Cherry Tree Woods. For more information, and to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/east-finchley-faith-and-peace-walk-registration-271331328307.

Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum is holding its next event on Tuesday 19 July.  This will be on the theme of ‘Appreciating interfaith friendships’. It will begin at 6pm and will be held by the river.  For more information, email bernard.jones10@btinternet.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/

IFN also carries news and information at www.twitter.com/IFNetUK www.facebook.com/IFNetUK and, about Inter Faith Week, at https://twitter.com/IFweek and www.facebook.com/IFWeek.

 

SUPPORT THE INTER FAITH NETWORK'S WORK TO INCREASE INTER FAITH UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION

The Inter Faith Network for the UK works for inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK. Please help us grow this vital work by making a donation at: https://interfaith.org.uk/donate (including Paypal option). Donations can also be made by sending a cheque payable to ‘The Inter Faith Network’ to: The Inter Faith Network for the UK, Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London, SW1P 3RB.

Donations are used with care to make a real difference.

Thank you!

 

MAKE A GIFT TO SUPPORT THE INTER FAITH NETWORK'S WORK IN REMEMBRANCE OF A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND OR THROUGH A LEGACY

If you would like to make a gift in memory of a loved one, please get in touch by emailing remember@interfaith.org.uk or call us on 0207 730 0410.

By leaving a gift in your will to the Inter Faith Network for the UK, you can leave a living inheritance to help deepen and strengthen inter faith understanding and cooperation in this country – for now and for the future. If you are thinking about making a will, the best thing to do is to get in touch with a professional will writer, such as a solicitor or advocate; they can help to ensure it is legally correct and that your wishes are met. If you have already made a will, you can still make an addition or amendment in the form of a codicil. If you would like to pledge a gift, please provide our name and address, along with our registered charity number 1068934.

Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

You can call us on 0207 730 0410 or contact us at remember@interfaith.org.uk.

Remember a Charity has produced a helpful resource called ‘Making a Will - your complete guide’.  This can be found at https://www.rememberacharity.org.uk/making-a-will/.

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Submissions for next issue

If you have items about inter faith projects or future events which you would like considered for inclusion in the next e-bulletin please email these to ifnet@interfaith.org.uk by 30 June with ‘e-bulletin’ in the subject line. Submissions may be edited for length or style.

Disclaimer: Information in this e-bulletin has been sourced and compiled with care. IFN does not take responsibility for accuracy of information supplied by external organisations and inclusion of items within this e-bulletin does not imply endorsement or validation by IFN of the events, publications or the bodies which have produced these.

 The Inter Faith Network for the UK, Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London, SW1P 3RB

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