E-Bulletin September/October 2022
This is a web version of IFN's September/October 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
- New Prime Minister and Ministerial appointments
- Cost of living pressures and faith communities
- Responding to the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
- Proclamation of Accession of His Majesty King Charles III meeting with faith leaders
- Inter faith meeting of Scottish faith leaders
- Events in Leicester and Birmingham and good relations
- Commission on Bereavement report
- Hate crime
- GCSE and A Level Religious Studies
- Inter Faith Week
Inter Faith Network for the UK News
- Maulana M Shahid Raza OBE
- New name for IFN’s e-bulletin
- IFN meeting for member National and Regional Inter Faith Organisations and Educational and Academic Bodies
- Working in partnership for the common good: Report on IFN’s 2022 National Meeting
Inter faith projects, programmes and developments
- Barnet SACRE Interfaith Choir
- Week of Prayer for World Peace
- Queen’s Green Canopy initiative extended
- Multi faith blessing of new hospital premises
Resources and Study/training
- Keeping the Faith report
- FaithAction publications
- Anthology of WCF Younghusband Lectures
- Modest dress at work as lived religion
- Promoting the Exploration of Religion and Worldviews in Schools
- Big Ideas for RE website
- NWG Network Read more
- IFN 'digital surgery' slots for local inter faith organisations
- SAFE programme security events
- St Ethelburga’s training and workshops
Calls for information, Competitions and Nominations
- Anthology of multiple identify reflections
- Recording faith stories from the pandemic
- York Interfaith Group logo design competition
- Woolf Institute William Kessler essay competition
Jobs, Internships and Volunteering
- Inter Faith Network for the UK – Administrative Officer
- Inter Faith Network for the UK – Two forthcoming roles
- Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby – Faith Development Workers
- Redbridge Faith Forum – Project Development Officer
- FaithAction – Project and Policy Assistant
- Inter Faith Network for the UK – Volunteers
- UK Government Find a Grant pilot
- Empowering local communities
- Funding websites
- Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
- FCC Community Action Fund
On 5 September it was announced that The Rt Hon Liz Truss had won the election to become Leader of the Conservative Party. She therefore became the new Prime Minister of the UK.
The Rt Hon Simon Clarke MP was subsequently appointed as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). https://www.gov.uk/government/people/simon-clarke
Baroness Scott of Bybrook has recently been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DLUHC. Her brief includes communities and faith. https://www.gov.uk/government/people/baroness-scott-of-bybrook
Warm Welcome initiative
The Good Faith Foundation has launched a Warm Welcome initiative. https://www.warmwelcome.uk/ Its mission is to support organisations to open their doors and provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter. Places of worship and faith centres are among those who can register to become a warm welcome space at https://www.warmwelcome.uk/get-started/signup.
Information on support available can be found on the UK Government website at https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/ and on the following sites for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:
Letter to the Prime Minister
A number of faith and secular charity leaders wrote a letter in September calling on the Prime Minister to prioritise support for the poorest in their cost of living announcements. https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/presidency-joins-call-for-more-support-for-people-on-the-lowest-incomes/.
At 6.30pm on 8 September Buckingham Palace announced the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Many IFN member faith and inter faith bodies issued statements or tributes in response to Her Majesty's death. IFN highlighted these on its Twitter and Facebook pages and they have also been collated at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/the-death-of-her-majesty-queen-elizabeth-ii-responses-by-ifn-member-bodies. IFN’s Co-Chairs and FCF Moderators issued the following message:
It is with profound sadness that we learn of the death of Her Majesty the Queen.
We express our deep gratitude for her life of service, inspired by her faith.
We convey our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family on their loss.
The Co-Chairs and Faith Communities Forum Moderators of the Inter Faith Network for the UK 8 September 2022
Faith and inter faith groups were involved in the period of mourning following Her Majesty’s death, from taking part in and organising memorial services to providing chaplaincy support to those in the queue to see the lying in state. There were memorial services in a number of cities such as Leeds and Portsmouth.
The official religious services for Her Majesty’s death and burial at Westminster Abbey and St George’s Windsor were held in line with her Christian faith and her role as Head of the Church of England. A number of leaders of other faiths were invited to attend the state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
The proclamation of the Accession of His Majesty King Charles III was a strongly multi faith occasion in many areas.
The King’s Accession visits also brought opportunities for meeting with faith leaders, for example to the Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of The Queen at Llandaff Cathedral and linked tour of Cardiff.
In the week after his Accession to the throne King Charles III held a reception at Buckingham Palace for over 30 faith leaders from around the UK. In his speech to them, he said: “I have always thought of Britain as a ‘community of communities’. That has led me to understand that the sovereign has an additional duty – less formally recognised but to be no less diligently discharged. It is the duty to protect the diversity of our country, including by protecting the space for faith itself and its practice through the religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to which our hearts and minds direct us as individuals. This diversity is not just enshrined in the laws of our country, it is enjoined by my own faith.”
Leaders from Scotland’s Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities, and some others, travelled to Iona on a three day pilgrimage. Their arrival coincided with the day of the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and they gathered that evening in Iona Abbey to pray for the Royal family and those who were grieving around the world.
The pilgrimage marked the 20th anniversary of The Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum and included reflection on inter faith relations in Scotland and ways to champion inclusivity and diversity across the nation. It also included a service of commitment.
Children at a local primary school had the chance to meet the religious leaders and ask them questions about their faiths.
During September there were a number of disturbances in Leicester, notably what the BBC reported as disorder which broke out on 17 September amid tensions involving parts of the Hindu and Muslim communities and some others.
There was also a demonstration at the Durga Bhawan Temple in Smethwick. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-62982948
Leicester Council of Faiths participated in a unity event on 20 September organised by the Hindu and Muslim communities at the Jame Mosque in Leicester https://tinyurl.com/LCoF200922 and jointly organised a Vigil Service on 2 October https://tinyurl.com/LCoF021022. The Birmingham Faith leaders’ group issued a statement on 20 September as did faith leaders in Smethwick https://tinyurl.com/BFL200922 https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/faith-leaders-unite-friendship-dust-25074652 Unity statements were also issued in some other areas such as the London Borough of Redbridge. https://twitter.com/Jas_Athwal/status/1572969158484140032 There were also meetings in a number of other areas such as Preston. https://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2022/09/hindu-and-muslim-faith-representatives-meet-in-preston-in-peace-and-solidarity/
There have been a number of reports that social media contributed to the disturbances. Both Leicestershire Police and West Midlands Police have asked the public to only share information which is known to be true and to be mindful of ‘fake news’. https://twitter.com/leicspolice/status/1576513699157876736
The Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, announced an independent inquiry into the disturbances. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/22/leicester-mayor-announces-independent-inquiry-into-city-violence
On 18 September the Co-Chairs and Moderators of the Faith Communities Forum of IFN issued the following statement:
We note with concern the disturbances in Leicester this weekend. Police have been responding to incidents and faith leaders, the Leicester Council of Faiths, the local authority and others have been working alongside them to tackle tensions, address misunderstandings and misinformation, and to restore and strengthen the good relations for which the City is more widely known.
Nationality has been a focus of some of the disturbances, as it was of disturbances earlier this month after an India Pakistan cricket match. However, media coverage reflects the fact that there are dimensions of the present and prior disturbances and tensions in Leicester which are - or have become - linked by some to Hindu and Muslim communities and that there are related concerns about safety on the streets of individuals of those faiths and of their places of worship. Although the situation primarily affects Leicester, there has been some evidence, for example in the pattern of arrests, of participation of individuals from other areas and concern about potentially wider impacts.
We affirm the vital efforts of all those working in Leicester and in other areas of the UK to tackle tensions where these arise, and to develop greater understanding and stronger inter faith and inter community relations and we call for the necessary resources to be made available to support this work.
A statement by the Co-Chairs and Moderators of the Faith Communities Forum
of the Inter Faith Network for the UK 18 September 2022
Faith communities and vaccination
The number of COVID cases has risen sharply in recent weeks. https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-concerning-increases-in-hospitalisations-with-250-rise-in-the-south-west-12713712 Vaccination take up has been dropping and faith communities’ continue to encourage people to come forward for that. For example, at the Diwali in Trafalgar Square event COVID-19 booster doses were available. https://twitter.com/hindu_counciluk/status/1577546478200954880
The UK Commission on Covid Commemoration was established in the summer to secure a broad consensus from across the whole of the United Kingdom on how to “commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic and mark this distinctive period in our history at a national and community level”. The Commission held its second meeting in September and is expected to report to the Prime Minister by the end of March 2023. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-commission-on-covid-commemoration
Stakeholder meetings are taking place across the UK during October. The Commission is also keen for organisations and members of the public to complete the local Covid Commemoration survey which can be found at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/UKCovidCommemorationActivity/.
The UK Commission on Bereavement recently published its report, ‘Bereavement is everyone’s business’. This follows consultation and research with a wide range of stakeholders, including faith groups. The report includes 8 ‘principles for change’ and a number of detailed recommendations. There are references to faith throughout the report, including in relation to the support offered by faith groups and the need for sensitivity in relation to religious and cultural practices. The main summary and full report can be downloaded at https://bereavementcommission.org.uk/ukcb-findings/.
Figures announced this month for England and Wales show that in the year ending March 2022, there were 155,841 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, a 26% increase compared with the previous year. This was the biggest percentage increase in hate crimes since the year ending March 2017, when there was a 29% rise.
Religious hate crimes increased by 37% (to 8,730 offences), up from 6,383 in the previous year; this was the highest number of religious hate crimes recorded since the time series began in year ending March 2012. This increase follows two years where the number of these offences had fallen.
Of the religious hate crimes recorded, information on the targeted religion was provided in 8,307 of the offences (95%). In some cases, more than one perceived religion had been tagged on one offence (for example, a piece of graffiti may have targeted more than one religion). 42% of the religious hate crime offences (3,459 offences) were targeted against Muslims. Jewish people were targeted in 23% of religious hate crimes (1,919 offences). 8% of offences were targeted against Christians (701 offences), 4% against Sikhs (301); and 2% against Hindus (161).
The Scottish Government has committed to developing a new Hate Crime Strategy, for publication later in 2022 which will set out its key priorities for tackling hatred and prejudice in Scotland and support implementation of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021. It has convened the Ministerial-led Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group (SPG), chaired by the Minister for Equalities and Older people, Christina McKelvie MSP. Interfaith Scotland is one of a number of networks represented on the SPG. In September, it organised an event in partnership with CEMVO Scotland and MEND to gather information on the lived experiences of hate crime among Muslims in Scotland. https://www.gov.scot/groups/the-hate-crime-strategic-partnership-group/
The number of students in England and Wales taking a GCSE course in Religious Studies has risen to 253,225, an increase of 0.6 per cent from last year. The increase was largely driven by a rise in students taking the short course in England, up 16.5% from 15,672 to 18,257. In Wales, amid an overall 5% drop in pupils taking GCSEs, the number of entries to RS courses fell by 11%.
The Religious Education Council of England and Wales and the National Association of Teachers of RE are calling for more government money to bolster the subject in schools. https://www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk/?news=take-action-on-re-say-leading-politicians-as-more-students-take-the-subject-at-gcse
The number of students taking an A level in Religious Studies in England and Wales has fallen by 447, a 2.7% decrease on last year. The decline follows a 20 year period when Religious Studies had one of the fastest growth rates for A levels in the humanities. The National Association of Teachers of RE and the Religious Education Council of England and Wales have warned that growth is under threat from a five year funding gap. https://www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk/?news=a-level-religious-studies-results-prompt-call-for-government-support
Inter Faith Week takes place this year from Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November. It is led by the Inter Faith Network for the UK but has its own dedicated website www.interfaithweek.org and social media accounts. You can follow it at: https://www.facebook.com/ifweek/, https://twitter.com/IFWeek, https://uk.linkedin.com/showcase/ifweek and https://www.instagram.com/IFWeek/!
The story of Inter Faith Week
The Inter Faith Network for the UK launched Inter Faith Week in 2009, in partnership for the first year with Government. The Week’s aims were crafted with the assistance of its Faith Communities Forum. They are:
- 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
The week took its inspiration from Scottish Interfaith Week, about which you can find out more at https://scottishinterfaithweek.org/.
Why a special Week?
Special ‘days’ and ‘weeks’ have a particular usefulness in highlighting issues and providing a platform for people to make their year-round work better known and to get more people involved. The Week is 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.
Inter Faith Week takes place in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in November. In recent years, it has been timed to begin on Remembrance Sunday to support and encourage remembering together of the service of men and women of many different backgrounds from the UK and from the countries that became the Commonwealth and to reflect on peace. There are some special resources about that at https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/remembrance.
A growing impact
Last year saw a growth in overall Week participation of 20% and big rises in participation by some types of bodies, for example schools went up by 143% since 2019 and the number of hospitals and hospices by 225% A treasure trove of accounts of how different types of organisations used the Week in 2021 can be found in IFN’s special report: Inter Faith Week 2021: A Widening Impact. It has sections on faith communities; local and national inter faith organisations; schools; universities and FE colleges; youth organisations; local authorities; police, fire and ambulance services; hospitals and hospices; workplaces; museums, libraries and other cultural institutions; and sports organisations. It also picks up contributions from a range of other types of bodies such as equality bodies and institutions such as the House of Commons (a special exhibition arranged by the Speaker).
Taking part in this year’s Week
There is still plenty of time to arrange an activity. You can find ideas for activities at https://www.interfaithweek.org/events/about. There is a ‘Quick Plan Activities’ section with activities for those who want to mark Inter Faith Week but don’t have a lot of time to prepare, for example: coming together with friends or colleagues of other faiths to walk together, watch a film together, or bake a special Inter Faith Week cake! https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/quick-plan-activities You might also be interested by the Inter Faith Buddies scheme where two people of different faiths or of a particular faith and of a non-religious belief come together for sharing and learning, on a one-to-one basis across a limited period of time. https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/inter-faith-week-buddies
Registering an activity
If you arrange an activity, please do take a few minutes to register it at www.interfaithweek.org/submit and put yourself on the map! You can list it even if is not a public event. If you submit your activity on the website, you will also be eligible to receive a free registration pack which contains a poster, flyers, a social media message card, and stickers.
You can also download the Week logo in various formats from https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/branding.
Message cards and support messages
You can also download a message card at https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/branded-ifw-message-boards and share your own message on social media as the Week approaches.
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. Follow it on Twitter and Facebook.
IFN was very sorry to hear of the death of Maulana M Shahid Raza OBE in early September: wise and warm-hearted, a key figure in the development of the Inter Faith Network's work - as an Honorary Officer and as a Trustee of many years - and of good inter faith relations more generally and a key figure in the British Muslim community. His funeral took place in Leicester on 7 September. https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/tributes-internationally-respected-imam-shahid-7550127
It was noted in the last issue of the e-bulletin, that we would be moving to a new name for the e-bulletin this Autumn. The next issue will come out under the new name.
IFN Meeting with National and Regional Inter Faith Organisations and Educational and Academic Bodies
A joint meeting for IFN member National and Regional Inter Faith Organisations and Educational and Academic Bodies took place in September. Items on the Agenda included: IFN update / matters, with an update by IFN Project Director, Ashley Beck; Whistle-stop exchange of information on projects, key news, current concerns and interests; Difficult dialogues, with brief introductory reflections from Georgina Bye, Co-Director of the Council of Christians and Jews and Indy Nottage, Executive Officer of the RE Council of England and Wales, followed by discussion of approaches to handling of potentially difficult or sensitive dialogues and Inter Faith Week.
IFN has published 'Working in Partnership for the Common Good: Report on IFN’s 2022 National Meeting exploring partnership working by faith groups and other types of bodies, rooted in shared values'. This can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/working-in-partnership-for-the-common-good-report-on-ifns-2022-national-meeting.
The focus of the Meeting was faith groups and other types of bodies working together for the common good drawing on values held in common such as service and justice. It was a chance to hear about and engage with a wide range of examples from different types of organisations working with faith organisations and inter faith bodies for the common good. It also offered an opportunity to reflect on principles that can underpin effective partnership working as well as some of the challenges that can be experienced when developing partnerships. Videos of plenary contributors can also be seen on IFN's website at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/ifn-national-meeting-2022-working-in-partnership-for-the-common-good.
The report was published in early September to mark #FaithInPartnership Week. https://www.faithaction.net/working-with-you/faith-in-partnership/
Barnet Standing Advisory Council on RE (SACRE) has set up an Interfaith Children’s Choir. Its first concert was held at Hendon Town Hall in the summer.
The aims of the Choir are to:
- show members of the choir that they can be proud of and loyal to their own cherished traditions while being respectful to adherents of other faiths who have their own paths to follow
- show members of the choir that they can work together in a spirit of cooperation to perform music that can be enjoyed by everyone
- demonstrate to other schools that religiously minded children are normal, talented youngsters who enjoy life and their religious lifestyles
- perform at civic events and to other audiences as caring, community minded individuals who wish to contribute to wider society
There are currently 60 children involved from Christian, Hindu and Jewish schools and they would be pleased to hear from local Muslim and Sikh pupils, as well as pupils from other faiths, who would like to be involved. For more information, email email@example.com.
The Week of Prayer for World Peace began in 1974 as an inter faith activity when there were few such activities nationally. Each October a week is identified. This year the dates are from 16 to 23 October. The original 'Call to Pray for World Peace' was signed by a number of faith leaders. The guiding principle of the Week is 'The peace of the world must be prayed for by the faiths of the world'. One of the signatories of the original letter was George Macleod, founder of the Iona Community, who said, “Where people are praying for peace the cause of peace is strengthened by their very act of prayer, for they are themselves becoming immersed in the spirit of peace”.
Each year a prayer resource is produced to reflect the theme of prayers for the week. This year the theme is 'Continuing Wars and their consequences'. For further information and to receive copies of the resources, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the Week, visit www.weekofprayerforworldpeace.co.uk.
Following the death of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative (QGC) will be extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memoriam to honour Her Majesty. His Majesty King Charles III is patron of QGC, which is a Commonwealth-wide initiative created to mark the Platinum Jubilee. www.queensgreencanopy.org.
The multifaith nature of spiritual provision at hospitals was reflected in a special coming together by faith leaders from across the Liverpool city region to bless the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, as staff began the move into the building before welcoming patients. Representatives from the Church of England, Greek Orthodox, Islamic, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Sikh communities read prayers of blessing at the service, which was led by the hospital’s chaplaincy.
Hospitals around the UK continue to deepen and extend their links with local faith communities, as do hospices. This was very evident in the 2021 Inter Faith Week which saw a growth in participation by these of 79% for that, as well as for boosting religious literacy internally.
In September the APPG on Faith and Society launched a new report, ‘Keeping the Faith 2.0: Embedding a new normal for partnership working in postpandemic Britain’. The research—led by Professor Chris Baker of Goldsmiths, University of London—covered the extent to which COVID-19 has changed the nature of partnership working between faith groups and local authorities, highlighting hallmarks of good partnership working. The report can be downloaded at https://www.faithandsociety.org.
During #FaithInPartnership Week in September, FaithAction published two reports. These can both be downloaded at https://www.faithaction.net/working-with-you/faith-in-partnership/.
The Faith Covenant, developed by the APPG for Faith and Society, is designed to facilitate partnership and understanding between faith communities and local authorities. It is a set of principles for joint working to which both parties can mutually agree. ‘The Faith Covenant: What, Why, How’ is a primer for anyone (whether in a local authority, or a faith organisation) interested in the Faith Covenant. It contains case studies, top tips, core principles and first steps on the journey to signing.
In 2021 FaithAction was commissioned by NHS England to research and report on the role played by faith-based organisations during the pandemic, and how this might be built upon as Integrated Care Systems develop strategies for engagement. ‘First In, Last Out’ looks specifically at how faith groups supported and partnered with NHS services during the pandemic, and what this means for the future of health and care partnerships.
The World Congress of Faiths has published an anthology of WCF Journal pieces and Younghusband Lectures dating from most decades since WCF’s foundation in 1936: ‘Unutterable Joy: an anthology of writings from the World Congress of Faiths towards interreligious dialogue and understanding’. For further details, including how to purchase a copy, contact email@example.com.
Following the completion last year of the project on ‘Modest Fashion in UK Women’s Working Life’, Kristin Aune, Reina Lewis and Lina Molokotos-Liederman have now published an article on ‘Modest dress at work as lived religion: women’s dress in religious work contexts in Saudi Arabia and the UK’, in Sociology of Religion.
This article explores how women in religious workplaces respond to organisational norms of, and requirements for, modest dress and behaviour, both implicit and explicit. It compares two case studies: women working for faith-based organizations in the UK, and women working for secular organisations who travel for work to Saudi Arabia. The article examines how women adapt to forms of modest dress, how they navigate dress regulation, and how they negotiate habitus and authenticity. Further information is available at https://academic.oup.com/socrel/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/socrel/srac020/6644947.
Resources created through the project on ‘Promoting the Exploration of Religion and Worldviews in Schools’ have now been launched. The project aims “to educate people outside the classroom about the importance of teaching Religion and Worldviews inside the classroom”. It was taken forward by the Faith & Belief Forum, Inform and The Open University, with funding from Culham St Gabriel’s.
Resource packs for Parents, Community members and Teachers and subject leads can be downloaded from the FBF website at https://faithbeliefforum.org/resources/religion-and-worldviews-in-schools/.
An OpenLearn course on ‘An education in Religion and Worldviews’ is also now available. This explores “how the teaching and scholarly community is working to ensure this curriculum remains relevant for the twenty-first century. It is aimed at parents, faith and community group members and all others who might be interested in the purpose and content of religious education in schools”. Further information is at https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/an-education-religion-and-worldviews.
A new web-based curriculum for Religious Education, Big Ideas for RE, has been launched. It is designed to meet the needs of all young people, including the growing number of those professing ‘no-religion’. It provides a complete guide for those developing the RE curriculum for schools, with exemplar units of learning for pupils at different ages: 5-7, 7-11, 11-14 and 14-18, illustrating how the Big Ideas approach could work in practice. 18 units are already published, with others nearing completion. The website also includes training for teachers, agreed syllabus conferences and others on writing units of learning based on Big Ideas. Further information is available at https://bigideasforre.org.
The NWG Network is a charitable organisation formed as a UK network of practitioners who disseminate its information through their services, to professionals working on the issue of child exploitation (CE) and trafficking within the UK. https://nwgnetwork.org/ The NWG team is made up of specialists who proactively engage with Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB’s) and their partner agencies, media, researchers and policy writers on child sexual exploitation, training, prevention work, disruption, prosecution and therapeutic care for victims and survivors. They do this by sharing effective practice, developing according to need, and actively seeking effective practice from other countries tackling exploitation and trafficking within the UK.
The NWG Network notes that faith-based groups play a vital role in the lives of many children, young people, and adults. A Faith Lead role has been established at NWG to raise awareness and knowledge among faith leaders and to bring them together to help to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation within all faith communities. NWG is keen to connect with those faith-based organisations on what currently they are doing in their area and to share good practice to support one another. The Faith Lead, Pav Kaur, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
The SAFE programme (Security Advice for Everyone) shares the Community Security Trust’s (CST’s) security knowledge with groups outside the Jewish community that are vulnerable to violence, extremism or hate crime. As well as continuing its series of webinars, it has now returned to holding some in-person events on an ‘Introduction to Community Security’. To arrange a security talk for your local faith communities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in London hosts and offers events, training and workshops based on the themes of peace, community inclusion, reconciliation and ecological awareness and community action. Forthcoming events include ‘Sense making in a post truth world’ on 10 October. For more information, including cost and timings, visit https://stethelburgas.org/events/.
Calls for information
Dr Daniella Shaw of Birkbeck, University of London, is compiling “an anthology for publication of personal stories/reflections from people about the intersections of queerness/LGBT+ identity and faith/belief/community identity. It will be individual perspectives from the minds of ordinary people in the UK, who live their lives as queer/LGBT+ people who identify with a faith/belief”. Dr Shaw notes that “A diversity of voices at the intersections of multiple identities is vital to this collection”. For further information, and to express an interest in contributing, email email@example.com.
Spurgeon’s College has launched the #FaithInCommunity campaign to reflect on and record the contributions of the faith community during the COVID-19 crisis. The campaign seeks to collate these contributions which will be submitted to the British Library as an official record – creating a piece of history for future generations. The campaign forms an exciting opportunity for the faith community to come together to document the valuable contributions made during the crisis for future generations to remember and reflect on. For more information, visit https://faithincommunity.org.uk/.
York Interfaith Group, in partnership with the City of York SACRE, is launching a competition to design a logo for York Interfaith Group. The Group currently uses a stock image of a tree of faiths symbolising many faiths as the fruit in its branches. It is keen to have a logo that is unique to York and reflects what inter faith is in the city of York. Entries are welcomed from pupils of all abilities and any school type but only 10 entries per school can be accepted. There will be winners for each Key Stage and also an overall winner. The judging will take place just before Inter Faith Week begins in November and the winner will be announced at a service at the close of Inter Faith Week on Sunday 20 November. The deadline for entries is 4 November. For more information on how to enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Woolf Institute is inviting UK undergraduate and graduate students to submit an essay for this year’s William Kessler Essay competition, addressing one of the following topics:
- Interfaith Encounters on Campus and in Academia
- Secular Societies, Religious Followers; Opportunities? Challenges?
- Modern Identities – the Intersection between Race, Faith and Gender
- Lessons from the Past: How Interfaith Work can Benefit from Historical Research
The winner will receive a cash prize and the top three entries will be published on the Woolf Institute website. The deadline for submissions is 4 November. For more information, visit https://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/whats-on/events/william-kessler-essay-prize-competition-2022.
IFN has a vacancy for a part time Administrative Officer from 31 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. (The role may be extended, subject to funding.) The role is for 17.5 hours per week and is envisaged as a hybrid working role, partly working remotely and partly working from the IFN office in Westminster, London.
IFN is seeking to appoint a suitably experienced individual with a strong commitment to IFN’s aims, who likes working in a small and highly dedicated team and wants to help contribute to building good inter faith relations in the UK. The full role description and application form can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/vacancies/jobs. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 13 October. Any enquiries can be sent to email@example.com.
IFN will shortly be advertising for a Senior Project Officer (full time) and a Grants Officer (part time). Information will be available at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/vacancies/jobs.
The Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby is seeking to recruit Faith Community Development Workers. These are full time roles. The successful candidates will play a key part in developing partnerships and engagement activity, building sustainable relationships with faith communities across Derby. They will support the development of inclusive faith networks and infrastructure, using a community development approach. The deadline for applications is 16 October. For further information, visit https://multifaithcentre.org/news/2022/job-vacancy-faith-community-development-worker.
Redbridge Faith Forum is seeking to recruit a Project Development Officer. The role is part time (14 hours per week). Further information can be found at https://redbridgefaithforum.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Revised-Job-description-Sept-2022-.pdf.
FaithAction is seeking to recruit a Project and Policy Assistant. The successful candidate will be offering practical support to the administrative team in the day-to-day running of the organisation, assisting with local and national events, whilst also connecting the practical delivery with research and policy influencing. This is a part time role (22.5 hours per week). The closing date is 14 October. Further information can be found at https://www.faithaction.net/vacancies/.
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 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/.
The ASDA Foundation’s ‘Empowering local communities’ grant scheme provides £500-£1,500 to community organisations which are delivering “projects and activities which are important to a community which benefit local people”. The deadline for applications is 11 November. https://www.asdafoundation.org/how-to-apply
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. The Government has confirmed that funding through the scheme will be available until March 2025. The Grant Scheme is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and its administration has, since July, been run by East Midland Business (EMB). It is understood that, in response to user feedback, by the end of the year improved websites will be in place with the ability to submit digital application forms and track application progress, while also continuing to provide postal options as now. 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 December. https://fcccommunitiesfoundation.org.uk/funds/fcc-community-action-fund
Black History Month in the UK is October. https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/
National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from Saturday 8 October to Saturday 15 October. https://nationalhcaw.uk/
Sewa Day will take place on 16 October. Activities will also happen through the week running up to it. The aim of Sewa Day is to provide people a chance give back to the local community through volunteering and make a difference. https://bit.ly/3eoVw6d
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
Islamophobia Awareness Week will take place from 1 to 30 November.
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/
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January. Its theme in 2023 is ‘Ordinary People’. Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. It honours the survivors of these regimes and challenges everyone to use the lessons of their experience to inform their lives today. https://www.hmd.org.uk/
World Interfaith Harmony Week takes place from 1 to 7 February. It is a UN recognised Week which was proposed to the UN General Assembly by HM King Abdullah of Jordan. The first UN World Interfaith Harmony Week took place in February 2011. https://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/
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.
INTER FAITH WEEK AND SCOTTISH INTERFAITH WEEK - 13 to 20 November
The listings below do not include events being held for Inter Faith Week or Scottish Interfaith Week. Those can be seen at https://www.interfaithweek.org/events/about and https://scottishinterfaithweek.org/.
If you are holding an activity for either Week, please submit details to https://www.interfaithweek.org/events/submit or https://scottishinterfaithweek.org/submit-an-event.
The Community Security Trust, the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and Faiths Forum for London are holding a webinar at 8pm on Thursday 13 October on 'Women's Safety'. For more information, and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/3b7ebpsm.
Interfaith Scotland is holding its Annual Interfaith Lecture and AGM at 6.30pm on Thursday 13 October. The Lecture will be delivered by Michael Haines whose brother David was murdered by ISIS. Michael founded Global Acts of Unity and will speak about how his campaign helps something positive come out of a senseless and barbaric act. This will be followed by the AGM. The event is being held at the Interfaith Scotland Dialogue Centre, Springburn, Glasgow. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby is holding two events on Thursday 13 October. Its AGM is being held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Multi Faith Centre, Kedleston Road, Derby DE22 1GB. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/multi-faith-centre-annual-general-meeting-tickets-415864932207. This will be followed the same evening by an event from 7.30pm to 10pm to mark Black History Month entitled 'Assessing the legacy of James H. Cone'. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/black-history-month-2022-assessing-the-legacy-of-james-h-cone-tickets-427858565487.
Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum’s women’s group is holding its next meeting on Monday 17 October. The guest speaker will be Anita Sawal of the Thames Valley Hospice. It is being held from 7.30pm to 9pm at Maidenhead Synagogue, Grenfell Lodge, Ray Park Road, Maidenhead SL6 8QX. For more information, email email@example.com.
Reading Women's Interfaith Discussion Group is holding its next meeting on Monday 17 October. This is being held from 7.30pm to 9pm. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Torbay Faith and Belief Forum is hosting a talk on Friday 21 October on ‘Humanism, Belief and Non-Belief in Torbay’ by Humanist speaker Dr Kevin Dixon. This is being held from 7.30pm to 9pm at Paignton SNU Spiritualist Centre, Manor Corner, Manor Road, Preston, Paignton, Devon TQ3 2JB. For further information, visit https://devonfaiths.org.uk/event/humanism-belief-and-non-belief-in-torbay/?instance_id=222.
Faith and Belief Dundee and Tayside is organising an interfaith pilgrimage to places of worship in Dundee on Saturday 22 October. This will run from 12pm to 4pm. For more information, email email@example.com.
Building Bridges Pendle is hosting on Sunday 22 October, as part of Black History Month, a talk and conversation on ‘Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion in East Lancashire’ Author Mike Makin-Waite will be talking about his book 'On Burnley Road.' This is being held at 1.30pm at Market Square,
Nelson, BB9 7PU For further details, email Nelson.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://events.lancashire.gov.uk/search/event_details.asp?eventid=12880&q&area=Pendle&venue=Nelson&daterange.
Mothers Against Violence UK is holding its next multicultural event on Sunday 23 October to bring together communities to fight antisemitism and racial hatred. A number of speakers from different religions will talk about their cultures and ways of life. There will be a free buffet, music, dancing and a children’s group performing. It is being held at 3.30pm at Hulme Hall, 2 Jarvis Road, Hulme M15 5FS. For more information, visit https://www.mavuk.org/event-details/multicultural-event.
Central Scotland Interfaith will be holding its next ‘Soul Space’ on Sunday 23 October. The theme will be ‘Shape’. Attendees can bring poems, prose, short videos, pictures etc that have inspired them. It begins at 6.30pm. For more information, email email@example.com.
Nisa-Nashim Jewish Muslim Women’s Network, Finchley Progressive Synagogue and the Persian Advice Bureau, in partnership with Barnet Refugee Welcome Board and Finchley Reform Synagogue, are holding their next Ladies Coffee and Dance Morning on Thursday 27 October. This will be held from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For more information, contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northampton Inter-Faith Forum is holding its AGM on Thursday 27 October. It is being held at 7pm at the Northampton Hebrew Congregation, 95-97 Overstone Road, Northampton NN1 3JW. There will be a tour of the Synagogue before the AGM, conducted by the President of the Jewish community, Mr Michael Necus, which will be from 6:30pm to 7.00pm. After the AGM, refreshments will be served at approximately 7.45pm to 8pm. Booking by 17 October is essential for security reasons. For more information, email email@example.com.
Bedford Council of Faiths is holding its next meeting on Tuesday 1 November. Laura Church, Chief Executive of Bedford Borough Council and principal policy adviser to the elected Mayor of Bedford, will be speaking about the Cost-of-Living Crisis. The talk will be followed by a short business meeting. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group will be holding its Annual Interfaith Service on Sunday 6 November. This year the service is dedicated to the theme of visitors — asylum seekers, refugees and friends and the title of the service is ‘Welcoming Friends’. It is being held at 3pm at Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Portland Road, Hove BN3 5GD at 3pm. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/interfaithcontactgroup/.
The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester will be holding its next 'Loose Lawyers' event on Thursday 3 November. There will be 2 Jewish and 2 Muslim lawyers on the Panel. They will be considering the question 'Does English matrimonial law betray Muslim and Jewish women?'. It will be held at a venue in Manchester, beginning at 8pm. For further information, visit https://www.muslimjewish.org.uk/Future_events.html.
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 email@example.com.
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