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IFN E-bulletin July-August 2018

The Inter Faith Network E-bulletin provides news and reports on the activities of the Network and other inter faith initiatives, including ‘diary dates’.

This is a version of IFN's September-October's E-bulletin, formatted for web. A PDF version of this and past e-bulletins can be found here. To receive an email when a new e-bulletin is issued, click here to sign up.

The e-bulletin contains: 

Faith and Public Life Updates

Government response to consultation on Caste in Great Britain and equality law

The Government published on 23 July its response to the public consultation on Caste in Great Britain and equality law.    
As the result of a 2013 amendment to section 9 (5) (a) of the Equality Act 2010, a duty exists to introduce specific legal protection against discrimination because of caste, by making caste an aspect of race for the purposes of the Act. However, the subsequent judgment of an Employment Appeal Tribunal [EAT] in the Tirkey v Chandhok case in 2014 established that many of the facts relevant in considering caste in many of its forms might be equally capable of being considered as part of a person’s ethnic origins, which is already part of the existing race provisions within the Act. 
The consultation invited views on whether suitable legal protection against caste discrimination is better ensured by exercising the duty or by relying on emerging case-law under the Act as developed by courts and tribunals. Following the consultation, which received over 16,000 responses, the Government’s response concludes  “Having given careful and detailed consideration to the findings of the consultation, Government believes that the best way to provide the necessary protection against unlawful discrimination because of caste is by relying on emerging case-law as developed by courts and tribunals. In particular, we feel this is the more proportionate approach given the extremely low numbers of cases involved and the clearly controversial nature of introducing ‘caste’, as a self-standing element, into British domestic law”.  

 “The duty that currently appears in section 9 (5) (a) of the Equality Act 2010 requires Government to take action to include caste as an aspect of race for the purposes of the Act. The decision to rely on emerging case-law renders that duty redundant and we will identify the most suitable legislative vehicle that can be used to repeal it at an early opportunity.”

The full response is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caste-in-great-britain-and-equality-law-a-public-consulation
 

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Political parties, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

The importance of respectful and fair engagement of political parties with people of all backgrounds has relevance to good inter faith relations in the UK.

The March-April edition of the e-bulletin noted that the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council had expressed strong concerns about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, through both an open-letter to the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party and a public protest in Parliament Square. 

Debate about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, and how allegations have been handled, has continued. The Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee adopted a Code of Conduct on Anti-Semitism in early July which adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, but omitted from the list of examples of  what might constitute anti-Semitism four that had been in the IHRA’s  definition.  Party spokespersons said that these were covered in the Code in a different way and that the Code went further than the IHRA definition. 

68 rabbis from across the spectrum of the Jewish community published an open letter on 16 July condemning the Party’s decision to omit the 4 IHRA examples and what they saw as its mis-handling of anti-Semitism. Separately, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis issued a statement. 

The inclusion in the Code of Conduct of the full IHRA definition, including all of its examples, was backed unanimously by Labour MPs following a vote on an emergency motion on 23 July, and the full Parliamentary Labour Party will be balloted on this in September. The Labour NEC has pledged to consult the Jewish community on its Code of Conduct, which in the meantime will be used in its present form. 

The Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Jewish Telegraph issued the same front page on 25 July, saying that a Government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose an ‘existential threat to Jewish life’ with a joint editorial ‘United we stand.’

Further issues have arisen surrounding the suggestion of Mr Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, that Jewish "Trump fanatics" were behind accusations of anti-Semitism in Labour ranks and reporting of Mr Corbyn’s hosting of a 2010 event at which a Holocaust survivor compared Israel to Nazism, following which an apology was issued.

On 31 July, the Campaign Against Antisemitism referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Baroness Warsi and Lord Sheikh, Conservative Party peers, have called for an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.  The Muslim Council of Britain, Tell MAMA and the Runnymede Trust have made similar demands, with the MCB writing to party Chair Brandon Lewis on 31 May and again in June in the absence of a formal response.  As reported in the Independent, Baroness Warsi said some of her party’s own campaigning had relied on promoting anti-Muslim rhetoric. She highlighted the 2016 London mayoral campaign, during which the Conservatives were criticised for portraying Labour’s Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, as “extremist”. 

In response to a question at Prime Minister’s Question Time, Prime Minister May said the party was taking action, adding: "Anti-Muslim discrimination is wrong. There is no place for it in our society." In response to a question from Afzal Khan MP, she said "Within the party, we've introduced a new code of conduct ... we investigate any allegations of Islamophobia that are made relating to members of the party.”

"Those are investigated, action is taken, and in some cases members have been suspended or expelled from the party as a result."

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, said JCORE welcomed the call for Islamophobia to be investigated within the Conservative Party.  “In the same way as there is a focus on combatting antisemitism including within the Labour Party, it is incumbent on all groups and communities to come together to look at how we can be more effective in combatting hate speech and behaviour across the entire political spectrum.”

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2021 Census

The Office for National Statistics is currently engaged in a testing and development phase for the 2021 Census questionnaire. It is planned that the religion question will be the same as in 2011, but consideration is being given to the ethnicity question, including possible inclusion of additional response options such as  ‘Jewish’, ‘Roma’, ‘Sikh’ and ‘Somali’. This follows extensive public consultation.

Part of the testing and development process includes testing terminology and presentation of response options, and redesigning questions for use online on different devices. The 2021 Census will be the first where online response is the default response mechanism.

It is anticipated that a Census White Paper will be considered by Parliament and that a Census Rehearsal will be carried out, both during 2019. The White Paper will include the ONS’ recommendation on Census questions, including the ethnicity question. Following these, legislation will be passed for the carrying out of the 2021 Census. 

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Windrush compensation scheme consultation

The Government is consulting on its proposed compensation scheme for the ‘Windrush generation’, many of whom have faced difficulties in demonstrating their lawful status under the immigration system.   The consultation seeks respondents’ views on proposed eligibility, levels of compensation, and operation of the scheme. 

The Government previously met with a number of individuals and organisations with links to affected communities, including representatives of faith communities, as part of an earlier call for evidence.

Full details of the consultation and how to respond are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/windrush-compensation-scheme.  The consultation closes at midday on 11 October.

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Faith Minister’s Faith Tour

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Minister for Faith at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has been continuing his tour of faith communities and places of worship hearing about work brining people of different faiths and backgrounds together.  During July he visited the South West, including Bath and Bristol and the North East, including Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Holy Island.   The faith tour can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #FaithTour2.

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Truth Project - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse 

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse recently published fifty accounts of child sexual abuse and institutional failure at a wide range of organisations. The experiences were shared with the Inquiry’s Truth Project, which has made significant efforts to engage with faith groups. 

The publication can be viewed online or downloaded from https://www.iicsa.org.uk/victims-and-survivors/experiences-shared, and more information about the Truth Project is available at www.truthproject.org.uk.  

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Commission on Religious Education – update

The final meeting of the Commission on Religious Education took place on 20 July.   It is due to publish its final report in September.  More information about the Commission can be found at http://www.commissiononre.org.uk/

The Commission on Religious Education was established to review the legal, education, and policy frameworks for religious education (RE).  The review has aimed to be a wide-ranging, inclusive and evidence-based process designed to inform policy makers.  Its ultimate aim is described as to improve the quality and rigour of religious education and its capacity to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.  

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All Party Parliamentary Groups

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) with relevance to inter faith engagement.  

There are a number of APPGs about individual faith communities such as: Baha’i Faith; Hindu; Jain; Jewish; Muslim; Sikh; and Zoroastrian, mainly with a British focus.  These are often involved in raising the profile of individual faith communities in the UK.  This is sometimes done through holding events at the Houses of Parliament to mark festivals, for example the events held by the APPG on Jainism with the Institute of Jainology to mark Mahavir Jayanti.  It is also done by holding events on themes, such as those held recently by the APPG on Hindus, with the Hindu Forum of Britain, on ‘Dharma, the Individual and Society’. 

There are also APPGs which focus on subjects such as: Counter-Extremism; 
Faith and Society; Hate Crime; Inter-Faith; International Freedom of Religion or Belief; Social Integration; and Religious Education.

The APPG on Inter-Faith, for example has as its purpose “To raise awareness amongst parliamentarians of the religious dimension to current issues.”   It was with the APPG on Inter-Faith that IFN held an event in the Houses of Parliament during Inter Faith Week 2016 on ‘Sharing local inter faith experience and good practice’.

APPGs are informal cross-party groups run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.  https://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/apg/   They do not have an official status and the rules state that groups must be transparent about their nature, membership and funding.   In particular, they must avoid presenting themselves in a way which could lead to confusion with Select Committees. 

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Hate crime and security

On 22 July Tell MAMA published its 2017 Annual Report - https://tellmamauk.org/tell-mamas-annual-report-for-2017-shows-highest-number-of-anti-muslim-incidents/ - which shows a rise in anti-Muslim incidents since the last reporting period.  Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, spoke at the launch of the report the following day.

The Community Security Trust has just published its report on anti-Semitic incidents from January to June 2018.  https://cst.org.uk/data/file/e/5/Incidents%20Report%20January-June%202018.1532518541.pdf  This reports a small fall in the number of incidents compared with the same period in 2017, but notes that it was still the second highest ever-recorded in a 6 month period.  

The Home Office Places of worship: security funding scheme remains open for bids until 10 August.  The scheme is one of the main commitments contained within the Government Hate Crime Action Plan.   It provides funding for protective security measures to places of worship that are vulnerable to hate crime.   Places of worship can submit bids for projects costing up to £70,000 for protective security measures and are required to contribute at least 20 percent of the total cost of the project.   The Home Office will award funding on a discretionary basis up to a maximum of £56,000 per place of worship.  Funding is not available for improvements, lead theft, security upgrades or measures to tackle anti-social behaviour or other criminality unconnected with hate crime.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme 

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Commission for Countering Extremism 

On 11 July the independent Commission for Countering Extremism launched a period of evidence gathering as part of a study into all forms of extremism. It   will be reviewing existing academic evidence on extremism, commissioning bespoke research and issuing a public call for evidence.    It wants to hear from victims, their families and all those that counter extremism.  Further information is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-for-countering-extremism-launches-evidence-drive   

It was announced on the same day that the Commission for Countering Extremism had formed a new Expert Group.    The purpose of that is to provide Ms Khan with ‘constructive advice and challenge’ in the first 12 months of the Commission on gathering evidence, publishing a comprehensive study and making recommendations to the Home Secretary, including a workplan for the Commission in future years.  Further information is at https://extremismcommission.blog.gov.uk/2018/07/11/the-commission-for-countering-extremism-has-formed-a-new-expert-group/. 
 

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INTER FAITH NETWORK FOR THE UK NEWS

Inter Faith Week – 100 days go!

Friday 3 August marks 100 days to go to Inter Faith Week, which this year takes place from 11-18 November.  

We very much hope that all our readers will take part and encourage their organisations to do so.

This year is the 10th Inter Faith Week.    It is timed to begin on Remembrance Sunday, which this year is the Centenary Armistice Day, marking 100 years since the end of World War One.  This supports and encourages remembering of the service of soldiers and civilians of different faiths and beliefs.  It is also an opportunity for events focussing on peace.

Follow Inter Faith Week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @IFWeek.  If tweeting or posting, the hashtag is #interfaithweek.  

There are a number of resources which you might find helpful in planning for the Week:

If you already have details of your planned events, these can be submitted online at https://www.interfaithweek.org/submit.   They will begin to be published from September onwards.  Those registering their activities will be eligible to receive a free ‘registration pack’ with some branded items such as balloons and stickers. Further details about the pack will be added to the website in the second half of August. 

The Inter Faith Youth Trust is offering grants for youth Inter Faith Week events.  More information is below.

Inter Faith Week is a programme of the Inter Faith Network for the UK (www.interfaith.org.uk), which manages the Inter Faith Week website www.interfaithweek.org.  The Week in Wales and Northern Ireland is supported in conversation with the Inter-faith Council for Wales / Cyngor Cyd-Ffydd Cymru (http://interfaithwales.org.uk), and the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum (http://niinterfaithforum.org).

Sunday 18 November will be Mitzvah Day (www.mitzvahday.org.uk) - a Jewish-led day of social action involving people of all faiths and none working together in their local communities.   Many events are being jointly held to mark both Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day and these will form a part of Inter Faith Week.

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Scottish Interfaith Week

Scottish Inter Faith Week (SIFW) has taken place with great success since 2004 and is led by Interfaith Scotland (www.interfaithscotland.org).  The dates of SIFW 2018 are 11 to 18 November.   More details are at http://scottishinterfaithweek.org.

The Scottish Government has declared 2018 the ‘Year of Young People’. One of the main aims of the Year is to develop better understanding, co-operation and respect between generations.    The fact that faith communities have an important role to play in providing opportunities for people of different generations to dialogue and engage in activities together is reflected in the theme for this year’s SIFW which is  ‘Connecting Generations’.  The launch event will take place on Monday 12 November in Aberdeen.

Follow Scottish Interfaith Week on Twitter at: @followsifw and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/FollowSIFW.   

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IFN National Meeting 2018 – ‘Young People and Inter Faith Engagement: Making a Difference Together’

IFN’s 2018 National Meeting took place at Derby County Football Club on 4 July. Its theme was ‘Young People and Inter Faith Engagement: Making a Difference Together’.   The meeting focused on young people’s engagement in activities which promote inter faith cooperation and understanding. It was the culmination of a programme of work across 8 months looking at: different ways that young people are taking part in inter faith activities; what the key questions and challenges are in developing this; ideas and perspectives of young people about inter faith activity and how this contributes to a more harmonious and just world; new approaches that could be valuable; and what youth-related strand IFN should consider including in its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. The meeting also provided the occasion for the launch of the expanded and updated edition of IFN’s youth inter faith action guide, Connect (see below). 

A short report on the day can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/ifn-national-meeting-2018.  A full report will be produced in due course.

Reports on National Meetings from previous years can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/publications.

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Meeting of national inter faith linking bodies in the devolved nations

The Inter Faith Network links in membership the national inter faith linking bodies of the devolved nations: Interfaith Scotland, the Inter-Faith Council for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum.  These are represented on IFN’s Board.  IFN works closely with these bodies and each year convenes a meeting with them to enable sharing of news and good practice. 

The annual meetings rotate between Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  The 2018 meeting took place in late June, hosted by Interfaith Scotland at its Inter Faith Dialogue Centre in Glasgow. 

Issues on the agenda included: Inter Faith Week, in particular the forthcoming 10th Inter Faith Week and 15th Scottish Interfaith Week and the roles of the different national bodies; the planned update of The Local Inter Faith Guide; matters of interest and concern, such as the Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper in England and possible developments in the devolved nations, hate crime and Brexit; and a brief round-up of key developments within each organisation since the last meeting.

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INTER FAITH PROJECTS, PROGRAMMES AND DEVELOPMENTS

Remembering Srebrenica

Srebrenica Memorial Week took place from 8 to 15 July.  The theme this year was ‘Acts of Courage’.

Faith and inter faith organisations throughout the UK took part.   National commemorations took place at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow on 2 July, at Belfast City Hall on 10 July, at the Guildhall in London on 11 July and at Cardiff University on 13 July.   A full list of events can be found at http://www.srebrenica.org.uk/events/find-your-nearest-memorial-week-events-in-2018/.   

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Peace at the Crease

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland launched a new Commonwealth peacebuilding initiative called “Peace at the Crease” at Lord’s cricket ground in London in July.   She was joined at the launch by diplomats, renowned cricketers and religious and community leaders.  A range of cricket-based peace building programmes “will build foundations of respect and understanding as the basis for greater inclusiveness and cooperation within and among communities”.  The first match under the initiative was between the Vatican XI and a multi-faith Commonwealth team at the Indian Gymkhana Club on 9 July.  For more information, visit http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/peace-crease-launched-build-bridges-through-cricket

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Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is celebrating 15 years.  It is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.   Local inter faith organisations Islington Faiths Forum and Wolverhampton Interfaith have been recent recipients of the Award. 

Nominations can be made online at https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service

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New Multi-faith Centre for the East of England Faiths Agency

East of England Faiths Agency has recently opened a multi-faith centre that includes two offices, a seminar room, a meeting room and library/reading room. Occasional or regular use of the rooms is available to groups and individuals sympathetic to inter-faith dialogue, and a number of local groups have already used the space for a variety of purposes. The centre is located at 47 St Helen’s Street, Ipswich, IP4 2JL. For more information about the centre, visit http://www.eefa.net/index_f.htm# .  

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Faith community immigration stories

Heather Wells, editor of 'Faith Initiative: Embracing Diversity' is compiling unique immigration stories of people from different faith communities.

The first instalment of ‘Immigration Stories’ (Issue 37) included the stories of Mr Jehangir Sarosh of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe and Ms Bharti Tailor of the Hindu Forum of Britain coming to Britain.

Anyone interested in contributing to a future instalment should contact Heather Wells at hf_wells@yahoo.co.uk.   More information about Faith Initiative is at https://www.faithinitiative.co.uk/. 

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Inter faith Council for Wales joins Twitter

In July the Inter faith Council for Wales launched its Twitter account, InterfaithCymru, using the handle @CymruInterfaith.  https://twitter.com/CymruInterfaith/status/1018967089862840321 

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Social media and Charity Digital Code of Practice

IFN is continuing to encourage its member bodies to use social media and to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts if these are not already in place.   The NCVO provides advice for groups and charities on setting up Facebook accounts https://knowhownonprofit.org/how-to/how-to-use-facebook  and organisational pages https://knowhownonprofit.org/how-to/how-to-set-up-a-facebook-presence-for-your-organisation-guide.   It also offers advice on using Twitter organisationally https://knowhownonprofit.org/how-to/how-to-use-twitter.   

If your inter faith organisation has any queries on setting up Twitter or Facebook accounts contact ashley.beck@interfaith.org.uk

A consultation on the first Charity Digital Code of Practice has opened.   The draft Code has been developed by The Charity Digital Code of Practice Steering Group following user research and testing with more than 30 organisations across the UK.   

Information on the consultation, which closes on 25 September, can be found at https://doit.life/charity-digital-code

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Emerging Peacemakers Forum 

In July the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in cooperation with Al-Azhar Al-Sharif university and the Council of Muslim Elders organised an Emerging Peacemakers Forum.   50 young Christians and Muslims aged 20-25 attended and participated in training in peacemaking and reconciliation at Churchill College, Cambridge.    Attendees also met with international religious leaders, including the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Prof Dr Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, president of the Muslim Council of Elders.    The Forum’s aim was to strengthen the role of young people in society and promote a culture of coexistence and integration.  More information about the Forum can be found at 
https://ctbi.org.uk/emerging-peacemakers-forum and https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/young-peacemakers-christian-and-muslim-meet-religious-leaders-during-uk-forum

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Faith and Food in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association (EIFA) is launching a new Community Meal series a 'Taste of Faith'.   It is looking for faith organisations to hold an open doors community meal.   EIFA says, “We want to bring about real change and break down barriers, and nothing brings people together more than food!”  The flyer can be downloaded from https://mailchi.mp/5ab2fbb4ee20/eifa-newsletter-update-july-2018?e=[UNIQID].  

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New projects at Touchstone Bradford

Touchstone in Bradford has two new projects http://www.touchstone-bradford.org.uk/news-events  

The first is “Baking a difference”.  This project brings together on Monday mornings women from different faiths and backgrounds to bake different breads from around the world. It involves sharing stories, forming friendships, increasing understanding and trust. For more details email faith2faith@touchstone-bradford.org.uk

The second is Roots and shoots, which is an inter faith inter-generational project in partnership with The Feast. It involves women and girls across the Bradford district, listening, sharing and empowering each other through fun activities.   For more details email uzma@thefeast.org.uk.

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RESOURCES AND STUDY/TRAINING

Connect: a youth inter faith action guide

IFN’s latest publication is called Connect: a youth inter faith action guide.   It can be downloaded from https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/connect and printed copies are available from the Inter Faith Network office.

This practical illustrated booklet, developed with and by young people of different backgrounds, includes information on the different kinds of inter faith activity, ways to get involved, planning tips and practicalities, and links to further information.

The development of the guide was informed by an Advisory Group, a range of consultations, including a questionnaire sent to organisations working on inter faith initiatives with young people; focus group sessions in different parts of the UK for young people aged 16-25; meetings of IFN member bodies; visits to 3 secondary schools in England and Wales; and some social media polls. 

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CCJ Safe Car Wash resource to tackle modern slavery

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is working in partnership with the Clewer Initiative to end modern slavery at hand car washes.  The Clewer Initiative has created the Safe Car Wash app, which helps members of the public to spot the signs of forced labour, and CCJ has produced a resource for Christian and Jewish communities to raise awareness of modern slavery and publicise the app.  CCJ’s Safe Car Wash Resource contains sermon ideas, religious sources on slavery, activities for children and young people, and ways to involve local communities and CCJ branches in ending modern slavery.  The resource is available to download from http://www.ccj.org.uk/safe-car-wash-resource/

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‘A New Settlement Revised: Religion and Belief in Schools’

Charles Clarke and Linda Woodhead have published a policy pamphlet entitled ‘A New Settlement Revised: Religion and Belief in Schools’.  

This policy pamphlet, which updates an earlier one published by the same authors in 2015 as part of the Westminster Faith Debates, examines Religious Education in the school curriculum, the act of collective worship and faith schools.   It argues that the current legal relationship between religion, belief and schools is outdated in such a way that the law itself has become a barrier to schools’ ability to help their children understand their own situation and the world in which they are growing up.  It calls for a reform of the law that undergirds the way religion is handled in schools and makes 16 detailed recommendations about the curriculum, collective worship and faith schools.  The pamphlet is available at: http://faithdebates.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Clarke-Woodhead-A-New-Settlement-Revised.pdf.

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NHS organ donation information pack for faith leaders

Following the Government’s recent consultation on introducing an opt-out system for organ donation in England, NHS Blood and Transplant has produced an information pack for faith leaders that may be useful when engaging with faith communities about organ donation. 

To request a copy of the pack, email marketing.comms@nhsbt.nhs.uk and Geraldine.parker@nhsbt.nhs.uk.   Suggestions on improving the resources and ideas on how to work together during Organ Donation Week (3-9 September) and/or Inter Faith Week (11-18 November) are also welcomed by the NHSBT. 

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Report - Manchester Commission on Preventing Hateful Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion

On 30 July the Manchester Commission on Preventing Hateful Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion published its report. 

The report said that the evidence was that there is no single cause of individuals becoming radicalised, but the behavioural patterns caused by situation or emotional changes can be an early indicator. It said that there is a need for people to have the opportunity and safe places to have difficult and challenging conversations.   In their response, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Manchester have pledged to adopt the Commission’s analysis and findings into the development of a new Greater Manchester approach to tackling extremism and promoting social cohesion.  They have called on all communities and parts of society to play a part in developing new solutions.  More information is at https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/article/358/greater_manchester_to_consider_new_whole-society_approach_to_tackling_violent_extremism.

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Interfaith Scotland Youth Leadership Residential 

Interfaith Scotland, in partnership with Dare2Lead, is hosting a fully-funded residential from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 September, for young people who are active in their faith communities.   The programme is looking to find out what inter faith dialogue means to those aged 16-26, and also provides an opportunity to develop personal skills in leadership, communication and social action.   The residential is open to participants in Scotland only.   For more information, contact michael@interfaithscotland.org
 

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CALLS FOR INFORMATION, COMPETITIONS, AND NOMINATIONS 

Honours List nominations

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is keen to ensure that individuals from the full breadth of society who are making a significant contribution to public life are properly recognised through the Honours system, and is therefore seeking nominations for the Queen’s Birthday honours list. It is particularly keen that individuals be recognised who have contributed to building integrated communities and notes that nominees can come from all levels; being in a junior role is not a barrier to a nomination. 

All nominations must be made on an official citation form and nominees should not be informed that they have been nominated. Citation forms, as well as further information, can be obtained from Abdul Ghaffar at abdul.ghaffar@communities.gsi.gov.uk. The deadline for nominations is Friday 7 September.

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Inspirational Women of faith in the Suffragette Movement

The Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network, in partnership with Interfaith Scotland, has secured funding for a multi-faith project which seeks to explore the role of women of faith in the Suffragette Movement.   In 2018 and 2019 they will be celebrating both the anniversary and the significance of women’s suffrage to all women, from all religion and belief backgrounds.  There is currently no easily accessible information on the role that women from ethnic minority and faith communities played in the movement.  The project aims to gather stories that demonstrate the diversity of women involved both nationally and internationally, and to bring people together to celebrate women’s suffrage through research and dialogue events. 

For more information about the project, and/or to get involved, contact Dr Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland at maureen@interfaithscotland.org, or Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Chair of Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network at rknijjar@UKWFN.org

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Faith groups’ participation in Remembrance Sunday 

In the centenary year of the end of World War I, the Government is seeking to make faith and belief representation at the National Remembrance Service more reflective of modern Britain, both now and in the future. 

In his or her capacity as Dean of Her Majesty The Queen’s Chapels Royal, the Bishop of London leads the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall in London.  Other faith leaders are also present. There are currently 15 faith and belief denominations represented at the Remembrance Service (Anglican, Catholic, Church of Scotland, Methodist, United Reformed Church, Unitarian, Free Christian Churches, the Salvation Army, Baptist, Greek Orthodox Church, Jewish (United Hebrew Congregations), Jewish (Reform), Islam, Hindu and Sikh. These representatives attend the service to pay their respects on behalf of their communities, but do not lay a wreath. 

This year the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has asked Faiths Forum for London to run an open application process inviting organisations representing different faith/denomination and belief groups across Great Britain, who are not currently represented, to be part of the annual commemoration service. http://faithsforum.com/faith-belief-groups-participation-remembrance-sunday/ 

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No2H8 award nominations

The No2H8 awards celebrate individuals and organisations countering racism, hatred and prejudice.    This includes religious hatred.   

This year’s awards ceremony will be held on 13 September, presented by June Sarpong MBE.    The coalition of partners involved includes Tell MAMA, the Community Security Trust, GALOP, Stonewall and the ‘No to Hate Crime’ campaign.  Nominations are open until midnight on Friday 10 August and can be made in a number of categories.   For more information and details of how to nominate, visit http://no2h8crimeawards.org/terms-and-conditions/.

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World Congress of Faiths Essay Award

Submissions remain open for the World Congress of Faiths Essay Award 2018. Undergraduate and postgraduate students at UK universities are invited to submit a maximum of 3,000 words on the question ‘Can inter faith dialogue achieve any lasting value for society?’ by 28 August. The winner will receive £300 and have their essay published in Interreligious Insight.  All entrants will receive free membership to World Congress of Faiths for a year. For further details, visit http://www.worldfaiths.org/2018-essay-award/.

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JOBS, INTERNSHIPS AND VOLUNTEERING

IFN’s website lists job and internship opportunities with a significant inter faith dimension with IFN member organisations at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/vacancies/jobs

Inter Faith Network for the UK – Intern and Project Assistant 

The Inter Faith Network for the UK will shortly be advertising for an Intern and a Project Assistant.    More details will be available in due course at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/vacancies/jobs

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Inter Faith Network for the UK - Volunteers 

The Inter Faith Network for the UK has regular volunteering opportunities.  Further information about these can be found on IFN’s website.

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St Ethelburga’s – Volunteers and Interns

St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is looking to recruit the following volunteers/interns: a videos and stories intern; media volunteers; a communications and design intern; maintenance volunteers; a marketing mentor; and Arabic and Farsi interpreters. 

More information about the roles and how to apply is available at https://stethelburgas.org/get-involved/vacancies-and-volunteering/.  

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Faith and Belief Forum – Internships

The Faith and Belief Forum is accepting applications for its latest round of Internships. The Internships are for 3 days a week for 3-6 months, and are available across a range of programmes including Admin, Operations and Volunteer Management; Education and Schools; Fundraising and Events; Political Leadership (ParliaMentors Programme) and Media and Communications. The closing date for applications is 20 August.   More information about the internships and how to apply is available at https://faithbeliefforum.org/programme/fbf-internship-programme

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Integrated Communities Innovation Fund

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, in partnership with Sport England, is inviting initial expressions of interest to its new Integrated Communities Innovation Fund.   The fund is intended to help drive forward proposals to tackle the key causes of poor integration set out in the government’s Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper.   It will provide support to projects that are innovative in how they tackle systemic integration challenges and help build integrated communities, including through sports-based activities. 

Further information about the fund and assessment criteria is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/integrated-communities-innovation-fund.     Expressions of interest must be sent on an official form to integrationstrategy@communities.gsi.gov.uk by 11.45pm on 20 August.

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Government funding to promote integration through youth groups 

Communities Minister Lord Bourne has recently announced funding of £250,000 to give young people from diverse backgrounds more opportunities to join national youth groups like the Scouts, Police Cadets, and Guiding.   The funding will go to the Youth United Foundation, a charity that supports 11 uniformed youth volunteering organisations.   It will be used to promote integration by building a national network of youth integration champions, and rolling out long-term approaches to developing lasting relationships between young people from different backgrounds. 

This funding is part of the Government’s ongoing integration work including the recent launch of the Integrated Communities Innovation Fund (see above).   Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-funding-for-youth-groups-to-help-youngsters-unlock-their-full-potential.  

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Inter Faith Youth Trust grants

The Inter Faith Youth Trust is making available grants of up to £500 for organisations running events or projects for Inter Faith Week.  The age range for young people is 11-25 years.  Priority will be given to projects which: 

  • actively involve young people in planning, running, and evaluation of the project; 
  • promote positive action ie young people from different backgrounds coming together to address shared problems like improving green spaces; and 
  • are run by non-statutory organisations, such as youth clubs, scout/guide groups, local voluntary and community organisations. 

Grants are awarded for successful “proposals for inter-faith activities by children and young people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other faiths and those of no formal faith in understanding and co-operation”. 

Applications can be made online.   The closing date is 14 September.   Further information and the application form can be found at www.ifyouthtrust.org.uk

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Near Neighbours grants programme

The Near Neighbours small grants programme is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and administered by the Church Urban Fund.  It is currently offering small grants of between £250 and £5,000, as seed funding for local groups and organisations working in a number of areas of England to bring together neighbours, and to develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities to improve their communities. 

As part of the criteria, projects should: 

  • bring together peoples of two or more different faiths and/or ethnicities, to build friendships and develop relationships of trust. 
  • work locally - the programme wants to see people who are living very locally (ie in the same street, estate or neighbourhood) come together. 
  • work sustainably - the programme wants to see long term and natural relationships grow, that will last beyond the period of funding. 
  • work to improve the community – the programme wants to see people working to make their communities a better place to live. 
  • involve diverse people in planning and implementation. People from more than one faith group and/or ethnicity are involved in planning and implementing the proposal. 

For information on the eligible areas and other criteria, visit https://www.cuf.org.uk/near-neighbours-small-grants or email near.neighbours@cuf.org.uk with general enquiries. 

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Building a Stronger Britain Together programme

The Home Office programme Building a Stronger Britain Together is continuing to offer in-kind support such as social media training, technical assistance to help a group improve their website, or capacity building work to help a group protect more vulnerable individuals.   It is open to bodies in England and Wales.  Applications for in-kind support can be submitted at any time.  

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-a-stronger-britain-together

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Faiths in Scotland Community Action Fund

Faiths in Scotland Community Action Fund continues to be open for applications to its rolling small grants scheme.  Small grants of up to £750 are available to faith based anti -poverty projects with an annual turnover of £30,000 or less and can be applied for at any time.    For more information call 0141 221 4576 or visit https://www.faithincommunityscotland.org/faith-in-community-scotland-action-fund/our-grants/smallgrants/

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Funding websites

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) offers advice on fundraising and grants on its Knowhow Nonprofit site at https://knowhownonprofit.org/funding

Funding Central - http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk/default.aspx - is a free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in England that provides access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities, together with tools and resources for supporting organisations to develop sustainable income strategies appropriate to their needs.  Similar websites for funding in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found at Funding Scotland - http://www.fundingscotland.com/ - Wales Council for Voluntary Action - http://www.wcva.org.uk/funding/search - and Grant Tracker for Northern Ireland - https://www.grant-tracker.org/. 

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Heritage Lottery Fund grants to commemorate First World War

The Heritage Lottery Fund has £4million of funding available for communities to get involved in projects marking the Centenary of the First World War.  Projects applying for funding must be able to meet one of a number of successful outcomes based on heritage, people and communities.   Grants can be given between £3,000 and £10,000.    Grants are being considered up until 18 January 2019.

Further information can be found at https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/our-grant-programmes/first-world-war-then-and-now

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Website and Facebook grants

The Transform Foundation is offering funding to charities to help with new website builds.  Grants of £18,000 are available.    It is also offering grants towards Facebook advertising of £5,000.   For further information and to apply, visit www.transformfoundation.org.uk.

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Google and charities 

Google is offering a service to registered charities which brings: Google Ad Grants: Free AdWords advertising to promote their  websites on Google through keyword targeting; YouTube Nonprofit Programme: Access exclusive resources, features and programs designed to maximise their organisations’ impact on YouTube; and Google Apps for Non-profit: Free version of the Google Apps business productivity suite, including Gmail, Docs, Calendar and more.  For further information, visit www.google.co.uk/intl/en/nonprofits/join.  

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Subsidised fundraising workshops

The Foundation for Social Improvement offers heavily 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 in September can be found at http://www.thefsi.org/services/training.

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SPECIAL WEEKS/DAYS

UN International Day of Peace is on Friday 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.  http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

Hate Crime Awareness Week will take place this year from Saturday 13 to Saturday 20 October.    https://nationalhcaw.uk/ 

Sewa Day will take place this year on Sunday 14 October.   It is an annual day of faith-based social action led by the Hindu community.    http://www.sewaday.org/ 

One World Week takes place from Sunday 21 to Sunday 28 October.  Its theme is ‘The World is Changing – How about us?’.  This is the 40th anniversary of the Week.   www.oneworldweek.org 

Inter Faith Week in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will take place from Sunday 11 to Sunday 18 November. It is led by the Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaithweek.org See more above.  

Scottish Interfaith Week will take place from Sunday 11 to Sunday 18 November.  It is led by Interfaith Scotland. http://scottishinterfaithweek.org/  See more above.

Mitzvah Day will take place on Sunday 18 November. It is an annual day of faith-based social action led by the Jewish community.  On Mitzvah Day, people give their time, not their money, 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/

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DIARY DATES

Information on upcoming diary dates can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/events

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:  www.interfaithwales.org.uk

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

We need your help to ensure that the Inter Faith Network for the UK’s work to promote inter faith understanding and cooperation continues and grows, helping people of all backgrounds to live and work together with mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good.  

Gifts at all levels are much valued and make a real difference.  You can donate directly at www.interfaith.org.uk/donate and there are Paypal and JustGiving links on that page too.

Donations can also be made by sending a cheque to The Inter Faith Network for the UK, 2 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH.

Thank you!

REMEMBERING A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND 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.

A GIFT IN YOUR WILL 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. 

Disclaimer: Information in this 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.

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