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IFN E-bulletin September-October 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

Political parties – modelling respectful engagement

In the last issue of the IFN e-bulletin there was an item on ‘Political Parties, Antisemitism and Islamophobia’. A copy of this item can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/ifn-e-bulletin-july-august-2018#1.2.

On 7 September IFN’s Co-Chairs and Moderators of the Faith Communities Forum issued the following statement on ‘Political parties - modelling respectful engagement’. https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/political-parties-modelling-respectful-engagement-statement

“As the party conference season approaches, we call on all political parties to model and encourage through their words and actions an open, fair and respectful engagement with people of different faiths and beliefs.

The last few months have seen concerns expressed in relation to the processes of political parties about Antisemitism and Islamophobia and perceived slow or limited response to handling allegations about this.

This comes in the context of concerns within wider society about extremism and hate incidents which have affected, among others, a number of faith communities.

Freedom of speech and the parameters of UK law permit a wide spectrum of views to be voiced. At the same time, principles of respect and tolerance are vital, as is finding ways to deal well with disagreement.

We commend the principles in the Inter Faith Network’s guidelines Building Good Relations with People of Different Faiths and Beliefs.

Religious literacy is also vital, in relation to all faiths.  We hope that it will be the case that the coming months will see informed and helpful engagement reflecting the best of all the parties’ visions of an integrated and harmonious society.

From 11-18 November, national Inter Faith Week will be marked. We hope that all parties will find ways to mark Inter Faith Week, highlighting their commitment to engaging well with those of all faiths and beliefs and to serving well the needs of all faiths and none at national, regional and local levels.”

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Final report of the Commission on Religious Education

On 9 September the Commission on Religious Education published its final report: Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A national plan for RE.

The Religious Education Council for England and Wales launched the Commission in July 2016 as an independent body. It was chaired by the Very Revd Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster. The fourteen Commissioners included academics, head teachers, teachers, school governors and a broadcaster. The Commission published an interim report in July 2017.

The final report makes 11 recommendations, which include changing the name of the subject RE to ‘Religion and Worldviews’.  It sets out a ‘national entitlement’ for RE that would apply to all state funded schools.  It calls for a special body to be formed by the Government to write programmes of study for Religion and Worldviews based on the ‘national entitlement’ which would act in a similar way to the National Curriculum for other subjects.

The full report and the executive summary can be found at: https://www.commissiononre.org.uk/final-report-religion-and-worldviews-the-way-forward-a-national-plan-for-re/ where there is also a short video explaining why the Commission believes there is the need for change.

The Commission has now ended its work.  Any queries or comments about the report can be sent to the RE Council of England and Wales using the email address: enquiries@commissiononre.org.uk.

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Board of Deputies of British Jews and Sikh Council UK – a new partnership for the common good

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Sikh Council UK have instituted a new partnership to bring their communities together through pursuing the common good. Jewish and Sikh volunteers collaborated at the West London Synagogue’s Drop-In Centre for families seeking asylum in August, and at a Sikh-led event at Charing Cross to help the homeless in September. The partnership follows a meeting between the two organisations earlier in the year, at which they agreed to work together on a range of activities including social action.

For more information about the partnership, visit https://www.bod.org.uk/jews-and-sikhs-seek-the-common-good/. Those interested in participating should email anthony.silkoff@bod.org.uk.

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Hate Crime

There have continued to be reports of hate crimes linked to religious identity, affecting both individuals and places of worship.  

On 28 August there was a petrol bomb attack on a Sikh Gurdwara in Leith, Edinburgh.  Government and Interfaith Scotland responses to this can be seen at  https://twitter.com/JBrokenshire/status/1034554562634555393 and https://www.facebook.com/interfaithscotland.   There was a strong cross-community response.  A suspect has been arrested for that attack, as well as for an attack earlier that day on a Methodist church nearby.  http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2018/august/man-charged-following-fires-at-sikh-temple-and-methodist-church

On 19 September, just before Ashura, three people were injured after a car ploughed into a crowd outside the Al-Majlis Al-Hussaini mosque on Edgware Road in North London, in an incident that is being treated as a hate crime.  https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/19/brent-mosque-london-three-injured-in-hit-and-run  There was also in this instance strong cross-community support including visits from members of two local synagogues even though it was Yom Kippur. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/jewish-communities-visit-muslim-neighbours-on-yom-kippur-after-mosque-attack/

The National No2H8 Crime Awards 2018 took place in London on 13 September.  The Awards are made by a coalition of partners including Tell MAMA, the Community Security TrustGALOPStonewall and the ‘No to Hate Crime’ campaign.  The Awards “honour those individuals and organisations who stand against hatred, prejudice and intolerance.”  Further information is at https://no2h8crimeawards.org/.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week will be taking place this year from Saturday 13 to Saturday 20 October.  Further information is at https://nationalhcaw.uk/.

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Armistice100

Remembrance Sunday is marked from the smallest villages to the largest cities. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in services and other events commemorating the contribution of British and Commonwealth military servicemen and women and non-combatants in the two World Wars and later conflicts.   People from all faith backgrounds and none took part in these conflicts.

Remembrance Sunday falls on the second Sunday in November, the one nearest to 11 November which is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11 am in 1918.  A two minute silence is held at that time.

The march past the cenotaph in Whitehall, London on Remembrance Sunday is a major focus of the day, with the ‘march past’ of British and Commonwealth former military and civilian service personnel and wreath laying.

Because 11 November 2018 marks the Centenary of the end of World War 1 there will this year be many special additional activities for Remembrance Sunday and the period leading up to that. Among these will be a ‘People’s march’ past the Cenotaph and special bell ringing.  More about these and other events and activities can be found at: https://armistice100.org.uk/.

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Commemorating the Suffrage Movement

In the last issue of the e-bulletin there was an article about the multi faith project being jointly run by the Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network and Interfaith Scotland to explore during 2018 and 2019 the role of women of faith in the Suffrage Movement.  https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/ifn-e-bulletin-july-august-2018#5.2

Faith communities are continuing to commemorate the anniversary of the Suffrage Movement.  Most recently, the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group held an event in the House of Lords on 12 September at which Dr Sumita Mukerjee, Historian and Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol, gave a talk on 'Zoroastrian and Indian women in the British and Indian Suffrage movement'.  For more information, contact secretary@ztfe.com.

As part of the Vote100 celebrations during UK Parliament Week (12 to 18 November), the Houses of Parliament, in partnership with the Church of England, has published a booklet summarising the workings of parliament, democracy, and the history behind the Representation of the People Act 1918, which paved the way for women to vote in a General Election.  The booklet also contains activities for children, such as holding mock parliamentary debates, campaigns, feasting, prayers, and a quiz. It can be downloaded from the Vote100 website (https://www.ukparliamentweek.org/blog/vote-100/), along with a ballot box for children to hold mock elections, a “Votes for Women” sash, and a UK Parliament Week placard, bunting, and posters to promote events.   UK Parliament Week this year takes place at the same time as Inter Faith Week and Scottish Interfaith Week (see below).

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Reset Communities and Refugees

Reset Communities and Refugees is a new, national charity, funded by the Home Office and philanthropic foundations in order to promote and grow community sponsorship in the UK.

Community sponsorship provides a practical way for groups to support refugees affected by the Syrian crisis to build a new life in the UK.  Through community sponsorship, groups come together to welcome families into their local area and support them to find housing, jobs, English lessons, schools and doctors. Communities also offer friendship and advice – whether it is helping the children with their homework or explaining some of the idiosyncrasies of British culture.  Communities empower refugees to become self-sufficient as they settle into their new lives.    Faith groups are often among those acting as community sponsors.

Further information can be found at http://www.resetuk.org.uk and in the video at https://youtu.be/85DRSAcKFn4.  

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Taylor Review Pilot – listed places of worship

The Taylor Review Pilot was launched on 3 September and will run until March 2020 in the pilot areas of Manchester and St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.   It is being administered by Historic England on behalf of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and is restricted to Greater Manchester and Suffolk.   The Taylor Review was commissioned in April 2016, with the aim of examining the funding and sustainability of listed Church of England buildings to ensure they are conserved for future generations. 

It is open to all faith groups who manage listed places of worship and meet the eligibility criteria in those areas. In each area, the pilot consists of:

  • a Fabric Support Officer, who will focus on helping congregations with maintenance and repair of historic fabric, and will work with those applying for a minor repairs fund grant;
  • a Community Development Adviser, who will help to increase engagement beyond the worshipping community in both urban and rural contexts;
  • workshops, which will promote best practice in the maintenance of historic buildings and the value of developing strong links with the local community; and
  • a minor repairs fund, which aims to reduce the physical deterioration of historic fabric by encouraging a ‘stitch in time’ approach to urgent minor repairs, to reduce the likelihood of a building becoming ‘at risk’.

For further information about the Pilot, or to sign up for email updates, visit https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/caring-for-heritage/places-of-worship/churches-sustainability-review/ or email taylorpilot@HistoricEngland.org.uk.

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Training of faith leaders

In March the Government published a Green Paper on its Integrated Communities Strategy.  This invited views on its vision for building strong integrated communities where people – whatever their background – live, work, learn and socialise together, based on shared rights, responsibilities and opportunities. In the Green Paper, the Government committed to supporting the training of faith leaders to strengthen ministering in the British context.

This commitment ties in with the Government’s ambition “for all faith leaders to be confident, well-qualified and outward-looking, and to demonstrate an ability to resist, and help their congregations to resist, intolerant or extremist arguments”.

The Government’s expectation is that faith institutions will themselves address these questions, but has indicated that it is looking to help by ensuring that suitable voluntary training is available to religious ministers to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities, including relevant aspects of the British legal system, to help them deal confidently with the spectrum of issues faced by their congregations.

A survey was sent to faith community organisations for them to complete during September on this topic. 

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INTER FAITH NETWORK FOR THE UK NEWS

Inter Faith Week

Inter Faith Week 2018 runs from Sunday 11 to Sunday 18 November. This year is the 10th Inter Faith Week.   

Inter Faith Week 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 is to give people of different backgrounds opportunity to remember together and to highlight the diversity of those who have served – both from the UK and from the countries that became the Commonwealth.  Those who were conscientious objectors also came from different backgrounds and often acted in the light of their beliefs. The Week also enables reflection on this. 

A short resource linked to this will be available on the Inter Faith Week website soon.

The first Inter Faith Week activities have now been published on the Inter Faith Week website map at www.interfaithweek.org/map, and activities will continue to be added on a rolling basis. The website also lists this by date and by town.

If you are organising an activity to mark the Week, you can submit this to the website at www.interfaithweek.org/submit. There are a number of reasons to submit your activity, including:

  • The central website helps members of the public and the media to find out about your activity;
  • The map enables people to see at a glance the wide range of activities taking place and feel part of something bigger than their locality;
  • It helps the Inter Faith Network for the UK to accurately report on the Week each year;
  • You will be eligible to receive a free Registration Pack (see below).

Organisations registering their activities on the Inter Faith Week website will be eligible to receive a free Registration Pack. The packs contain a poster, flyers, tips and information, balloons, stickers, a pen, badges, a copy of Inter faith learning, dialogue and cooperation: Next Steps, and a social media message card (see below).

A major way to raise awareness of and participation in Inter Faith Week each year is through social media. Last year, tweets about the Week reached the feeds of over 13 million Twitter users alone. The Registration Packs contain an A3 card with the Inter Faith Week logo, hashtag and username on, and a blank space for messages about the Week’s themes. People are encouraged to take pictures of themselves – or themselves with someone of another faith or belief – and to post these on social media during November using #InterFaithWeek. Contact the IFN office for further cards, or visit https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/social-media to download and print yourself.

The Inter Faith Week social media accounts are:

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.  (See more below)

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Scottish Interfaith Week

Scottish Interfaith 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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Day event for local inter faith practitioners

IFN is holding its next day event for local inter faith practitioners in Bradford on Tuesday  16 October.   The event is an opportunity for people from local inter faith groups anywhere in the UK to come together to share their experiences, discuss issues of common interest and concern and discuss practical aspects of developing successful inter faith programmes as well as the challenges.  There is no charge to attend.  For further information, contact the IFN office at ifnet@interfaith.org.uk.

Reports from previous events held for local inter faith practitioners in Bristol, Coventry, London, Manchester and Sheffield can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/publications.

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Inter faith projects, programmes and developments

New Glasgow LGBT+ Interfaith Network

Glasgow LGBT+ Interfaith Network (GLIN) is a new group starting in Glasgow for LGBT+ people of faith and their allies.    It has been set up to “promote the visibility and acceptance of LGBT+ people of faith; encourage meeting people from different faith backgrounds; share experiences, give advice, and offer support; provide a space for non-LGBT+ people to ask questions and grow in their understanding; and to provide themed seminars, cultural exchanges and creative exercises”.  The group is open to anyone of any gender, sexuality, faith, religion or belief background and is currently looking for organisers, volunteers and members.  For more information, visit www.facebook.com/glasgowLGBTinterfaith or email glasgowlgbtinterfaith@outlook.com.

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Campus inter faith engagement

Goldsmiths, University of London this year includes a special alcohol free faith and inter faith event for students beginning the new year.  Their ad, complete with an image of large pink milkshakes, read “If you’re religious or curious about religion, sit down and grab a frothy milkshake at our interfaith milkshake extravaganza. All faith communities will be at the event to promote themselves and answer questions. It’s the perfect evening to meet new people and see how to get involved in Goldsmiths’ diverse faith-based societies. This event is alcohol free and open to all religions.” https://www.goldsmithssu.org/ents/event/1564/

On other campuses around the UK, chaplaincies, student faith and belief societies and others also encouraged students to engage.  Some universities, such as Cardiff University, now have special pages about inter faith activity: https://www.facebook.com/InterFaithCardiff

The Council of Christians and Jews held a special inter faith training residential for student inter faith leaders on its programme.   For more about the programme see: http://www.ccj.org.uk/campus-leadership-scheme/

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Faith and Belief Forum Book Club

The Faith and Belief Forum has recently set up a book club to discuss literature, fiction, poetry and non-fiction.  For further information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/428973530927322/?active_tab=about.

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Time to Change Campaign – challenging mental health stigma

Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum (WFFCF) is supporting the Time to Change Campaign, challenging the stigma surrounding mental health. At the heart of the campaign is the recruitment of ‘Champions’: people with lived experience of mental health problems who can use their experience to promote mental health awareness, and to change the way people in their community think about mental health. Funding is available for Champions to run an anti-stigma event in their community. WFFCF is happy to offer help and support to those who register as Champions and wish to plan an event. For more information and/or to register, visit https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/.

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Community Café – Arboretum Park, Derby

The Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby has recently re-opened the café in Arboretum Park, Derby, with the aim of bringing communities together and providing a safe space for all. The area has very high levels of deprivation, with many different cultures living in a small area but rarely interacting. The Centre hopes to change that by providing a safe space for people of all faiths, beliefs and none and from all walks of life to come together and celebrate their diversity.

For more information, visit http://multifaithcentre.org/2018/08/arboretum-park-cafe/.

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The Feast – In Faith, We Dare to Imagine

The Feast has been bringing young people of different faiths and cultures together in youth encounters since 2009. On 5 September, it launched its new strategy, “In Faith, We Dare to Imagine”. Over the next five years, The Feast aims to work with 10,000 young people of different faiths and cultures across the UK in their Developing Identity, Youth Encounter and Game Changers Leadership Programmes which are designed to help support young people to be peacemakers. To help achieve this, the “In Faith, We Dare to Imagine” strategy invites everyone who works with young people to join a movement committed to embedding The Feast’s Guidelines for Dialogue and approach across society as a model of hope. The Feast will facilitate this by expanding its work with schools, faith and community groups, and other youth organisations to provide the training and resources in supporting young people to develop genuine friendships and dialogue across even deep social divides. Further information can be found at https://www.thefeast.org.uk/news/press-release-in-faith-we-dare-to-imagine/.

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Walking for Peace

The International Day of Peace is 21 September each year and the month has become one associated with peace.  Around the UK it is a time that many peace walks take place. Just a few of these are mentioned below.

On 15 September  the annual peace walk took place in Newcastle, taking in Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh places of worship with faith leaders and civic and police representatives. https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/hundreds-unite-walk-peace-newcastle-15156281

Luton Council of Faiths held its 22nd annual peace walk on 22 September. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3w7FtOesGs

Redbridge Faith Forum’s 10th annual peace walk took place on 23 September. They said: "This year it is more important than ever for us to walk together in a spirit of harmony valuing our common precepts by showing our understanding and respect for each other.” The walk set off from the Holocaust Memorial Garden and continued to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh places of worship. http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/redbridge-faith-forum-peace-walk-1-5710062

The following day in Brent, a multi faith walk organised by Brent Multi Faith Forum took place in the Wembley Islamic Cultural Centre, the BAPS Sri Swaminarayan Mandir and Harlesdon Methodist Church as well as a special multi faith tree planting, supported by Faiths Forum for London and Near Neighbours.

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Resources and STUDY/training

Connect: a youth inter faith action guide

A reminder that IFN’s latest publication Connect: a youth inter faith action guide 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.

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Local inter faith resource material

IFN has recently added two more case studies to its website as resource material for local inter faith practitioners.   One is on ‘Local inter faith organisations and the environment’ and one is on ‘Local inter faith organisations and sport’.  These can both be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/local-1.

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Faith and Belief Forum podcasts on media, hate crime and inclusion

The Faith and Belief Forum recently held three round-table discussions to explore the role of media, hate crime and inclusion in London. Local organisations, academics and policy experts discussed factors for exclusion for Londoners from different faiths and beliefs, and to share good practice on inclusion. Podcasts have been produced from each of the round-table discussions, on ‘Media in Faith, Belief and Belonging in London’; ‘Hate Crime, Faith and Belonging in London’; and ‘Faith, Belief and Inclusion in London’. They are available at: https://faithbeliefforum.org/category/podcast/.

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East of England Faiths Agency library

After having to let go of a large number of books when it moved premises, the East of England Faiths Agency has now rebuilt its library and will shortly be making the catalogue available online. It welcomes those who wish to read or study at its new Multi-Faith Centre, based at 47 St Helen’s Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, 1P4 2JL. For more information and to arrange a time to use the library, email c.capey@eefa.net.

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Advance HE Guidance on Religion and Belief

Advance HE has issued new guidance to higher education institutions across the UK, and Colleges in Scotland, on how to support the inclusion of staff and students of different faiths and beliefs including those with no religious beliefs.   The guidance provides practical recommendations for institutions, developed following consultation with organisations and individuals representing a range of different religions and non-religious groups.   The full guidance and executive summary can be downloaded from https://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/religion-and-belief/.

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Counting Religion in Numbers

‘Counting Religion in Numbers’ is a monthly bulletin on British religious statistics prepared by British Religion in Numbers, an online religious data source. The August 2018 issue includes information about a number of recent opinion polls, such as responses to comments by Boris Johnson on the burka; the role of ‘Thought for the Day’; and religious prejudice and political parties. It also contains summaries of new publications, including the annual survey by Tell MAMA of Islamophobic incidents and new sources of official statistics.

The bulletin is available to read and download at http://www.brin.ac.uk/2018/counting-religion-in-britain-august-2018/.

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CCJ training to tackle Modern Slavery

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is helping churches and synagogues to come together by holding inter faith training events on how to tackle modern slavery. These will aim to teach people what modern slavery looks like and how to help stop it. The events are being held to coincide with Mitzvah Day, a day of social action led by the Jewish community.

For those interested in holding an event in their community, one volunteer from each faith community must attend a training session in either London or Manchester in October. For more information and to sign up, email jessica.spencer@ccj.org.uk.

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LGBT+Faith Training Days

The Faith and Belief Forum is running a project to provide a space to reflect, learn, and build good practice for working with and supporting LGBT+ people of faith.

There are spaces available on two upcoming LGBT+Faith training days: 22 November in London, and 24 January in Liverpool.    Organisations working with LGBT+ people that are interested in learning more about the experiences of LGBT+ people of faith, can find out more at https://faithbeliefforum.org/programme/lgbtfaith/.

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Reporting religion in Britain – training for journalists

The Religion Media Centre is holding training for journalists on ‘Reporting Religion in Britain’. The training session will aim to enable journalists to gain an understanding of religion in Britain; explore the editorial voice and challenge stereotypes or default narratives when reporting on religious and non-religious world views; and provide an accessible but thorough introduction, giving an overview of the variety of beliefs, to build knowledge and awareness. The training will take place on Thursday 18 October from 9.30am to 4pm at The Board Room, 77 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2EZ.  There is a charge to attend.

For further information and to register, visit https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/journalists-training/reporting-religion-in-britain/ or email info@religionmediacentre.org.uk.

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CALLS FOR INFORMATION, COMPETITIONS, AND NOMINATIONS

Government consultation on the Gender Recognition Act – Religious and Faith Perspectives

The Government is currently holding a consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). It will consider potential changes to the current legal process that enables transgender people to gain legal recognition of their gender.

As part of the consultation, the Government Equalities Office is reaching out to religious and faith organisations to understand their perspectives and answer any questions in person. Those interested in such a meeting can email gra.consultation@geo.gov.uk to arrange this.

For more information about the consultation, and to respond online, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reform-of-the-gender-recognition-act-2004. The consultation closes on Friday 19 October.

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Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into enforcement of the Equality Act 2010

Religion and belief are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.  It says that it is unlawful to discriminate against people because of their religion or belief. The Women and Equalities Committee launched an inquiry in July into enforcement of the Equality Act 2010.  As part of this, the Committee has invited written submission of views on areas including: how easy it is for people to understand and enforce their rights; how well enforcement action under the Act works for achieving widespread change; how effective and accessible tribunals and legal means of redress are; and the effectiveness of the Equality and Human Rights Commission as an enforcement body. Further information about the Inquiry and further detail on the areas on which written submissions are invited can be found at https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2017/enforcing-the-equality-act-launch-17-19/?utm_source=Members%2C+Associates%2C+Observers%2C+Funders&utm_campaign=7176321c87-WEC+inquiry+Equality+Act+280918&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_04dd2b7f3e-7176321c87-61711113 The deadline for responses is Friday 5 October.

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Connecting Generations Art Competition

As part of Scottish Interfaith Week (see above) Interfaith Scotland is running an arts competition.  Participants are invited to create a piece of artwork on the theme of 'Connecting Generations'.  This can be a drawing, poem, video, piece of writing, music, song or drama.  The closing date for entries is 22 October.  More information, including the entry form, can be found at https://interfaithscotland.org/connecting-generations-art-competition.

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Staging Posts on the Journey of Life – Call for poems and readings

The East of England Faiths Agency (EEFA) is developing a new game called ‘Staging Posts on the Journey of Life’.  It has been successfully trialled in a variety of situations, including care homes.   One of the aspects of the game is the inclusion of readings and poems on different themes.   The themes are: Heritage, Conception and Birth, Childhood and Schooldays, Education and Training, Friendship and Love, Family, Community, Meaning and Purpose, Work / Life Balance, Retirement and Old Age, Death and Bereavement and Legacy.   EEFA is keen to include readings and poems from different faith traditions and would welcome suggestions on these.   For further information contact Cynthia Capey at c.capey@eefa.net.

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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 – Clerical Assistant

The Inter Faith Network for the UK is currently advertising for a Clerical Assistant for 8 hours per week.  The closing date for applications is Thursday 4 October.  Applications must be submitted on the official application form which can be obtained by emailing ifnet@interfaith.org.uk.

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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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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas

The Heritage Lottery Fund, in partnership with the Pilgrim Trust, the Plunkett Foundation and the National Churches Trust, has launched a new UK-wide funding initiative. ‘Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas’ will support projects that explore new ways of helping places of worship become more resilient and adapt to a challenging and changeable environment. Grants of between £10,000 and £250,000 are available, and are intended to support the groups who care for historic places of worship of any faith or denomination.

Applicants must initially submit a short expression of interest form outlining their idea by Sunday 14 October. Those submitting the strongest expressions of interest will then be invited to submit a full application.

For more information, including how to submit an expression of interest, visit https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/what-we-fund/buildings-and-monuments/places-worship.

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Arts Council Funding - Creative People and Places

The Creative People and Places fund focuses on supporting communities to access arts and cultural opportunities, in 79 areas with below average participation in the arts. A new round of funding opens in January 2019, and will be available for community organisations or groups that can partner with cultural organisations.  The Arts Council is holding a number of information events throughout October and November for those interested in applying.

For more information about the fund, and to book a place at an information event, visit https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/creative-people-and-places/creative-people-and-places-programme-2019#section-2.    

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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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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.   The next deadline for applications is Friday 12 October.

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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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

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

Sewa Day is an annual day of faith-based social action.  ‘Sewa’ is a Sanskrit word which means ‘service’.  Sewa Day will take place on Sunday 14 October.   Further information can be found at http://www.sewaday.org/.  Many faith and inter faith groups take part and organise Sewa Day volunteering projects in places such as old people’s homes, homeless shelters, schools in disadvantaged areas, hospitals and hospices, country parks, conservation areas and city farms – all with an aim of making a positive difference to someone else’s happiness and prosperity.   Each project organised is based on at least one of the guiding principles:

  • Help relieve hardship
  • Bring a little joy to others
  • Help the environment

There is a project finder on the website to find out about events taking place during the week - https://sewaday.org/event/.

Week of Prayer for World Peace takes place this year from Sunday 14 October to Sunday 21 October.   http://weekofprayerforworldpeace.com/events.html 

One World Week (‘OWW’) is taking place from 21 to 28 October.   It is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.   Each year many faith and inter faith organisations take part.  The theme for 2018 is ‘The World is Changing – How About Us?’, focusing on how all peoples can work together to build a sustainable future. Throughout the week there will be a range of events organised and hosted by volunteers across the country, with the common purpose being to ‘share understanding about some of the global issues that affect us all and to recognise we can all make a difference.’  Those organising events are encouraged to register them on the website, where resources are available for worship, publicity, discussions and other events. For further information, including an events calendar, visit https://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. 

 

If you have items which you would like considered for inclusion in the next e-bulletin please email these to ifnet@interfaith.org.uk by 16 November with ‘e-bulletin’ in the subject line. Submissions may be edited for length or style.

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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