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Educating for Religious Literacy: Report on IFN’s 2023 National Meeting

A report on the 2023 National Meeting of the Inter Faith Network for the UK, which focused on the topic of religious literacy.

The meeting aimed to explore the meaning of religious literacy and how it can be promoted and developed in various contexts, including schools, media, and adult education. 

Presentations included:

  • ‘What do we mean by religious literacy & how does RE in schools contribute to this?’, Dr Kathryn Wright, CEO, Culham St Gabriel's Trust ;
  • ‘Faith communities & RE: contributing to religious literacy through SACREs and through educational programmes’, Dr Sheila Gewolb, National Association of SACRES and The Board of Deputies of British Jews;
  • ‘Religious literacy in a digital age: media & online content as routes of transmission and learning’, Dr Jasjit Singh, Assoc Prof University of Leeds and Adviser to Religion Media Centre , with response from Rajnish Kashyap, General Secretary, Hindu Council UK;
  • ‘How may special focus programmes in HE help increase religious literacy – the example of Cambridge Interfaith Programme’, Dr Iona Hine, Communications and Programme Manager, Cambridge-Interfaith Programme, University of Cambridge;
  • ‘Increased religious literacy through opportunities for encounter’, the Revd Gavin Wort, Lead Chaplain, Durham University, Vice-Chair Newcastle Council of Faiths and Chair of County Durham Faith Network;
  • ‘Working effectively for religious literacy in different sectors across society’ by Professor Adam Dinham, Goldsmiths, University of London, with response from Dr Abdul-Azim Ahmed, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Wales and Inter Faith Council for Wales;
  • closing reflections from Ashwin Soni, Crawley Inter Faith Network; Tracy Prior, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and Dr Harriet Crabtree Executive Director, Inter Faith Network for the UK.

Videos of plenary presentations can be seen here.

There were also workshops on different aspects of religious literacy:

  • ‘Local inter faith organisations and working for religious literacy’, Rabbi Warren Elf and Margaret Calvert, Faith Network for Manchester, and Tripti Megeri, Bristol Multi-Faith Forum;
  • ‘Religious literacy in the workplace’, with a presentation by Brad McLaughlin, lead for multi faith work at Aviva and Faith Friendly Workplaces;
  • ‘Religious literacy and government’, with opening reflections from Mike Stygal, Inter Faith Officer, Pagan Federation;
  • ‘Inter Faith Week as a platform for encouraging religious literacy’, with presentations from Jay Anderson, Leeds Faiths Forum and Leeds Concord Interfaith Fellowship, IFN Trustee, Es Rosen, Barnet Multi Faith Forum and Dr Peter Rookes, Birmingham Council of Faiths;
  • ‘Media (including social media) and religious literacy’, with opening reflections from Dr Maureen Sier, Director, Interfaith Scotland and member, Scottish Advisory Committee on Religion and Ethics (BBC Scotland); and
  • ‘Religious literacy and skills for inter faith engagement’, with a presentation from Dr Norman Richardson, Honorary Fellow, Stranmillis University College and Northern Ireland Inter Faith Forum.


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