Walks | pilgrimages | fundays

Three local walks and pilgrimages and a funday are coming up during September.

batcaSaturday 13 September Balham & Tooting Community Association’s annual Funday will take place at Gatton Muslim Primary School and St Augustine’s Church of England in Tooting, Wandsworth.  Attractions will include food from around the world, a clown, fairground rides, traditional sideshows, penalty shoot outs, creative arts, free NHS health checks for over 40s, craft stalls, farm animals, a fire engine and much more.  Download details here.

WF walkSunday 14 September

The Women’s Interfaith Network in Waltham Forest is leading a Friendship Pilgrimage “Sounds of Spirituality” around the borough.

They will visit nine places of worship, starting at the Sri Karpaga Vinayagar Temple and ending with supper together.

People are welcome to join the pilgrimage at any stop.

Download the flyer and programme.

ftilSaturday 20 September Faiths Together in Lambeth will be leading an Inter Faith Walk, starting at Church of the Holy Spirit, stopping at four more places of worship and practice in the north of the borough and finishing at Lambeth Masjid and Progressive Community Centre.

Walkers are invited to join at any time.  Download the flyer and map.

st e walkSunday 21 September The Ethelburga Walk from Barking to Bishopsgate will raise funds for St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

It will make its way through “surprising green spaces in East London.”  There’ll be storytelling, music and refreshments en route for a great day out and for a good cause. Children and dogs welcome.

Download the flyer here and register at www.stethelburgas.org/walk.

Are you planning a walk or community event?  Let LBFN know and we can add it to the blog.

Mayor’s police & crime roadshows

Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, is revisiting every London borough with senior Metropolitan Police officers.  Sixteen boroughs were visited early in 2014.

They will be talking about local policing, telling us how they’ve been putting the Police and Crime Plan into practice and answering our questions.

Following our recent meeting at New Scotland Yard with Commander Mak Chishty, the roadshow may provide another opportunity to contact our Borough Commanders to talk about their engagement plans with local faith forums.

The next 16 events are scheduled from September to December.  Attendance is on a first come, first serve basis. They are asking people to register now and to let them know of any access needs.

Staying safe in troubled times | action for peace

hate-crimeWith reports that hate crime on the grounds of religion or belief is on the rise in London, here are some useful contacts & sources of information and support which we can pass on to our networks.

Any hate crime, whether against a person or a place of worship, should immediately be reported to the police, calling 999 in an emergency.  Police contacts in each borough are listed here.  Third party reporting services (for those who prefer to report via a specialist organisation) are listed here.  Hate Crime Forums are active in many boroughs.

Two specialist organisations monitor anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish incidents.  They also offer support, advice and information for protecting individuals and religious buildings.  They are the Community Security Trust (for synagogues and Jewish communities) and Tell Mama (for Islamic centres and Muslim communities).  Both organisations offer security updates.

peace_bird_webThe violent conflicts in the Middle East are rightly causing a great deal of concern and distress across all communities in London.  Whilst speaking out privately and publicly, there is also a strong desire – especially where there are disagreements – to sustain the excellent local relationships which exist between Londoners from different religious traditions.

The widespread goodwill and friendship between local churches, synagogues, Islamic centres, temples and gurdwaras was demonstrated recently by open iftars during Ramadan in many boroughs, as well as interfaith walks, peace pilgrimages and visits across the capital.  Where there are differences of opinion, we aim to redouble our efforts to listen, to learn, to “disagree well” and to support those seeking peaceful solutions.  In a global city such as ours, we have opportunities not only to speak out but to come together in finding common ground to pursue just and non-violent ways forward.

Several statements on the Middle East conflicts have been issued, including two by the Archbishop of Canterbury here and here, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Muslim Council of Britain & the Women’s Interfaith Network.

Opportunities for people from different religious and belief traditions to come together in London for justice and peace include

  • Prayers for Peace in the Middle East Tuesday 5 August 4 – 5.30pm led by the Christian Muslim Forum and St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.  “We watch the news in great distress as we see our Jewish, Christian and Muslim sisters and brothers being killed and on the receiving end of atrocities in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt. We aim, through various inter faith and peace initiatives, to model the way of peaceful dialogue while petitioning our leaders and politicians to use their influence and intervene constructively. However, clicking on internet petitions and speaking out can seem like small actions or that our voices are not being heard. What can we do?”  Register here.

Lord Michael Bates, patron of the London Peace Network, sets off on his Walk for Peace to Berlin on Tuesday 5 August from City Hall at 11am, following the Westminster Abbey commemoration of the start of WWI the previous evening.  Last year he walked for the children of Syria, this year he is walking for the child victims of conflict and war.  Join us on Tuesday to give him a good send-off.

Please add to the above – helpful information, links, events – through the comments box below.

Welcome to Jess!

JessLBFN is excited and looking forward to new intern Jess’s arrival this weekend.  She’ll be meeting as many of us as possible while in London and helping out along the way.

Please contact her via LBFN and/or pop into the Waterloo office if you’re nearby (best to ring first).

“My name is Jess Penlington and I am a recent graduate of The University of Manchester, having studied Comparative Religion and Social Anthropology.

Over the three year duration of my university course I developed a great passion for studying South Asia, in particular the many religions of the region and the gender issues that arise there. My dissertation focussed on aspects of Hindu society in Varanasi, North India, particularly the role of women within the Hindu sects found there. I was lucky enough to visit India myself last summer and travel around the North of the country, but I would love to go back and explore the South, as well as the rest of South Asia that I have spent so long learning about!

I am very excited to begin my internship with the London Boroughs Faith Network, as I can finally put my knowledge of religious traditions to practical use. I have always aspired to have a career in charity work, whether here in the UK or even hopefully abroad.

I am also looking forward to learning more about the work done by the London Boroughs Faith Network. I hope I can bring something new to the table during my visit, as well as learning about the variety of jobs within the network.

If you see me over the next few weeks please come over to say hello, I would love to meet as many people as possible and learn more about individual roles in the network.

Best wishes, and hopefully see you soon!”

Peace Day leaflets for Islamic centres, synagogues, churches & meeting houses

peace flyer picPeace flyers for Islamic centres, synagogues, churches and meeting houses are now ready!

The weekend of 19-21 September provides a great opportunity for welcoming in neighbours and visitors from different traditions.

Local faith forums can provide the essential links between religious groups, putting people in touch and encouraging invitations and visits.

Download the flyers &/or send links to friends, colleagues, neighbours and networks, encouraging them to open their places of worship to neighbouring communities and visitors during peace weekend.

Download the flyers here:

Islamic Centres Friday 19 September

Synagogues Saturday 20 September

Churches & Meeting Houses Sunday 21 September

We are delighted that the Quakers have added their support this year, and that Religions for Peace UK are also encouraging their members to get involved.

Everyone participating will be part of a world wide weekend of peace-making, truce, reconciliation, conflict transformation, mediation, resilience, ceasefire and a celebration of peace-building.

Open House London and Ride N Stride are taking place on the same weekend and can be incorporated into local plans, adding interest and value.

A London Peace Conference will take place on Monday 15 September at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the City – details to follow.  The London Peace Network coalition was brought together to promote peace-making and the Olympic Truce in 2012 and is part of LBFN’s peace-building social lab.  The activities around the UN International Day of Peace have been very popular.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact the people listed on the flyers or LBFN.

Church of England Synod

cmeacLBFN’s Convener is speaking at a fringe meeting “Mind The Gap: how to bring a radical new approach to local community involvement: transforming outcomes of historically excluded communities” at the Church of England’s General Synod this weekend.

The panel has been organised by the Committee for Minority Ethnic Concerns.  Speakers include Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network’s Malik Gul and Lankelly Chase CEO Julian Corner.  It will follow a Synod debate on the Common Good, including a talk by Jim Wallis from Sojourners, USA.

If you are in York this weekend, please join us!  Download the flyer here.