Upcoming events

Extremism eventHow can our multifaith society respond to increasing religious and political extremism?  A talk by Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi on Sunday 14 September 3-5pm at Corpus Christi Church Hall, Trent Road, Brixton, SW2 5BJ.

Mainly for Islington people (but ask Roz Miller if you are interested in attending from another borough), Islington Faiths Forum is holding a conference with Islington Council and Police – Making Islington Safer Together on Wednesday 17 September 10am – 3.30pm in the Council Chamber, Islington Town Hall.  Download the flyer here.

Not in London, but featuring several friends of LBFN, the Inter Faith Network for the UK‘s National Meeting in Birmingham on Monday 29 September 10.15am – 3pm.

Speakers include Acharya Modgala Duguid of Islington Faiths Forum, Angharad Thain of St Ethelburga’s, Jon Dal Din of Westminster Interfaith, Revd Daniel Otieno Ndale of Hillingdon Inter Faith Network and Phil Rosenberg of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and formerly of Faiths Forum for London.  The National Meeting is open to everyone** open to member organisations – download the programme here and the registration form here.  The theme this year is “Tough to talk?”.

Christian_Muslim_Forum_LogoThe Christian Muslim Forum is holding Lunchtime Dialogues at St Joseph’s Hospice, Mare Street, Hackney, E8 4SA at 12-1.30pm on 2 October.

On 25 October 10am – 4pm, there is an Interfaith Community Event at Trinity at Bowes Methodist Centre in partnership with Oakthorpe Turkish School, Palmerston Road, Enfield, N22 8RA.  Download the flyer here.

And don’t forget our own Peace-Building in the 21st Century on Monday 15 September at St Ethelburga’s and the next LBFN meeting on 23 September in Camden, looking at how our local work is supported and funded.

** Thanks to Bessie White for correction below – only open to members of IFN UK, so if your faith forum isn’t yet a member, consider applying this year!

Kingston – raising awareness & understanding of the vulnerable amongst us

lotus_flowerThis year’s inter faith walk in Kingston-upon-Thames focuses on the vulnerable amongst us.

Kingston Inter Faith Forum and Faithful Friends invite you to join them on Sunday 14 September, visiting six places of worship across the borough.

More information from Rashid Ali and Diana Mills and download the flyer here.

How do we sustain our work? Funding, partnership, creativity | 23 September

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness - a good time to take stock.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – our autumn meeting on 23 September.

From the hum-drum to the unexpected, this is an excellent opportunity to take a good look at

  • how local work is supported
  • the changing context in London
  • the value of local work – how do other people see us?
  • supporters & partners
  • pragmatism and the long view

We are delighted that Martin Shaw of Midas Appeals will be with us, sharing his wide experience and wisdom.

We’ll also have an update on Near Neighbours and Together in Service and hear from those working closely with the public sector.

There will also be time to talk about the events of the summer, overseas and here in London.

We are meeting at 77-79 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW (Goodge St tube) on Tuesday 23 September 4-6pm.  Please let the convener know by 19 September if you’re hoping to come along and if you have further suggestions for the agenda.  The late afternoon timing is to make it easier for people who are at work to join us.

Peace Conference | 15 September | St Ethelburga’s

A5_Peace-Conference-FinalPeace-building in the 21st Century – join people from across the capital on Monday 15 September at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. Download the flyer and register online.

From the crises in the Middle East, to reducing conflict in our homes and streets, this timely conference engages scholars, experts, faith and community leaders to discuss the limits and challenges of grassroots peace endeavours, learn peace-building skills, and explore conceptual frameworks governing peace and dialogue.

Here is an opportunity to listen to participants from different religious and cultural traditions, contribute our own insights and experience, refresh our conflict transformation skills, understand the hopes and fears of communities here and overseas, and take an active part in workshops and panel discussions.

Workshops include: Conflict Resilience, Dialogue Skills, Advancing Peace through the Arts, Hostage Negotiations.

Panels include: Peace versus War, Grassroots Peace-building, Conflicts in the Middle East, Peace or Appeasement?

The Muslim-Jewish arts group MUJU will be showing us their latest work on the theme of peace and Sikh students will be singing at lunchtime.  The Christian Muslim Forum, the Faith-based Regeneration Network and many others will be participating.

Lord Michael Bates, on his Walk4Peace to Berlin, acknowledging the anniversary of WWI and raising funds for child victims of war and conflict, has sent an encouraging message.  “It is all too easy to look around the world and get depressed about the cause of peace, but it is said it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness: that is exactly what London Peace Network are seeking to do and I applaud them for it and would encourage all those who care about peace to join in.”

Register online now – your contribution of £15 (£5 students/pensioners/concessions) will help cover costs and includes lunch. St Ethelburga’s is a beautiful and poignant venue but space is limited, so book ahead if you plan to attend. The full programme will be available next week.

If you would like any further information, please visit the London Peace Network or get in touch.

Walks | pilgrimages | fundays

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

BATCA flyerSaturday 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.

The theme this year is “Celebrating Life Together.”   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.