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.

New Scotland Yard

MPS Engagement Tsar Cdr Mak Chishty

New MPS Engagement Tsar Cdr Mak Chishty

LBFN’s Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab had an excellent and wide-ranging exchange with the new Commander for Engagement in the Metropolitan Police Service, Mak Chishty, on Monday 7 July.

Contributions from Islington, Hounslow, Enfield, Lambeth, Kingston, Harrow, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Merton showed the range of good work undertaken by local faith forums in engaging with the police.  They also highlighted the challenges in sustaining relationships over time.

Commander Chishty shared with us his initial thoughts on engagement and the work already underway, which includes local mapping, a listening campaign, special summer events and borough engagement plans.  His SHINE approach encourages relaxed and informal relationships to develop between police officers and the public.

With the change from the Metropolitan Police Authority’s Community-Police Engagement Groups to the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime’s Safer Neighbourhood Boards, there is some uncertainty over structures to support engagement.  Progress seems to be uneven across London.

LBFN members were asked to contact their Borough Commanders (details for each borough here) to initiate conversations which will lead to the inclusion of religious communities in the new borough engagement plans.  The emphasis was on sustained relationships with multifaith groups, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and gurdwaras, which all offer strong social networks, local knowledge, expertise and organisational memory.

LBFN's Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab at New Scotland Yard.

LBFN’s Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab at New Scotland Yard.

People from seven religious traditions took part.  We will organise a follow up meeting in due course.

Tour de France on 7 July

tour-de-france-700x350_rdax_400x200London is hosting the magnificent Tour de France on 7 July.

The cyclists will be zipping across Parliament Square to the Mall on the same afternoon as our meeting at New Scotland Yard.

St James’s Park and Victoria tube stations will be open, but be prepared for delays.  All the information and maps you need are on this this helpful pdf from Transport for London.

tdf-logoIf you can tear yourself away from the action, we’ll be meeting at 3pm – best to arrive at 2.45pm to clear security (remember your photo ID).

Thanks for all the replies – if you plan to join us but haven’t let me know, please do so by the end of the week.

New Scotland Yard | Monday 7 July 3pm

New_Scotland_YardCommander Mak Chishty has invited LBFN to New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, London SW1H 0BG, on Monday 7 July 3-5pm (St James’s Park tube).

We’ll be sharing our experience and expertise in engaging with the Metropolitan Police and we have an excellent line-up of contributors from across the boroughs.  Let me know in advance if you would like us to address a particular aspect.

If you have not already done so, please let LBFN know if you plan to attend so that your name can be added to the guest list for admittance.  Allow extra time to clear security and bring photo ID with you.

There will also be a briefing on our plans to mark the UN International Day of Peace in our boroughs on the weekend of 18-21 September.  Flyers will be available soon.  Please consult your faith forum or local network – if any of the Islamic centres, synagogues, churches or places of worship in your borough would like to invite neighbouring communities to visit that weekend, please contact LBFN for further information.

Busy weekend in London 18-21 September

Save these dates in September and start making plans . . . a fantastic weekend for Londoners – curiosity, peace-building, hospitality & celebration!

peace bird v smallUN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

21 September – join millions across the globe in marking Peace Day. The theme this year is the “right of peoples to peace“.

Thursday 18 September  Come to the London Peace Network’s lively peace conference at St Ethelburga’s Centre, EC2.

Friday 19 September  Invite visitors to your Islamic centre and exchange messages of peace with them.

Saturday 20 September  Invite visitors to your synagogue and exchange messages of peace with them.

Sunday 21 September  Invite visitors to your church or Meeting House and exchange messages of peace with them.  Temples and gurdwaras will also be issuing invitations.

Sunday 21 September  Flights for Peace – fly across the Thames from the Greenwich Peninsula, meeting new people from across London.

Flyers will be available soon.  Contact LBFN for details.

Photo: Grant Smith for Open House

Open House photo: Grant Smith

OPEN HOUSE

The capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design.  People will be visiting buildings of interest on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 September, so why not invite them to your own religious community, show them around and exchange messages of peace?

RIDE N STRIDE

Londoners will be raising funds for Heritage of London Trust by walking & cycling around churches and places of worship on Saturday 20 September.  Invite them in to yours and celebrate the UN International Day of Peace, too!

If you are looking for ways to meet your neighbours or open up your place of worship to the wider community, the weekend of 18 – 21 September is the one for you!