Advice to places of worship: be alert but not alarmed

CT advice.png

Following the murder of Fr Jacques Hamel in Normandy yesterday, Archdeacon Luke Miller has circulated a message from the Metropolitan Police to places of worship.

Church leaders and their congregations here in the UK should remain alert not alarmed.

There is no current intelligence to suggest any attack planning of this nature in this country. 

However I know these are troubling times and it makes sense for all church leaders to review their security plans and to encourage their flock to be vigilant.

Any suspicious behaviour should be reported immediately through 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321.

LBFN’s plans for bespoke security training for churches, temples, synagogues, Islamic centres & gurdwaras with the MPS, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Tell Mama, CST & London Resilience are moving ahead.

Download the full message from the MPS’s Neil Basu here and the counter terrorism advice booklet for places of worship here.

The Home Office has launched a scheme to improve security at places of worship.  Bids should be submitted by 20 September.

Hate crime should be reported to the police directly &/or via True Vision, Tell Mama or CST.

Winter Meeting 9 December

Winter meetingYou are warmly invited to LBFN’s Winter Meeting on Wednesday, 9 December from 3:15pm to 5:15pm, at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PW, followed by seasonal refreshments and lights to mark Advent, Chanukah, Bodhi Day & Human Rights Day until 6.30pm.

As COP21 in Paris draws to a close, we welcome Green Doctors: home visits, saving fuel, keeping warm, training for our communities – with Rebekah Phillips, Groundwork.


Following on from our October event at New Scotland Yard, an update on Safety & Security and on our training plans.


We welcome brilliant young artist Toby Melville-Brown to hear about Faith in London: art for the city.


LBFN chaired “Women & Faith” at WOW – Women of the World Festival last year. Ideas for 11-13 March 2016?


There will be time to share news and reflections at the end of the year and an update from the European Network for Religion & Belief.

Visitors are very welcome at the meeting and/or the reception.  If you haven’t already been in touch, please register on Eventbrite or contact LBFN if you plan to join us.

Safe and secure – together

New Scotland Yard did us proud yesterday - thank you Commander Chishty, C Supt Dave Stringer & Insp Andy Burton

New Scotland Yard did us proud yesterday – thank you Commander Chishty, C Supt Dave Stringer & Insp Andy Burton

With officers from NYPD joining us (true!), and people from over 70 temples, Islamic centres, gurdwaras, churches and synagogues across London, we had a great time yesterday at New Scotland Yard.

We learned a lot – from each other, from our guest speakers Tell Mama, Community Security Trust and Ecclesiastical Insurance and from the Met themselves.

How do we, practically, keep our buildings and people safe and secure?  How do we mind each other’s backs – co-ordinating support across the places of worship in our neighbourhood?  What about social media?  Lone workers?  Or if disaster hits London – disease, flood, attack?

Bespoke, tailored training is on its way, courtesy of LBFN’s Safety & Security Social Lab, working with the Metropolitan Police and partners.  Let us know if you’re interested.  We’ll upload the checklists and presentations soon.

Thank you Bharti Taylor, Steve Miller, RashidAli Laher, Surinder Singh Jandu & Archdeacon Paul Wright for setting the scene and to everyone for searching questions and positive ideas for the next steps.

It wasn’t all doom & gloom or death by PowerPoint – LBFN meetings are nothing if not very social, and the cream cakes all disappeared.

Places of Worship: New Scotland Yard 8 October 1-5pm

Screenshot (8)Local temples, churches, Islamic centres, gurdwaras, synagogues!  Brush up on safety & security for your buildings and for your communities with the latest information from experts in the field.

LBFN & the Metropolitan Police have teamed up with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Community Security Trust, Tell Mama & London Resilience for a packed afternoon of security briefing, safety training, tips, checklists and a chance to question the experts.  Special attention will be given to the needs of small and medium sized communities.

Commander Mak Chishty and Ch Supt Dave Stringer will welcome us to New Scotland Yard on Thursday 8 October at 12.45pm for 1pm – 5pm.

Booking is essential in order to clear security and receive a Visitor Pass.  We have plenty of room, so two or three people will be able to attend from one place of worship, which will help us put the knowledge into practice.  Refreshments will be provided.

Register online now: https://safetybriefing.eventbrite.co.uk

Borough Faith Forums – please circulate this invitation to those who may be interested.

Download the outline programme here.

If you have any questions, please contact LBFN’s convener.

Participants from several religious traditions have already registered.  We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 8 October!

Refugees & Migrants: what is the current crisis telling us?

Refugees & Migrants 21 SeptemberJoin us for a Syrian Breakfast on Monday 21 September 8.15am – 9.30am to mark the UN International Day of Peace 2015 at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte St, London W1T 4PW (Goodge St tube).

The London Peace Network, Christian Muslim Forum, East London Mosque & the Faith-based Regeneration Network will be welcoming speakers from different walks of life: Phil Champain, Director of 3FF (formerly of International Alert), Dr Maha Azzam, policy expert on the Middle East, Dr Omer Hamdoon (Muslim Council of Britain) & Steve Miller (Faith-based Regeneration Network). There will be a chance for everyone to add their own thoughts and reflections.

Please let LBFN know by 5pm on Sunday 20 September if you plan to join us.

Please circulate this invitation to your colleagues & networks.  We look forward to seeing you!

Autumn’s coming!

For some, August is a chance to get a bit of work done without a cascade of emails and phone calls, for others it’s a well-earned rest and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Either way, London springs back to life soon!  Check your online calendar or paper diary now and don’t miss out . . .

DCLGlogoFriday 21 August (deadline) Senior Policy Advisor – leading on Muslim community engagement at Department for Communities and Local GovernmentThe Faith Engagement team is seeking an individual to fulfil the role of Senior Policy Adviser, leading on Muslim community engagement, helping to lead the faith team and, in particular, to help diversify and strengthen Government engagement with Muslim communities across a range of issues.  More information here.

UtopiaUntil Sunday 23 August  Utopia at the Roundhouse, Camden Lock.  Life stories from ordinary and extraordinary Londoners from many backgrounds brought together in an installation by film maker Penny Woolcock and Block9 (Glastonbury), with video & evening performances.

easternfaithsrWednesday 26 August 6.30pm – 9pm at London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre.  Eastern Faiths Scriptural Reasoning “seeking to engage the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Assyrian and Buddhist communities so that we may know one another without ignorance.”  Scriptural Reasoning is where people from different faiths gather to read and reflect on short passages from their scriptures. Scriptural reasoning is not about seeking agreement, proselytising or ‘being right’ but rather increasing understanding about one another’s traditions and exploring the texts and their possible interpretations across faith boundaries. The result of this is often a much deeper understanding of ones’ own and others’ scriptures.  Booking essential, contact Jayde at London Central Mosque.

LePolicierAmoureux_1905x800-1200x504-350x200Thursday 3 September to Saturday 3 October Our friends at International Alert are holding their annual Talking Peace Festival.  This year’s line up includes ‘Peace in our cities’, looking at how urban conflicts erupt and what can be done to reduce potential flashpoints, ‘Peace from the street up!’ art show, Conflict Cafés (Middle East, Nepal), Peace Tracks, ‘Can an app stop a bullet?’ and much more, marking the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September.  Details at talkingpeacefestival.org.

london-interfaith-centre-logoMondays in September (dates tbc)  Christian response to religious plurality past and present, and how other faiths deal with the issues of religious plurality.

A new module starts at the London Interfaith Centre, part of their programme on “Living Together in a Multi Faith World”. More information here.  Contact Laurence Hillel for details.

slide-1Saturday 5 September Tour de Salah 2015 sponsored cycle ride, stopping off at London’s iconic Islamic centres for prayer, across London in support of humanitarian charities Human Appeal, Islamic Relief and Penny Appeal.  Register here.

ftil logoSaturday 5 September 10.30am – 4pm  Lambeth Inter Faith Walk 2015  A two mile walk through Streatham, visiting 6 places of worship starting at the Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple. Download the map and directions here.  Some walkers will be sponsored, raising funds for Faiths Together in Lambeth.

ehrcWednesday 9 September 5pm – 7pm at the University of Chester: the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Work on Religion or Belief, organised by the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity, the seminar will be led by Dr David Perfect (who has spoken at our European events) and will explore the EHRC’s policy, research and legal work on research or belief.  Further details and registration here or contact Chantal Davies at chantal.davies@chester.ac.uk.

Future of Faith 12 SeptemberSaturday 12 September 10am – 4.30pm.  Speakers and discussion on The Future of Faith in the UK – Evaluating Faith in a Secular Society with the Christian Muslim Forum, London Interfaith Centre and the Islamic Centre of England at St Anne’s and St Andrew’s Church, 125 Salusbury Road, London NW6 6RG (morning) and at the Islamic Centre of England, 140 Maida Vale, London W9 1QB (afternoon).  Contributors include Shaykh Dr Mohammed Ali Shomali, Bishop Paul Hendricks, Aliya Azam MBE, Dr Chris Hewer and Revd Maggie Hindley.  More information and registration here.

Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 September 9.30am – 4.30pm  Understanding Islam Course with Dr Chris Hewer in Kingston.  The course is designed for a small group of Christians who would like to learn more about Islam. Tuition is free but donations are welcome to cover costs. The course will take place in a private home. “Both Christians and Muslims have ‘wonderful ideals and awful realities’. We need to see the difference. Then we need to make sure that we compare like with like, ideals with ideals and realities with realities, and take care not to compare ‘my ideals’ with ‘your realities’.”  There is a further three day course on 13 – 15 November. Tea/coffee provided; bring your own lunch. Booking and commitment essential. More info from Diana Mills.

Tuesday 15 September  4pm – 5pm Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group at the Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, close to Westminster Cathedral. The speaker will be Karanodakasayi Visnu Dasa Adhikari (Man Mohan Gupta) who will be talking on Vedic culture and civilisation. More info from John Woodhouse.

L_Strap_webThursday 17 September 9.30am – 8pm at The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR. The Impact of Diasporas.  The University of Oxford and the University of Leicester.  The event is the culmination and conclusion of two innovative, multidisciplinary five-year research programmes.  “Diasporas are not a modern phenomenon. Ever since the last Ice Age people have moved into the British Isles from the European continent. Our research focuses primarily on the cultural, linguistic, and genetic interactions between peoples known to history as ‘Celts’, ‘Britons’, ‘Anglo-Saxons’, and ‘Vikings’.”  More info here.

OHLW-2015-Web-Banner3178Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 September All day. Open House London.  Fifty-nine places of worship across the boroughs and many government and public sector buildings are open (free of charge) to the public during this annual architectural festival.

This year Open House includes BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the Buddhapadipa Temple, the Zoroastrian Centre For Europe, Friends Meeting House, Golders Green Unitarians, Lambeth Palace, Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue and The Queen’s Chapel (St James’s Palace).  More info here.

4cain-webMonday 21 September 7pm and four more Monday evenings. The Curse and the Promise: Religion and Violence St Martin-in-the-Fields (Trafalgar Square) Church Lecture Series reflects on both how faith can become the cause and perpetrator of conflict and persecution, and also the victim.

Monday 21 September Revd Dr Sam Wells, Monday 5 October Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, Monday 19 October Revd Giles Fraser, Monday 2 November Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Monday 16 November Karen Armstrong. Download flyer.  More info here.

New_Scotland_Yard_sign_3Thursday 8 October LBFN’s training event at New Scotland Yard on cooperation on safety and security for local places of worship, with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Tell Mama, the Community Security Trust, London Resilience and the Metropolitan Police.  The training will include checklists and guidelines.  Our previous session was very popular, so early booking is recommended. Priority is being given to churches, temples, Islamic centres, gurdwaras and synagogues which book in pairs or groups. Contact LFBN’s convener for further details and booking.

Thursday 15, 22 October and 5 November  Community Reconciliation – working creatively with division at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.  A series Modern artof practical workshops to assist participants to develop strategies for bringing divided communities together. £150 for the three days and the workbook.  More info here.

Sunday 15 November to Saturday 21 November Inter Faith Week 2015 – visit the website here to add details of your local activities this year.  Download the flyer here.

Symposium-2-300x200Londoners may be interested in an initiative by the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, enabling difficult conversations around lived faith in Birmingham post ‘Trojan Horse’. A series of conversations over six months explored the theme ‘What does Lived Faith look like in a 21st Century City?’  A group of 24 people from different faiths met once a month for three hours each time to talk through the way faith is lived in Birmingham. The group consisted of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Ravidassi and Sikhs.  The topics were wide ranging and included issues such as evangelism and conversion, gender issues, young people and education, caste legislation, race and global conflicts. The aim was not, necessarily, to reach consensus but to find a way to talk constructively about these topics.  “By ‘lived faith’ we are looking to move beyond a purely intellectual understanding of religion to see faith as something that not only affects the way each individual member of a religion lives out their faith, but also the way in which that living inevitably interacts with those who live around them.” Read more about the Birmingham Conversations here.

3FF is developing a Festival programme, What Women Believe, that will premiere in Winter 2015. At its heart an exhibition of portraits and histories will celebrate the contributions of amazing women from the diverse communities of Camden “Do you know an inspirational woman in Camden?  Nominate a woman who is older than you and tell us about her in 150 words. Email your nomination to exhibition@3ff.org.uk. Stories will be shared in our online gallery, and a selection will be featured in a book and exhibition to celebrate Camden women.”

2094353690_a5e474dc5dThe Berakah Project is starting a multi faith youth ensemble in west London – the first of its kind in the world. The ensemble will be led by the founder of The Berakah Project, Mohammed Nazam, a professional musician and music educator with over 25 years touring experience with bands, writing music and working with young people in a range of contexts.  “We’re looking for young people from all faith backgrounds to take part and we are searching for the very best young musicians to take part in this ground breaking and vitally needed project.  Whether you play guitar, drums, percussion, sing, saxophone or keyboards – get in touch at: theberakahproject@gmail.com.”

IFN newsRead the latest Inter Faith Network for the UK bulletin here.  The well known Shap Calendar of Religious Festivals (for 2016) is now available on IFN’s website here.  Shap continues its printed format.

p01lcgjhBBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme in East LondonListen to this edition of the programme, recorded in East London on 26 July.  It includes bee hives at East London Mosque, the Near Neighbours Programme, Ed Kessler from the Woolf Institute and Imam Yunus Dudhwala, head of Chaplaincy Services at Barts NHS Trust (who spoke at LBFN’s Multifaith Spaces event) on organ transplants.

Wed 19 August: grant fundraising & social enterprise

FundraisingA unique opportunity in London to spend a day with two of the North’s leading Fundraisers for two dynamic training sessions:

GRANT FUNDRAISING: maximising your chances of eliciting funds  10am to 1pm (£29.40)

Led by Jonny Wineberg, Founder & Director of Community Futures Trust CIC, this session will enable participants to:

  • Understand the process of fundraising from identifying a project to nurturing a funder.
  • Identify the unique selling properties (USPs) of their organisation.
  • Know how to get supporting evidence for their application.
  • Make ‘the phone call’.
  • Build full cost recovery into their bids
  • Be aware of a range of fundraising opportunities in addition to grants.
RAISING FUNDS FROM SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: it’s not all furniture recycling! 1.30pm to 4.30pm (£29.40)
Led by Ann Hedley, Former Chair, Institute of Fundraising North West, this session will enable participants to:
  • Understand what a social enterprise is
  • Differentiate between the legal forms available to social enterprises
  • Identify where to get financing for a social enterprise
  • Change from ‘charity speak’ to ‘enterprise speak’
  • Understand how to write that Business Plan
  • Identify opportunities for engaging in social enterprise
  • Identify where further support can be accessed

Through our links with the Faith-based Regeneration Network, LBFN members are kindly offered a 40% discount, so book through this link, which includes the discount http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unique-fundraising-training-event-tickets-18005137852?discount=40OFF.  If you need to fill in a promotional code, enter “40OFF”.

The workshops will take place at LBFN’s shared offices at Collaboration House, 77-79 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW (Goodge St tube).