Westminster Bridge | Wednesday 29 March | 2.15pm

Message from Commander Chishty, Metropolitan Police

Dear Friends,

7th Day Anniversary of Westminster Bridge Attack ‘A Bridge for all Communities’

There has been an overwhelming desire by people from all different faiths and backgrounds wanting to pay their respect to those who lost their lives, suffered injury and to show that #WeStandTogether against all forms of extremism and hate.

The attack took place on one of our most well-known bridges, Westminster Bridge and many people feel it is fitting to come together on a ‘bridge’ across our cities and towns symbolising that we have a ‘Bridge for all Communities’.

The proposal is simply for an assembly of people who want to come together at the same time that the attack took place last week and be able to

  • observe one minute silence
  • have the opportunity for private reflection
  • offer prayers and good wishes
  • show that #WeStandTogether

As a show of unity we felt it would be lovely if people were able to carry a single flower during the event which can be laid down as a sign that we will never forget those who lost their lives.

These 7 day anniversary events will be taking place across the country, including London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, Leicester, Leeds and Sheffield.

The event in London will take place on Westminster Bridge and people will be asked to meet outside the Park Plaza Hotel on the South Side of Westminster Bridge at 1415hrs on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

With my best wishes

Mak Chishty
Commander Engagement

#LondonIsOpen after Westminster attacks

The Mayor’s vigil in Trafalgar Square yesterday brought Londoners together from across our communities.

It’s a good time to remember that London’s faith communities continue to be open and welcoming.  View and share the film that captures this spirit.

london-is-open-logo

Human circle around mosque following Quebec attack

londonisoneJoin Londoners of all faiths and beliefs today to form a human circle of solidarity around Mosque during Friday prayers.  The group will gather at 11.45am, in time to circle the mosque just before Friday prayers, which are scheduled for 12.10pm.

Friday 3rd February – London Stands As One  #LondonIsOne #LondonUnited #WeStandTogether #LondonIsOpen

Visitors from Berlin | Monday 30 January

berlinAs part of our European strand of work, LBFN is delighted to host a reception for distinguished guests from the city of Berlin.

Join us at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW, at 5-6pm on Monday 30 January.  Register your place here.

We will hear from

  • Dr Thomas Schimmel, Director, 1219 Religions- und Kulturdialog, Berlin
  • Pasha Shah, Integration and Faith Division, Department of Communities and Local Government, UK
  • Katharina Smith-Müller, Inter Faith Advisor, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
  • Dr Thomas Wipf, Swiss reformed theologian and Moderator, European Council of Religious Leaders
  • Pastor Peter Jorgensen, Community of Evangelical Free Churches, Berlin
  • Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Director, Council of Christians and Jews, UK
  • Representative of Hartmut Rhein, Commissioner for Churches and Religious and Philosophical Communities, Mayor’s Office, Berlin (tbc)
  • Catriona Robertson, Convener, London Boroughs Faiths Network, and Interim Director, Christian Muslim Forum, UK

Interfaith, Cities and Government is a new project launched by the European Council of Religious Leaders (Religions for Peace), bringing together interfaith leaders and local governments from European cities, to share best practice, exchange knowledge, and explore collaboration. The visit to London follows a meeting at Berlin Town Hall in October 2016 which included London Boroughs Faiths Network, Faiths Forum for London, the Metropolitan Police and the European Council of Religious Leaders.

The reception ends at 6pm but our guests have kindly agreed to stay on for some informal networking until 6.30pm.

Training on safety and security

new-scotland-yardSafety and Security for Places of Worship in London: supporting each other across religious traditions.

Pilot course starting this year: one evening per week over 6 weeks at New Scotland Yard.

The training is for small to medium sized places of worship, with an encouraging message to build confidence and to kick-start some action.

We will learn across faith boundaries, developing diverse networks of support. Our emphasis is on bottom-up ways of working, building on the good work already taking place.

Connecting with our public agency colleagues, we will link churches with temples, synagogues with gurdwaras and Islamic centres: we will not only upskill ourselves, but will understand each other’s different safety concerns and become better able to support each other.

DRAFT PROGRAMME

  1. People in places of worship – safeguarding, lone workers, secure spaces, staff, volunteers (with Metropolitan Police)
  2. Emergencies – terror attack, flood, pandemic & recovery plans (with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Metropolitan Police & London Resilience)
  3. Hate Crime – on the street, on public transport, online abuse (with British Transport Police, Tell Mama & Community Security Trust)
  4. Safety in buildings – worship/teaching, events & visitors, statutory requirements, checks, fire prevention, exits, drilling procedures (with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Community Security Trust & Metropolitan Police)
  5. Supportive links – Borough Councils, Metropolitan Police, City Hall, London Transport Police, London Fire Brigade, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Tell Mama, Community Security Trust, London Resilience, NHS, Public Health
  6. Checklists – who does what, legal obligations, communications, governance and media matters

The pilot course will be open to suggestions and changes along the way and the learning will be captured.  We hope the course will be both robust and popular, and rolled out to other areas of the country.

To register your place of worship on the waiting list for training, or if your organisation is interested in contributing to this initiative, please get in touch.

We are grateful to Ecclesiastical Insurance for their continuing support.

Belief and Beyond Belief Festival

hero1600x630-597fe3dd-f941-4d09-b2af-5bb128007b38 A year long festival at the Southbank Centre, Belief and Beyond Belief, opens this weekend with performances, talks, music, debates and a wide range of speakers.

This weekend’s theme is The Search for the Meaning of Life and includes Prof Mona Siddiqui, the Bishop of Leeds, Abdul Rehman Malik, Remona Aly and Bishop Richard Holloway for a weekend of talks, debates and discussions.  Events include Loving Your Neighbour and Does Struggle Give Life Meaning?.

“What place do religion, spirituality and belief hold for humans in 2017? Join the first part of our year-long festival, Belief and Beyond Belief, as we start our exploration of what it means to be human in the 21st century.
festivallogo142x142-babbThe London Philharmonic Orchestra begin the festival with concerts featuring music composed in the darkest times of humanity – World War 2 – by Martinů. Their Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Vladimir Jurowski also conducts music from Vaughan Williams written at the end of his life, full of breathtaking ambition and light.”

Genocide never just happens | HMD 2017

hmd-2017There is always a set of circumstances which occur, or which are created, to build the climate in which genocide can take place.
Holocaust Memorial Day this year asks the question “How can life go on?
Boroughs across the capital are marking the day. Check the details here:

Hammersmith & Fulham

Merton

Brent

Barnet

Southwark

Tower Hamlets

Enfield

Camden

Wandsworth

Harrow

Newham

Hackney

Ealing

Greenwich

Haringey

Hounslow

Find more events on the HMD website.
Denial, a film about the legal case surrounding Holocaust denier David Irving, opens in London next week.