BREXIT INFORMATION FOR SMALL-MEDIUM SIZED PLACES OF WORSHIP
Local places of worship are often a trusted source of information & support for their members – and also for the wider community.
They can be a port in a storm and are often the place where Londoners (particularly from minority communities) turn to for support when trouble hits.
There’s a faith centre in every neighbourhood and roughly 200 places of worship in each London borough. Every street & estate in London has residents with connections to a church, mosque, gurdwara, synagogue or temple. Extended networks include aunties, brothers, friends and colleagues.
These buildings and social networks can be put to good use at very short notice. LBFN links local faith centres with councils, the police and other public bodies.
Preparing for Brexit builds capacity to fulfil these roles: faith centres as trusted sources of information and as capable organisations with day to day experience of supporting the vulnerable, especially those on the margins.
Public agencies, churches, mosques, gurdwaras, synagogues & temples can refresh their contacts and work together to:
- bring together local residents
- resist any negative impact on community relations
- support the vulnerable
- share information
QUICK TIPS TO REMEMBER WHILE BREXIT IS DEBATED & PLANNED
- Renew contact with key people in your borough in case you need to get in touch quickly:
- Local police – find your Safer Neighbourhoods Team by entering your postcode. Get in touch, introduce yourself, exchange contact details. Alternatively, find your nearest police station here.
- Borough Resilience Forum – contact your Council or email your local Emergency Planning Officer. Borough email details are listed here. Introduce yourself and ask if there are updates on EU Exit. Make sure any vulnerable people in your community are included on your borough’s Risk Register.
- Your Local faith forum, so that places of worship can work together more easily. Not all boroughs have active faith forums, but details are listed here – borough by borough.
- Check sources of reliable information in the event of an emergency eg Twitter feeds for:
Sign up for email alerts on Brexit from the government.
- Refresh your knowledge on where to report hate crime and which organisations can help. Religiously motivated hate crime is on the rise. Be vigilant. Always report hate crime to the Police, or via a third party which may also offer support such as:
- Think of ways to counter the negative environment by bringing local people together, building trust, sharing skills and supporting those whose first language is not English, non-working carers, people living alone, those at risk of hate crime, the elderly, people on low incomes, etc.
Check out the Inter Faith Network’s Looking after one another: the safety and security of our faith communities – practical pointers in responding jointly to attacks on places of worship; working for calm in times of tension; and working to build and strengthen good inter faith relations.
- Support applicants for settled status. Find information here EU Londoners Hub for EU citizens living in London. Further support and advice – borough by borough listings of advice centres.
- Keep a look-out for anxious people, direct them to reliable sources of information and offer neighbourly support.
- Food: find your nearest food bank
- Learn some upstander skills eg what to do if someone is being harassed on public transport.
Find the series of upstanding pictures on one sheet.
NO DEAL BREXIT
- Read the government’s No-Deal Readiness Report here. It says:
“The United Kingdom is getting ready to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. While the Government would prefer to leave with a deal and will work to the final hour to achieve one, we are prepared to leave without a deal in order to respect the referendum result.
If we leave without a deal, the Brexit readiness report includes details of the Government’s work to make sure that citizens and businesses are ready for Brexit on 31 October.”
- NCVO has published “What a No Deal means for Charities“, much of which is applicable to places of worship.
- Look at the government’s No–Deal Readiness Check, which asks a series of questions and then gives you the information that matches your answers.
- Prepare for EU Exit: businesses & citizens Leaving the EU means a number of changes that will affect businesses and individual citizens. Use the information on this site to find out how to prepare and the steps you may need to take.
- Guidance on how to prepare for Brexit if there’s no deal. From driving to workplace rights, find the information you need.
- Government’s Partnership Pack for businesses to prepare for a no deal exit. A high-level guide & links to processes and procedures that are likely to apply to cross-border activity between the UK and the EU in a no deal scenario.
- Universities No deal implications for universities. Sets out the range of implications and mitigations. Read Universities UK’s recommendations for government and universities in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit as a PDF.
- Brexit Business Support Hub for small to medium sized businesses. Do you import or export to the EU? If there’s a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need to register for an EORI number to continue exporting and/or importing within the EU. You can register for an EORI number here.
- EU Settlement Scheme: Community leaders’ toolkit. This equips community groups and local authorities with the right tools and information to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Settled and pre-settled status– Government advice for EU citizens and their families. If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status. If the UK leaves without a deal, you will need to be living in the UK before it leaves the EU to apply. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.
- Brexit Advice Hub for Local Government. Many local authorities will be preparing plans for different Brexit scenarios and may have received different advice and communications from a variety of sources. For this reason, we have compiled useful national advice, sorted by topic area, in one place.
USEFUL LINKS ON SAFETY & SECURITY
Our BREXIT briefings at New Scotland Yard & City Hall this year brought us up to date on keeping safe and pointed us to more detailed sources of information.
The Mosque Security & Safety Tips have been developed to aid Management Committees in protecting Islamic centres. Maintaining the Mosque’s safety and ensuring its protection is one of the most important things for a management committee.
This security guide was originally designed by the Community Security Trust (CST) in 2014 to assist mosques in Bradford that were affected by far right extremist activity and has been updated in the aftermath of the 2017 terror attacks.
The concept of absolute security is almost impossible to achieve in combating the threat of terrorism. However, it is possible by following this checklist to reduce the risk of attack. Help your worshippers and visitors understand the potential threats of terrorism to your place of worship.
The Passport to Good Security remains one of the best resources for places of worship. It is intended for business leaders but is useful for any organisation which has a building and a network of people using it.
Hard copies are hard to come by, but here is the pdf.
- Action Counters Terrorism Advice from the Government on reporting and being aware of unusual activity on our streets, in shops.
- National Counter Terrorism Security Office Advice, including some short videos, on staying safe, crowded places guidance (such as places of worship or outdoor festivals) and Run Hide Tell.
- Support for People Affected by Terrorist Attacks Download a leaflet with information on where to seek advice and assistance following a terrorist attack in the UK. From victim support to handling the media, there are links to relevant organisations.
- Handling Media Attention after a Major Incident. Dealing with the media can sometimes be distressing and daunting. It is your decision whether or not to speak to journalists. While it may not feel like it, you are in control of this. Remember if you do not want to, you don’t have to. Download tips.
Please contact LBFN to share your own suggestions & links.