Brexit info for local churches, gurdwaras, mosques, synagogues, temples

We’ve pulled together ideas and links from our meetings and put them on a new Brexit page.  Scroll through, find what you need and let us know if we’ve missed anything or if you spot an error.  Thank you for the suggestions and pointers.

Everyone’s ideas are included: refreshing our links & knowing who to contact, where to find specific information and the importance of bringing people together & building trust while the uncertainty continues.

There are some specific links for business, supporting EU citzens, a no-deal Brexit and a round up of our safety and security advice.

Local places of worship are often a trusted source of information & support – for their members and for the wider community.  We’ll add further links & resources as we become aware of them.

Mayor of London: security for places of worship

We’ve just received an invitation from the Mayor of London’s office (the Countering Violent Extremism team at MOPAC).

The Mayor is organising a gathering on security for places of worship next Wednesday evening.

Everyone is welcome.  Please sign up so that your name is on the Guest List.  The event is free of charge.

This event will focus on extremism, but we will share information from our training course on being prepared for other threats as well.

What: Multi Faith Security Advice

Where: City Hall, SE1 2AA

When: Wednesday 8 May 5.30pm – 8.30pm

Further information is below, but remember to register in advance so that you can enter City Hall.

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The Mayor of London would like to invite you to City Hall to attend an important workshop on safety and security for places of worship on Wednesday 8th May in London’s Living Room at City Hall from 17:30 – 20:30.

This session, which is being hosted by City Hall and delivered in collaboration with Faith Associates and the Faiths Forum for London, will see specialists from civil society, the police, designing out crime experts, central government, charities sector and faith communities who will deliver advice on practical steps that can be taken to mitigate safety and security risks for places of worship premises and their worshippers.

Doors will open at 16:30 for a 17:30 start. The session will end at 20:30 which will include a networking opportunity with specialists and experts. Refreshments will be served.

The Mayor’s number one priority is keeping Londoners safe and he is doing all he can to ensure the safety and security of London’s faith community.  Tragic recent events in Christchurch, Sri-Lanka and San Diego have shown the targeting of faith communities by violent extremists and this event will share expert advice on how to mitigate this risk.

Please register for this event as spaces are limited. Please register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/multi-faith-security-advice-seminar-at-city-hall-tickets-61038372415

Brexit briefing: updated info on keeping safe

A big thank you to DS Shabnam Chaudri and colleagues for hosting our latest Brexit Briefing for local places of worship at New Scotland Yard.

We refreshed our knowledge of keeping ourselves, our buildings and the wider community safe.  The EU Exit page has been updated with links, videos and checklists which we can use to maintain and increase our resilience. There is also plenty of information for non-British EU citizens, businesses, universities, handling the media, looking after one another and reporting hate crime.

Attacks against Muslims and mosques have soared since Christchurch. We discussed how we can all keep at look out, protect each other and report hate crime of any kind. Here is a pdf of the Upstander cartoon, which is easy to circulate – what to do if someone on the bus/tube/train/street is being shouted at or receiving horrible comments. We heard many stories of people from minority faith and ethnic groups in London, including people from Eastern Europe, receiving hateful messages and online abuse. Reporting abuse and providing support is something we can all do.

Since our briefing, the earliest date for leaving the EU has shifted to 12 April.  We are keeping in touch with each other and we encourage all places of worship across the capital to strengthen their links with neighbouring churches, mosques, temples, gurdwaras & synagogues – and with their local authorities and police.  Borough faith forums are one way of supporting each other and a network to share information.

The Church of England is encouraging churches and communities to come together for tea & prayer for the country and the Brexit process.

Please contact LBFN if you would like the contact details of your local Metropolitan Police Faith Officer.  The MPS is now organised into 12 areas across London called Basic Command Units (BCUs) and Faith Officers sometimes work across their SBU or look after a smaller area.

Brexit Briefing | Thursday 7 March

Book your place here. Join us on 7 March 6pm at City Hall, SE1 2AA, to hear the latest information and to share ideas on building a positive environment together in our neighbourhoods & boroughs.

How should we prepare for 29 March, regardless of the outcome of negotiations?

We are aware that many of us – representing organisations and as individuals – have questions and concerns about the impact of EU Exit, regardless of whether this is a ‘no deal’ situation, or what ‘deal’ is agreed upon.  We are also aware that these questions and concerns may be around tangible issues, or less tangible issues, and may be objective and real, or mostly arise from perceptions.

You are invited to a briefing and discussion on EU Exit on Thursday 7th March from 6pm-8pm.

This will be an opportunity to share these questions and concerns with each other, and also to hear from key people from public agencies such as the Police, local and central government.  We will also aim to guide participants to sources of clear information and to share ideas together for how to build a positive, welcoming and hopeful environment in our communities.

The following questions and concerns may be included:

* Possible spikes in hate crime
* Concerns about possible shortages of food, fuel and medicines
* Staffing issues in our own organisations and in public services
* Residence and status issues for our members
* Issues for students
* Concerns that other more important issues have been side-lined as a result of the unhealthy focus on Brexit

There is no cost and all are invited to this meeting. 

Please forward this invitation on to others who might find it useful. 

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LBFN leads on training and exercising for the Faith Sector Panel of London Resilience

Our training Safe | Secure | Resilient will be available for Londoners again later this year.

We are grateful to City Hall for hosting this event.

Understanding Islam | Chris Hewer | SW London

Dr Chris Hewer will be teaching two groups in South West London soon.  These popular courses are free of charge and take place in private homes.  Dr Hewer is well known in London for his work in this area.

Dr Hewer teaches with the input of his students and so they guide the way the course takes with their questions. The course runs from 09:30 to 16:30 daily.  Diana Mills, who organises the courses says, “We ask you to bring your own lunch but coffee and tea and biscuits, are provided. The course is free but we ask for donations to cover costs.”

The first course is Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May in Ham.

The second is Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th May in Kew.

Contact Diana to book your place.

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.

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.