#LondonIsOpen film for Inter Faith Week

London’s faith communities are open and welcoming!

In step with the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen message, a short film has been shot on location across the capital and includes Sikh, Quaker, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist & Baha’i places opening their doors.

Against a backdrop of international tensions and increased hate crime, London’s faith groups, from humble to grand, are not closed and fearful – we remain open and welcoming!

Inter Faith Week events across London are screening the new film as part of their activities – you are welcome to do the same by using this link.  Can you identify the different places?

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Thanks to everyone who responded to our email during the summer and welcomed in the cameras – we were overwhelmed with offers.  A big thank you to Rosalind Parker and Jack Jeffreys for the filming.  For any who would like to get involved in the next stage, our #LondonIsOpen initiative continues – join us at 3pm on Tuesday 6 December at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW, to plan for 2017.  Let us know if you’d like to join us.

BBC calendar, new London maps & infographics

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The Hindu festival of Holi – 6 March

The BBC’s handy religious calendar is back!  Find it here as part of the new Religion & Ethics section.

I’ll bring a copy of James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti’s new book London: the information capital to our next LBFN meeting on 20 January.

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How are we doing?  Life satisfaction, purpose, happiness & anxiety in each borough in London: the information capital by James Cheshire & Oliver Uberti.  Click to enlarge.

london mapsIt’s packed with maps & infographics.  Football tribes, river traffic, languages, police helicopters, relationship status, housing costs – and (see above) how fulfilled people are in the different boroughs (Waltham Forest, Kensington & Chelsea, Bromley and Barnet score well …)

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Hinduism in London (Census 2011)

Check out the new additions to our maps page, too:

  • Religion & belief in London (from Census 2011)
  • A new Google map with contacts for faith forums in each borough

 

Inter Faith Week 2014 in London

Inter Faith Week starts soon!  Find out what’s going on in your borough by zooming into the capital on the IFW map.  Check the list below to download flyers and invitations.

London is very busy with a huge range of exciting activities planned, including:

6 November    Youghusband Lecture, Westminster

8 November    Peace in Tulse Hill, Lambeth

11 November   Talk on Shabbat Croydon Faith Education Resources

12 November   Humanism in Europe: working together across religion & belief traditions, Westminster (book your place)

15 November   Concert in aid of Kingston Foodbank  Kingston Inter-Faith Forum

16 November  The Contributions of Faith Communities to the First World War Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe

16 November   30th Anniversary Celebration Harrow Inter Faith Council

17 November (closing date)  Westminster Faith Exchange Art Competition

17 November   Inter Faith Week Launch in Sutton  Sutton Faith & Belief

17 November   Encompass – work in action, with Barry Mizen MBE, Encompass – The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust

18 November   Faith and Wellbeing Faiths Together in Lambeth

18 November   Religious Tensions in the Holy Land and their wider impact  Islington Faiths Forum

18 November   Sacred Treasures Camden Council and the British Museum

18 November   Faith involvement in peace making today  Hounslow Friends of Faith

19 November   Faith: Too Significant to Ignore FaithAction National Conference, Westminster,  £70

19 November   Praying for Peace Balham & Tooting Community Association

20 November   Is Interfaith Dialogue Worthwhile?  Barnet Multi Faith Forum with Alyth Gardens Synagogue

22 November  Southwark iWitness – Trail & Mayor’s Reception Southwark Council

22 November   Celebrating culture through dress and food – women’s event  Hounslow Friends of Faith

22 November  Town Centre Event  Barking & Dagenham Faith Forum

22 November   Inter Faith Quiz  Enfield Faith Forum

25 November   How can Humanists and Muslims live and work together in 21st Century London? London Humanists, Conway Hall, Camden

If you are planning activities and would like them listed here, please leave a comment and/or let LBFN know!

Near Neighbours – additional boroughs

Near Neighbours areas

Areas of London eligible for funding under the expanded Near Neighbours programme.  Contact coordinators Becky or Tim (see Borough by Borough page) for details.

The Near Neighbours programme has expanded into more boroughs.  It offers small grants (£250 – £5,000) to bring together neighbours and develop relationships across different religious traditions & ethnicities in order to improve our communities.

Check whether areas of your borough are included and contact Becky (West and South London) or Tim (East and South East London) if you’d like more information or would like to talk over an idea.

Launch events for the new boroughs are planned and we hope Becky & Tim will join us at LBFN before long to tell us more.

EU election hustings

Faiths Forum for London is organising a series of hustings, ahead of the EU elections on 22 May, supported by Europe House.  The first is this weekend, on Sunday 30 March 5-7pm at The Sternberg Centre, 80 East End Road, Finchley, London N3 2SY.

EU electionsThe line-up includes:

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP, Conservative Party
Jean Lambert MEP, Green Party (Invited)
Ivana Bartoletti, Labour Party MEP candidate
Jonathan Fryer, Liberal Democrats MEP candidate
Gerard Batten MEP, UKIP (Invited)

There will be two further hustings in the series, one at an Islamic centre and the other at a Hindu temple.  To register for Sunday’s event, visit the Europe House website.

Journeys . . .

Have you made plans to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January?  There are already 13 events listed in London boroughs, including Brent, Greenwich, Barnet and Westminster.

HMD2014The theme is Journeys.  We’re encouraged to organise our own events or take part in other people’s activities.  The HMD organiser packs are always excellent – order one here.

“For Holocaust Memorial Day 2014, we will learn of the multitude of Journeys that people were forced to undertake, in fear of what would be found at the end.

We will do so at events that bring us together with our neighbours, that strengthen bonds of respect, and that enable us to pledge to take a step towards creating a safer, better future.”

We can also get involved online, marking our support for a day which encourages us to remember the stories from the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, to be alert to racism, prejudice and discrimination and to “support the view that all citizens – without distinction – should participate freely and fully in the economic, social and public life of the nation.

support the view that all citizens – without distinction – should participate freely and fully in the economic, social and public life of the nation – See more at: http://www.hmd.org.uk/page/statement-purpose#sthash.whAypNrk.dpuf

clickThere are plenty of resources and ideas for different kinds of events and activities, including ideas and information especially for religious and multifaith groups.  There are podcasts from Revd Toby Howarth (the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Inter Religious Affairs adviser), Hasan Hasanović (a Bosnian Muslim remembering Srebrenica) and on the role of Righteous Muslims during WWII.

Please add any plans you or your borough or faith forum have for Holocaust Memorial Day in a comment below so that the invitations can be shared widely.

London’s Islamic Centres

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner issued a statement this evening, following two suspicious fires in Barnet and Bromley.

“These are difficult times for London’s communities,” he said.

“The Met is now investigating suspicious fires at two locations within the Islamic community which have happened in the past few days. Fortunately no one has been hurt, but we know that fires can often prove fatal.”

He said he wanted to reassure people that the police were “using our full range of policing tactics to protect sites that might be vulnerable”.

“In all boroughs across London, there is an increased police presence around locations that might be at risk. We will maintain a 24/7 guard of uniformed officers at sites we consider to be at greatest risk,” he said.

“We should not allow the murder of Lee Rigby to come between Londoners. The unified response we have seen to his death across all communities will triumph over those who seek to divide us.”

A BBC report gives further details.  Safety advice remains in place.  Please contact your local police if you have any safety concerns.

The positive response by local religious groups and leaders to recent events has been swift and strongly supportive of our local Islamic centres.

Members of Barnet Multi Faith Forum are supporting colleagues at the Bravanese Centre and the Darul Uloom School in Chislehurst will be receiving assistance from the newly formed Interfaith Forum in Bromley.

Religious communities in Woolwich have been rallying round and showing their solidarity.  The Director of the Greenwich Islamic Centre (Woolwich Mosque), Dr Tariq Abbasi, and Revd Malcolm Torry (Greenwich Faith Community Leaders) both spoke on the BBC’s Sunday programme.  The Islamic Centre welcomed well-wishers to tea on Friday 31st May and the Bishop of Woolwich, Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, local MP Nick Rainsford, Sadiq Khan MP, Julie Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Britian and many others joined Dr Abbasi in laying flowers in memory of Lee Rigby at Woolwich Barracks.  You can find photos of the occasion here and there were many press and TV reports.  Afterwards Dr Abbasi sent a message of thanks,

“Thank you to everyone who visited the Greenwich Islamic Centre on Friday afternoon and for the support that the Centre and community has received.”

LBFN was to have met this Thursday.  Everyone has been very busy so we will postpone a full meeting, but all are welcome at our office for light refreshments at 9 St John’s Crypt, 73 Waterloo Road, SE1 8TY at 2.30pm on Thursday 13th June to reflect on recent events.  Please let LBFN know if you plan to join us.  There will be time to move to Westminster Cathedral for those attending Cardinal Tauran’s prayers for peace with leaders of different faiths at 4.30/5.00pm.

UPDATE 10th JUNE – FAITHS FORUM FOR LONDON’S STATEMENT

Suspected Arson Attacks – United London Stands

We, as representatives of nine of London’s faith communities, stand united in solidarity in our disgust at the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, the suspected arson attacks on an Islamic centre in Muswell Hill and a Muslim school in Chislehurst.

None of these are a legitimate means to express grievance. None of these are representative of a faith that we recognise. None of these show pride in being British.

We know religion and we know British pride. It is about a shared commitment to the common good of our city and our country. That is our mission. That is our faith.

We welcome the comments of the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and many of London’s leaders, condemning this violence and calling for unity.

In spite of the attempts of extremists to divide us, it is clear that victory will ultimately lie with peace, hope and love.

United London Stands.