Torn from home: Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January

Torn from home is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2019.

Kindertransport girls passing through customs

There are activities across the capital to mark this important day. Some of the borough events are listed below. Find an activity near you on the HMD site.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

Torn from home encourages us to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide. ‘Home’ usually means a place of safety, comfort and security. On HMD 2019 people across the UK will reflect on what happens when individuals, families and communities are driven out of, or wrenched from their homes, because of persecution or the threat of genocide, alongside the continuing difficulties survivors face as they try to find and build new homes when the genocide is over.

HMD 2019 will include marking the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, which began in April 1994 and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia, which ended in 1979. HMD activity organisers may particularly want to acknowledge this milestone anniversary, and reflect on how this theme impacts on members of the Rwandan and Cambodian communities.

Safet is a survivor of the Bosnian War. This photograph is taken in his living room.

Safet was 16 when Muslim men and boys began being taken away to concentration camps. He remembers his father and brother being ordered out of the house, and his mother stopped him from going with them. He came to England with his mother, and later his father and brother joined them.

Safet is holding a school photograph, taken in 1982 when he was six years old, before the war started.

‘It was a really mixed group in terms of religion. We were kids and we didn’t think of religion at all. I have chosen this [photograph] because it shows how things were before, and it just reminds me. It would be nice to be able to go back to how it used to be. It can be done, I’m 100% certain. We have no problems between ourselves, it’s the politicians making these problems, and that’s the most frustrating thing.

‘It’s important to keep the memory alive, because some people are just not aware of what was happening in Bosnia, it’s a surprise to me. People were dying in concentration camps, torture took place, in Europe, in the 90s. Everyone thought that once World War II was over that wouldn’t happen again, but it did.

Click on the dates for borough HMD 2019 events. If you know of others, please add a comment to this post with details. A map of activities is on the HMD site.

Inter Faith Week 2017

Inter Faith Week 2017 has started!

Find all the events taking place in your borough on the Inter Faith Week website map.

There are quizes, visits, discussions on hot topics, meals and gatherings across the capital all week, some hosted by borough councils. If you haven’t added your event to the IFW website, there’s still time.

Above: two members of the Christian-Muslim women’s group in Wandsworth.

Spring: upcoming events in London

Spring has sprung!  And so have the opportunities for local public sector organisations and Londoners of all faiths and none to get together and make a positive impact on our local communities.

Tuesday 25 Apri Making My Wishes Known. With Lambeth Council’s Adult Safeguarding team and Faiths Together in Lambeth, a chance to think about what you would want to happen in a care or treatment crisis. Book your place here.

Thursday 27 April  12.30 – 2pm: South London Interfaith Group Lunch at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Redlands Way, Roupell Park Estate, Brixton Hill, SW2 3LU. Alan Gadd writes, “A vegetarian lunch will be served at 12.30pm and then between 1pm and 2pm we will have an opportunity to share inter faith news and concerns. This month, Ken Woolhouse will facilitate a discussion on ‘Forgiveness’ with contributions from several faith perspectives.”

Wednesday 3 May 5.30pm – 7pm  Warm-up for the Great Get Together,(17-18 June) marking the anniversary of the murder of Jo Cox MP at the Abbey Centre (Parker Morris Hall), 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU. Ask questions & share ideas to help plan your own event or get your community involved, sign up and receive your information pack and make your event faith friendly: involve those who are fasting for Ramadan, observing Shabbat on the Saturday & ideas for faith groups. Book your place here www.greatgettogetherinfosession.eventbrite.com or contact Near Neighbours co-ordinator Becky Brookman.

Sunday 6 May  Belief and Beyond Belief Festival at Southbank Centre, SE1. For Good or For Ill: How Has Religion Shaped Society?  Talks and panels throughout the day, including: How Can Faiths Work Together (with LBFN friend Jasvir Singh), Does God Love Me (Religion & Equality), Religion Behind Bars, Muslim Women Breaking New Ground, Faith and Fashion, How Has Christianity Shaped Society, Terroism and Society, Religion and Education and Women Faith Leaders.

Sunday 7 May 4.00 – 5.30pm  Lambeth Multifaith Action Group at Hyderi Islamic Centre, 26 Estreham Road, Streatham, London, SW16 5PQ. LAMAG is hosting an open discussion on “Faith in the Community” and the importance of how faith communities help to shape the community around them.

Thursday 11 May  7:30pm  A Faithful Friends visit to John Bunyan Baptist Church, Queen Elizabeth Road/Hardman Road, Kingston, KT2 6RJ for a talk by the minister, Rev Ken Walker, on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was hanged in April 1945 for his part in the resistance to the Nazis

Sunday 14 May  12-5pm Barnet Multi Faith Forum’s Barnet Unity Festival of Faith and Culture at Burnt Oak Leisure Centre, Watling Avenue, HA8 0NP.

  • music, dance and drama stage performances
  • sports zones
  • cooking demos
  • arts and crafts
  • children’s entertainments
  • food stalls & refreshments
  • exhibitions

Free entrance but it would help Barnet Multi Faith Forum if you register your place here.

Monday 15 May  Deadline for Westminster Faith Exchange‘s Annual Children’s Art Competition.  The theme for 2017 is ‘Being Alone.’ The competition is open until Monday 15 May, entry is free, and there are lots of prizes to be won. Find details and application forms here.

Wednesday 17 May 4-5pm  Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group, Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, SW1P 1Q.  Speaker is Rose Hickman, Community Partnerships Coordinator at The Passage.

Saturday 20 May   Westminster Interfaith’s ever popular 32nd Annual Multi-Faith Pilgrimage for Peace, starting from Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Arnos Grove at 9.15am and ending at the North London Sikh Gurdwara, New Southgate at about 6.30pm.  This pilgrimage attracts hundreds of people.  Book your place and find the information you need here.

Sunday 21 May 1pm – 4.30pm Lewisham Annual Walk for Peace. Organised by Lewisham Police, this year’s interfaith walk through Lewisham will visit a synagogue, a church, the Islamic Centre, a Hindu temple, and the Civic Suite. Details from John Biddle at Lewisham Police.

Sunday 21 May 10am – 5.30pm Faiths In Tune Festival at the British Museum  A diverse stage music and dance programme as well as an interfaith community fair where visitors can learn about and get in touch with various faith and cultural communities from all over London.  With the ever-popular Pearls of Islam duo and LBFN friends & multifaith group Berakah Arts.

Wednesday 14 June – Thursday 15 June London School of Economics Faith Centre. Conference: Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions – how narratives of faith are shaping today’s world.  Includes Karen Armstrong and Prof Mona Siddiqui.  Book here.

Wednesday 21 June 4-5pm  Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group, Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, SW1P 1Q.  Speaker is Jeremy Rodell of the British Humanist Association.

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.

#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?

london-is-open-logo

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.

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.

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!