Statements on London Bridge attack and vigil at Guildhall Monday 11am

The London Bridge attack has left two dead and three injured.

The Inter Faith Network for the UK has issued a statement on the London Bridge attack – read it here.

Islington Faiths Forum‘s statement is below, a joint response by IFF with the Council, Safer Neighbourhood Board, Hate Crime Forum and Central North Police.

Faiths Together in Lambeth has circulated a message from Central South Police saying that they will be making reassurance visits to places of worship in Lambeth.

There is also a risk of a spike in hate crime & we are all asked to make sure any incidents are reported to the police.

Transport hubs, iconic sites, faith premises, shopping areas & high footfall areas across London will be patrolled by police officers (armed & unarmed) over the next few days to provide reassurance.

There will be a vigil in Guildhall Yard, Basinghall St, London EC2V 7HH in the City of London at 11am tomorrow (Monday).

This is likely to be the only major act of remembrance. It will be led by the chaplain to the Corporation of London.  Faith Representatives are welcome to attend: please arrive 10 minutes ahead of 11am and introduce yourself to the chaplain.

Across our network, people have been shocked to see another attack resulting in the loss of two young lives. We offer our condolences to their families and friends. Bankside residents are finding it particularly tough, reawakening memories of the 2017 London Bridge attack.  We are thinking particularly of our friends at Harper Road Mosque, Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market.

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.

LBFN 18 May | Borough Timelines

From Neighbourhood Renewal to Big Society, from mental illness to hate crime, from 9/11 to integration, PCTs to CCGs, Stop & Search to SNPs, interfaith walks & WhatsApp groups – such a lot has changed!

Join us tomorrow evening 5.30pm-7.30pm as we chart the massive contribution that local gurdwaras, synagogues, mosques, temples and churches have made to the wider community and the key contribution of local multifaith networks and forums working in partnership with councils, the NHS, local police & fire services.

Add your significant dates to our timeline (it will be posted online soon), hear from faith forums & public sector officers across the capital and be part of an engaging debate on the current context.

With us will be practitioners from Kensington & Chelsea, Harrow, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Richmond, Lambeth, Havering, Westminster, Southwark, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge, Enfield, Croydon, Barnet & the City, with borough London Resilience managers and local police officers.

If you plan to join us & haven’t yet confirmed your place, email asap.  We are meeting at Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road (near the junction with Killick St, next to Cycle Surgery), N1 9JP (King’s Cross tube).

As well as news from key faith forums across the capital, we’ll hear from:

  • Malik Gul, WCEN
  • Yvette Ellis, VAI
  • Steve Miller, FbRN
  • Matt Scott, London Voluntary Service Council

and hear an update on LBFN’s social labs:

  • safety & security (with London Resilience & Ecclesiastical Insurance)
  • peace-building
  • health & wellbeing
  • European links
  • intersectionality

There will be plenty of time to share news and ideas and a simple vegetarian meal will be served.

Look forward to seeing you there!

#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.

Women in Conflict: a writer’s perspective | Shami Chakrabarti | 21 September

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The Women’s Interfaith Network invites us to join them at Berwin Leighton Paisner, Adelaide House, London EC4R 9HA, on Wednesday 21st September 6.00pm – 9.00pm to hear Shami Chakrabarti in conversation with Elif Shafak, Bahiyyih Nakhjanvani and Saurav Dutt, followed by a Q&A session and refreshments.

Download the flyer here.  Admission: £15 WIN Members and Students / £20 Non-WIN members.  Tickets available from http://billetto.co.uk/en/events/women-in-conflict-from-a-writers-perspective.

Bahiyyih Nakhjanvani is an Iranian who was educated in the UK and USA and now lives in France. In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Liege. Her books have been translated into many languages. Her novel The Woman Who Read Too Much is set in the 19 Century and centres around a poet and scholar who shocked the political powers of Qajar Persia and violated religious convention by casting aside her veil.

Elif Shafak is a Turkish columnist, speaker and academic. She has published 14 books, nine of which are novels. She writes fiction in both Turkish and English, blendingWestern and Eastern storytelling traditions on stories of women, minorities, Immigrants and youth. Her writing draws on diverse cultures and literary traditions reflecting her interests in history, philosophy, Sufism and cultural politics. She was awarded the title Chevalier de lOrdre des Arts et Lettres in2010.

Saurav Dutt, a trainee lawyer of Bengali parentage, is the Guardian Books and LA T Times Books short listed British author of fiction and non-fiction works who has written for The Guardian and The Independent. He is a novelist, independent film producer, playwright, screenwriter and above all an accomplished author. His latest  novel The Butterfly Room challenges the stigmas attached to gender, sex, discrimination, homophobia and domestic violence.

Working on safety & security together | October 25

LBFN's Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab at New Scotland Yard.

Our next meeting will be hosted by Ecclesiastical Insurance at 24 Monument St, EC3R 8AJ, on Tuesday 25 October, taking forward our conversations on supporting each other locally on the safety and security of our people and buildings.

The meeting will start with a light lunch and continue through the afternoon.  Those who attended our meeting at New Scotland Yard on this topic are asked to save the date.

Autumn’s coming!

For some, August is a chance to get a bit of work done without a cascade of emails and phone calls, for others it’s a well-earned rest and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Either way, London springs back to life soon!  Check your online calendar or paper diary now and don’t miss out . . .

DCLGlogoFriday 21 August (deadline) Senior Policy Advisor – leading on Muslim community engagement at Department for Communities and Local GovernmentThe Faith Engagement team is seeking an individual to fulfil the role of Senior Policy Adviser, leading on Muslim community engagement, helping to lead the faith team and, in particular, to help diversify and strengthen Government engagement with Muslim communities across a range of issues.  More information here.

UtopiaUntil Sunday 23 August  Utopia at the Roundhouse, Camden Lock.  Life stories from ordinary and extraordinary Londoners from many backgrounds brought together in an installation by film maker Penny Woolcock and Block9 (Glastonbury), with video & evening performances.

easternfaithsrWednesday 26 August 6.30pm – 9pm at London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre.  Eastern Faiths Scriptural Reasoning “seeking to engage the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Assyrian and Buddhist communities so that we may know one another without ignorance.”  Scriptural Reasoning is where people from different faiths gather to read and reflect on short passages from their scriptures. Scriptural reasoning is not about seeking agreement, proselytising or ‘being right’ but rather increasing understanding about one another’s traditions and exploring the texts and their possible interpretations across faith boundaries. The result of this is often a much deeper understanding of ones’ own and others’ scriptures.  Booking essential, contact Jayde at London Central Mosque.

LePolicierAmoureux_1905x800-1200x504-350x200Thursday 3 September to Saturday 3 October Our friends at International Alert are holding their annual Talking Peace Festival.  This year’s line up includes ‘Peace in our cities’, looking at how urban conflicts erupt and what can be done to reduce potential flashpoints, ‘Peace from the street up!’ art show, Conflict Cafés (Middle East, Nepal), Peace Tracks, ‘Can an app stop a bullet?’ and much more, marking the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September.  Details at talkingpeacefestival.org.

london-interfaith-centre-logoMondays in September (dates tbc)  Christian response to religious plurality past and present, and how other faiths deal with the issues of religious plurality.

A new module starts at the London Interfaith Centre, part of their programme on “Living Together in a Multi Faith World”. More information here.  Contact Laurence Hillel for details.

slide-1Saturday 5 September Tour de Salah 2015 sponsored cycle ride, stopping off at London’s iconic Islamic centres for prayer, across London in support of humanitarian charities Human Appeal, Islamic Relief and Penny Appeal.  Register here.

ftil logoSaturday 5 September 10.30am – 4pm  Lambeth Inter Faith Walk 2015  A two mile walk through Streatham, visiting 6 places of worship starting at the Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple. Download the map and directions here.  Some walkers will be sponsored, raising funds for Faiths Together in Lambeth.

ehrcWednesday 9 September 5pm – 7pm at the University of Chester: the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Work on Religion or Belief, organised by the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity, the seminar will be led by Dr David Perfect (who has spoken at our European events) and will explore the EHRC’s policy, research and legal work on research or belief.  Further details and registration here or contact Chantal Davies at chantal.davies@chester.ac.uk.

Future of Faith 12 SeptemberSaturday 12 September 10am – 4.30pm.  Speakers and discussion on The Future of Faith in the UK – Evaluating Faith in a Secular Society with the Christian Muslim Forum, London Interfaith Centre and the Islamic Centre of England at St Anne’s and St Andrew’s Church, 125 Salusbury Road, London NW6 6RG (morning) and at the Islamic Centre of England, 140 Maida Vale, London W9 1QB (afternoon).  Contributors include Shaykh Dr Mohammed Ali Shomali, Bishop Paul Hendricks, Aliya Azam MBE, Dr Chris Hewer and Revd Maggie Hindley.  More information and registration here.

Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 September 9.30am – 4.30pm  Understanding Islam Course with Dr Chris Hewer in Kingston.  The course is designed for a small group of Christians who would like to learn more about Islam. Tuition is free but donations are welcome to cover costs. The course will take place in a private home. “Both Christians and Muslims have ‘wonderful ideals and awful realities’. We need to see the difference. Then we need to make sure that we compare like with like, ideals with ideals and realities with realities, and take care not to compare ‘my ideals’ with ‘your realities’.”  There is a further three day course on 13 – 15 November. Tea/coffee provided; bring your own lunch. Booking and commitment essential. More info from Diana Mills.

Tuesday 15 September  4pm – 5pm Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group at the Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, close to Westminster Cathedral. The speaker will be Karanodakasayi Visnu Dasa Adhikari (Man Mohan Gupta) who will be talking on Vedic culture and civilisation. More info from John Woodhouse.

L_Strap_webThursday 17 September 9.30am – 8pm at The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR. The Impact of Diasporas.  The University of Oxford and the University of Leicester.  The event is the culmination and conclusion of two innovative, multidisciplinary five-year research programmes.  “Diasporas are not a modern phenomenon. Ever since the last Ice Age people have moved into the British Isles from the European continent. Our research focuses primarily on the cultural, linguistic, and genetic interactions between peoples known to history as ‘Celts’, ‘Britons’, ‘Anglo-Saxons’, and ‘Vikings’.”  More info here.

OHLW-2015-Web-Banner3178Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 September All day. Open House London.  Fifty-nine places of worship across the boroughs and many government and public sector buildings are open (free of charge) to the public during this annual architectural festival.

This year Open House includes BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the Buddhapadipa Temple, the Zoroastrian Centre For Europe, Friends Meeting House, Golders Green Unitarians, Lambeth Palace, Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue and The Queen’s Chapel (St James’s Palace).  More info here.

4cain-webMonday 21 September 7pm and four more Monday evenings. The Curse and the Promise: Religion and Violence St Martin-in-the-Fields (Trafalgar Square) Church Lecture Series reflects on both how faith can become the cause and perpetrator of conflict and persecution, and also the victim.

Monday 21 September Revd Dr Sam Wells, Monday 5 October Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, Monday 19 October Revd Giles Fraser, Monday 2 November Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Monday 16 November Karen Armstrong. Download flyer.  More info here.

New_Scotland_Yard_sign_3Thursday 8 October LBFN’s training event at New Scotland Yard on cooperation on safety and security for local places of worship, with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Tell Mama, the Community Security Trust, London Resilience and the Metropolitan Police.  The training will include checklists and guidelines.  Our previous session was very popular, so early booking is recommended. Priority is being given to churches, temples, Islamic centres, gurdwaras and synagogues which book in pairs or groups. Contact LFBN’s convener for further details and booking.

Thursday 15, 22 October and 5 November  Community Reconciliation – working creatively with division at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.  A series Modern artof practical workshops to assist participants to develop strategies for bringing divided communities together. £150 for the three days and the workbook.  More info here.

Sunday 15 November to Saturday 21 November Inter Faith Week 2015 – visit the website here to add details of your local activities this year.  Download the flyer here.

Symposium-2-300x200Londoners may be interested in an initiative by the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, enabling difficult conversations around lived faith in Birmingham post ‘Trojan Horse’. A series of conversations over six months explored the theme ‘What does Lived Faith look like in a 21st Century City?’  A group of 24 people from different faiths met once a month for three hours each time to talk through the way faith is lived in Birmingham. The group consisted of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Ravidassi and Sikhs.  The topics were wide ranging and included issues such as evangelism and conversion, gender issues, young people and education, caste legislation, race and global conflicts. The aim was not, necessarily, to reach consensus but to find a way to talk constructively about these topics.  “By ‘lived faith’ we are looking to move beyond a purely intellectual understanding of religion to see faith as something that not only affects the way each individual member of a religion lives out their faith, but also the way in which that living inevitably interacts with those who live around them.” Read more about the Birmingham Conversations here.

3FF is developing a Festival programme, What Women Believe, that will premiere in Winter 2015. At its heart an exhibition of portraits and histories will celebrate the contributions of amazing women from the diverse communities of Camden “Do you know an inspirational woman in Camden?  Nominate a woman who is older than you and tell us about her in 150 words. Email your nomination to exhibition@3ff.org.uk. Stories will be shared in our online gallery, and a selection will be featured in a book and exhibition to celebrate Camden women.”

2094353690_a5e474dc5dThe Berakah Project is starting a multi faith youth ensemble in west London – the first of its kind in the world. The ensemble will be led by the founder of The Berakah Project, Mohammed Nazam, a professional musician and music educator with over 25 years touring experience with bands, writing music and working with young people in a range of contexts.  “We’re looking for young people from all faith backgrounds to take part and we are searching for the very best young musicians to take part in this ground breaking and vitally needed project.  Whether you play guitar, drums, percussion, sing, saxophone or keyboards – get in touch at: theberakahproject@gmail.com.”

IFN newsRead the latest Inter Faith Network for the UK bulletin here.  The well known Shap Calendar of Religious Festivals (for 2016) is now available on IFN’s website here.  Shap continues its printed format.

p01lcgjhBBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme in East LondonListen to this edition of the programme, recorded in East London on 26 July.  It includes bee hives at East London Mosque, the Near Neighbours Programme, Ed Kessler from the Woolf Institute and Imam Yunus Dudhwala, head of Chaplaincy Services at Barts NHS Trust (who spoke at LBFN’s Multifaith Spaces event) on organ transplants.