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?
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.
This Sunday is a great opportunity to visit our local mosques and enjoy a cup of tea. Islamic centres will be opening their doors to visitors as part of a Muslim Council of Britain initiative to reach out to fellow Britons following tensions around terrorism.
“Mosques will be sharing tea and refreshments, alongside an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship.
Members of the community are there to get to know one another better and some may be on hand to answer questions about Muslims and Islam where this is possible. Local mosques will also be inviting inter-faith leaders as well, and all will be invited to come together to demonstrate unity and solidarity during what has been a tense time for faith communities.“
Many mosques welcome visitors as a matter of course, but a list of participating centres can be found here and is being regularly updated. Those in London include Islamic centres from a range of Islamic traditions:
Balham Mosque, 47A Balham High Rd, Tooting SW12 9AW www.balhammosque.org
Finsbury Park Mosque, 7-11 St. Thomas Rd, N4 2QH www.finsburyparkmosque.org
Hyderi Islamic Centre, 26 Estreham Road, Streatham, SW16 5PQ www.hyderi.org.uk
Shi’a Ithna’ashari Community of Middlesex, 39 Gloucester Road, Harrow, HA1 4PR www.sicm.org.uk
Sri Lankan Muslim Cultural Centre, 2 Whitefriars Avenue, Harrow, HA3 5RN www.slmcc.co.uk
Tooting Islamic Centre, 145 Upper Tooting Rd, SW17 7TJ www.tootingislamiccentre.org
Add a comment below if you know of others which are open on Sunday.
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!
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.
Launch events for the new boroughs are planned and we hope Becky & Tim will join us at LBFN before long to tell us more.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, is revisiting every London borough with senior Metropolitan Police officers. Sixteen boroughs were visited early in 2014.
They will be talking about local policing, telling us how they’ve been putting the Police and Crime Plan into practice and answering our questions.
Following our recent meeting at New Scotland Yard with Commander Mak Chishty, the roadshow may provide another opportunity to contact our Borough Commanders to talk about their engagement plans with local faith forums.
The next 16 events are scheduled from September to December. Attendance is on a first come, first serve basis. They are asking people to register now and to let them know of any access needs.
- Kingston upon Thames Monday, 8 September 2014 – 6:00pm
- Wandsworth Wednesday, 10 September 2014 – 6:00pm
- Newham Tuesday, 16 September 2014 – 6:00pm
- Richmond upon Thames Thursday, 25 September 2014 – 6:00pm
- Ealing Thursday, 9 October 2014 – 6:00pm
- Brent Tuesday, 14 October 2014 – 6:00pm
- Greenwich Tuesday, 21 October 2014 – 6:00pm
- Croydon Tuesday, 4 November 2014 – 6:00pm
- Barking & Dagenham Monday, 10 November 2014 – 6:00pm
- Hounslow Thursday, 13 November 2014 – 6:00pm
- Waltham Forest Tuesday, 18 November 2014 – 6:00pm
- Redbridge Tuesday, 25 November 2014 – 6:00pm
- Enfield Monday, 1 December 2014 – 6:00pm
- Harrow Wednesday, 3 December 2014 – 6:00pm
- Bromley Thursday, 11 December 2014 – 6:00pm
- Lewisham Tuesday, 16 December 2014 – 6:00pm
LBFN’s Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab had an excellent and wide-ranging exchange with the new Commander for Engagement in the Metropolitan Police Service, Mak Chishty, on Monday 7 July.
Contributions from Islington, Hounslow, Enfield, Lambeth, Kingston, Harrow, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Merton showed the range of good work undertaken by local faith forums in engaging with the police. They also highlighted the challenges in sustaining relationships over time.
Commander Chishty shared with us his initial thoughts on engagement and the work already underway, which includes local mapping, a listening campaign, special summer events and borough engagement plans. His SHINE approach encourages relaxed and informal relationships to develop between police officers and the public.
With the change from the Metropolitan Police Authority’s Community-Police Engagement Groups to the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime’s Safer Neighbourhood Boards, there is some uncertainty over structures to support engagement. Progress seems to be uneven across London.
LBFN members were asked to contact their Borough Commanders (details for each borough here) to initiate conversations which will lead to the inclusion of religious communities in the new borough engagement plans. The emphasis was on sustained relationships with multifaith groups, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and gurdwaras, which all offer strong social networks, local knowledge, expertise and organisational memory.
People from seven religious traditions took part. We will organise a follow up meeting in due course.