Sheffield gathering for local practitioners

IFN headerNot in London, but a chance to get together with local practitioners from across the country: a day conference on Thursday 26 March at St Mary’s Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2 4QZ, organised by the Inter Faith Network for the UK.

Bessie White (Hounslow Friends of Faith), a long standing member of LBFN and our peace-building social lab, is one of the speakers.  Download the full programme here.  There are three workshops:

  • getting the message across (communications)
  • funding and resourcing local work
  • developing and maintaining programmes that work well for your area

The event is free and is open to all local inter faith groups.  Book a place by emailing IFN’s Hannah Cassidy with a booking form.  Download the booking form here.

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General Election 2015: local hustings guide

polling stationThinking of running hustings in the run-up to the election?  Download our handy Hustings Guide and find full details in the Electoral Commission’s booklet.

Find tips and useful ideas to ensure the smooth running of your event: legal guidelines, inviting candidates, encouraging questions from local people and communities, choosing a venue, appointing a chair, timing, format and how to organise questions and ensure candidates have time to respond.

Local hustings provide an invaluable space for local people from different traditions and backgrounds to come together, to raise issues that matter and to engage with the democratic process.

Faiths Together in Lambeth is holding local hustings for the borough’s three constituencies in an Islamic centre, a church and a synagogue on 21, 22 & 23 Aprildownload the flyer here.  Hounslow Methodist Church held a Faith in Politics event last year and invited members of Hounslow Friends of Faith.

The date of the General Election is Thursday 7 May.  No-one can vote unless their name is on the Electoral Register.  The deadline for registering to vote is Monday 20 April and this can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

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Related to this topic, the World Congress of Faiths is holding an event To Vote or Not to Vote? with West Central Liberal Synagogue, 21 Maple Street, W1T 4BE on Thursday 19 March 6.30-8.30pm, looking at what three major world faiths – the Baha’í faith, Buddhism and Islam – teach about Civic Responsibility.  Download further information here.

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.

Mayor’s police & crime roadshows

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.

New Scotland Yard

MPS Engagement Tsar Cdr Mak Chishty

New MPS Engagement Tsar Cdr Mak Chishty

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.

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

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

People from seven religious traditions took part.  We will organise a follow up meeting in due course.

What’s On

A quick round-up of activities in London over the next couple of months, for activists and thinkers alike.  Plenty to get our teeth into – enjoy!

sfmhThursday 24 April 12.30-2pm South London Inter Faith Group informal lunch meeting at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Redlands Way, SW2 3LU.

Tuesday 29 April, 6pm – 8pm Multifaith Hustings for the European Elections at the Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, Brixton, SW9 7PH, organised by Faiths Together in LambethFurther details here.

PortcullisLogoTuesday 29 April 6.30pm at the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1A 2LQ.  Building Communities In An Age Of Change, with GlobalNet21 & Community Development Network London. Speakers include Andy Sawford MP & Steve Wyler of Locality.  Details here.

hfof_logo_no_strapWednesday 30 April 7.15 to 9pm Women’s Discussion Group (discussion, support and friendship) Hounslow Friends of Faith, Hounslow Community Centre, Montague Road, Hounslow TW3 1JY.  Details here.

Wednesday 7 May 6.30pm at St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M 8AD. Climate Change: Building the Will for Action with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Download the flyer here & book a place here.

www.faithstogetherincroydon.org.ukThursday 8 May 7 – 9 pm Faiths Together in Croydon event on Interfaith Marriage at CVA, 82 London Road, CR0 2TB. Contact Matt at matt@victoriascottpainter.com.

Saturday 10 May 7.00-8.15pm Conversations for the Soul (one to one interfaith conversations about beliefs and practice) at the South London Islamic Centre, 8 Mitcham Lane, SW16 6NN.  Details from John Woodhouse on 020 8677 0588 or 0790 8888 586 or email woodhousesopten@btinternet.com.

Sunday 11 May 2.30pm Lambeth Multi-faith Action Group. Faith in lamag-spring-event-2014Education at Corpus Christi Church Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 5BJ.  Speakers include Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Sarah Thorley and Fr Joseph Briffa SJ.

Monday 12 May 6 for 6.30pm at 77 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2EZ  Atheists: the Origin of the Species with Nick Spencer of Theos (book launch and discussion).

peace bird v smallTuesday 13 May 9.45-11.45am London Peace Network planning group meets in central London, probably in the Euston Road area.  The Peace Network was brought together by LBFN to promote the Olympic Truce and to support local peace-building. Visit the website to see what is planned and let LBFN know if you’d like to join us for the planning meeting – you would be most welcome.  Check LPN on Facebook.

Tuesday 13 May12.00 to 13.30 Lunchtime Dialogue in Whitechapel with the Christian Muslim Forum. A regular session based on Conversations for the Soul (tandem dialogue between people of different faiths) on the second Tuesday of each month. More details from CMF here.

GoldsmithsWednesday 14 May 5-7pm Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths.  Faith in the Public Realm Dilwar Hussain of New Horizons in British Islam at lecture room RHB 137. Registration and more details here.

Wednesday 14 May 5.30pm to 7.00pm.  RUSI, 61 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET.  How has religion become an agent in peace-building in conflict areas of the world?  Westminster Faith Debates.

london-interfaith-centre-logoWednesday 14 May 18.30 Narrative Practitioners Forum – for those who use personal narrative and story in their work to share best practice and learn from each other. At the London Inter Faith Centre, 125 Salusbury Road, NW6 6RG. With St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace, the Forgiveness Project, International School of Storytelling and Guerrard Hermes Foundation for Peace. £10. Book here.

Friday 16 May  Deadline for call for abstracts (invited from scholars and relevant practitioners) for an academic workshop Sense of Belonging in a Diverse Britain. Wide range of papers welcomed. Workshop organised by the Dialogue Society and Coventry University on 20-21 November in Coventry.

Thursday 29 May 10.30-15.00 Religion and Belief in Higher Education conference at SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London, N1 9BE. Papers include one on the social and academic experiences of Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Jewish students. £60. Details here.

chris2-300x169Tuesday 10th June to Thursday 12th June: Understanding Islam, a three day course with Dr Chris Hewer and the Faithful Friends group in Ham, Richmond. More details from Diana Mills at dianamills@phonecoop.coop.

Saturday 14th June 9.45am-6pm Westminster Interfaith’s 29th Annual Multi-Faith Pilgrimage for Peace – this year in Haringey.  This is always a popular event – booking form & contacts here and more details in the latest newsletter here.

Monday 16 June  Reflections of Jesus and Muhammad, or Distortions?  Day conference with the Christian Muslim Forum and several leading speakers at Abrar House, Crawford Place, nr Edgware Road W1H 4LP.  Details & registration here.

enorb logoTuesday 17 June – Wednesday 18 June  European Network on Religion & Belief AGM in Brussels, Belgium. Grassroots practitioners from across Europe gathering together, with Matthew Goodwin (Nottingham University) speaking on the far right in Europe and the impact of the recent elections.  This is a free event (reasonably priced accommodation available), with a visit to the European Parliament and Commission included. Further information & registration here.  LBFN has been part of ENORB from its inception.

Christian_Muslim_Forum_LogoThursday 26 June 18.30 to 21.00  Multiculturalism – Problem or Solution?  How do we all fit together, what kind of society do we live in, is it working?  Speakers include Dan Nilsson DeHanas, Akeela Ahmed, Ajmal Masroor, Revd Alan Green (Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum).  £5. Details from the Christian Muslim Forum.

Members of Kingston Inter Faith Forum & South London Inter Faith Group appeared on Sky News on Monday, sharing views following the Prime Minister’s Easter message.  View the clip here.

headingGreater London Presence & Engagement has produced a helpful briefing (Susanne gave us a sneak preview at our last meeting) to the controversy surrounding ‘religious slaughter’ – download it here.

At LBFN’s last meeting at DCLG we agreed to form several ‘social labs‘.  Our regular meetings are very successful at bringing a wide range of practitioners together from across the capital, but there are too many of us now to discuss our concerns in depth each time.  Have a look at the Social Labs page and let the convener know which one(s) you’d like to be involved with – there are six to choose from.

waterA few borough networks are refreshing their ideas, getting involved in new activities and attracting new members.  Contact LBFN if you’d like to meet up with similar faith forums/multifaith networks to share experiences.  Our Waterloo office is a perfect meeting space, with its informal cafe and plenty of space.

Please pass news on to your communities and networks and let LBFN know if you have any events, publications, job opportunities or news you would like to share.

Keep in touch via email.  And if you are on Facebook, please ‘like’ LBFN’s page https://www.facebook.com/LondonBoroughsFaithsNetwork and use it to link to your own activities.  LBFN’s convener tweets @multifaith and is always happy to find LBFN friends on Twitter.