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.

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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.

Grenfell Tower | Thursday 22 June | Multifaith Gathering

All are welcome tomorrow to join local people as they remember those who have suffered in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Communities of Faith in Support of Grenfell

A Multi-Faith Gathering
in solidarity with the victims and survivors of Grenfell Tower
Thursday 22nd June
3pm in front of the Maxilla Social Club
under the Westway beside Latymer Christian Centre
116 Bramley Rd, London W10 6SU

2 Minutes Silence
Followed by reflections from local faith leaders

Grenfell Tower Fire Special Service of Prayer | today 6.30pm | open to all

St Peter’s Notting Hill Church, Kensington Park Road, W11 2P, invites people of all faiths and none to a special service this evening at 6.30pm.   They write:

A special service for all those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire in North Kensington and anyone who wishes to come and stand with the local community.

It will be a time to remember those who have lost their lives and to pray for those still worried about loved ones or homes.

It will also be an opportunity to give thanks for the courage of the emergency services and to pray for all those involved in the aftermath of this tragic event.

Everyone is welcome. If you have any questions about this service, then please do contact the Bishop of Kensington’s office on 020 7932 1180.

Full details here.

Local places of worship which are involved in supporting those affected include:

St Clement and St James, Treadgold Street, W11 4BP
Khalsa Jatha, 62 Queensdale Rd, London W11 4SG
Notting Hill Methodist Church, 240 Lancaster Rd, W11 4AH
Tabernacle Christian Centre, 210 Latimer Rd, W10 6QY
Salvation Army, 205 Portobello Road, Notting Hill W11 1LU
Masjid Daar us Sunnah, Market Approach, Lime Grove, W12 8DE
Counselling is likely to be needed for some time.  If you are skilled and are able to offer your services, please contact Kensington & Chelsea Town Hall and email your details.  Further details here.

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?

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.

London RE Hub Conference 2015

RE hubConference for RE teachers across London on Saturday 28th March 9.30am – 4pm at the Ismaili Centre, 1-7 Cromwell Gardens, SW7 2SL. 

Topics include Buddhism, Christianity (Anglican), Christianity (RC), Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Non-Religious World Views, Religious Literacy, Sikhism, Special RE & Short Films in RE.  Find the full programme here and registration (£32.45) here.