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.

Upcoming events

Today: follow #HOBV9 to keep in touch with Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network‘s annual Black Mental Health event, Healing Our Broken Village, at New Testament Assembly Church in Tooting, SW17.

If you’re able to join the conference, which includes the CEO of South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust and Royal Holloway’s Dr Frank Keating, all the details are here.

Saturday 28 October: Kingston Study DayUnderstanding Islam with Dr Chris Hewer, an exploration from predominantly Christian and Muslim perspectives, at the Milaap Centre, Acre Rd, Kingston, KT2 6EE. For beginners and the knowledgeable alike – all welcome.

Download details here and contact Diana if you would like to participate.

Thursday 2 November: opening of a new venue for Greenwich Peninsula’s Multi Faith Prayer Space at the Aperture Building on Greenwich Peninsula, 42 Chandlers Avenue, SE10 0GE. The Prayer Space provides a venue for faith groups to meet for prayer and worship and is available for booking by faith groups for their own prayer or worship activities. The Prayer Space is also open every day for people to drop in for prayer and reflection.

The Community Room provides a facility for activities or events which build up the local community and is available for booking by individuals or groups for such activities or events.  Find the details here.

Saturday 4 November – Sunday 5 November: With God on Our Side… Religion and War, with talks, panels and debates including Holy Wars, Is Religion Inherently Violent (with Karen Armstrong) and War and Peace in the Middle East, at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX.

Monday 6 November: St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square – Reforming Attitudes to Islam, with Prof Mona Siddiqui and Joshua Ralston of Edinburgh University.

Monday 6 November: second in LBFN’s safety, security and resilience four-part course for places of worship, hosted by New Scotland Yard and supported by the Corporation of London.  Contact LBFN for further details.

Sunday 12 November: Harrow Interfaith‘s Remembrance Service at Harrow Civic Centre War Memorial at 10.30am.

Monday 13 November: Barnet Multi Faith Forum launch an exhibition “Love Your Neighbour – Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust” at Middlesex University Quadrangle, the Borroughs, Hendon NW4 4BT.  Details here
Monday 13 NovemberQuiz night – A Question of Unity with Faiths Together in Lambeth at the Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, SW9 7PH.  Details here
Tuesday 14 NovemberTower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum, “Faith & Communities” at The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, 2 Butcher Row, E14 8DS.  Details and booking here.
Tuesday 14 November: Redbridge Faith Forum ‘s Come to Dinner with RFF!  Interfaith Buffet at Ilford Islamic Centre. Details and booking details are here.

Tuesday 14 November: Youth debate with Islington Faiths Forum, “How can we have harmony in a multifaith community environment?” at Platform, Hornsey Road Baths, 2 Tiltman Place, N7 7EE.

Saturday 18 November: Hounslow Friends of Faith presents, “The Bundle – an asylum seeker’s story” at Brentford and Isleworth Quaker Meeting House, Quakers Lane, London Road, Isleworth, TW7 5AZ.  Details and booking (performance is free but must be booked in advance) here.

12 – 19 November is Inter Faith Week 2017: plenty of events taking place in London this year – find them on the map and add your own.
Monday 20 November: third in LBFN’s safety, security and resilience four-part course for places of worship, hosted by New Scotland Yard and supported by the Corporation of London.  Contact LBFN for further details.
Looking ahead, #VisitMyMosque Day is on Sunday 18 February 2018 – more details on how to plan for the day can be found 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.

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.