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.

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.

Eid greetings in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum wishes Muslim neighbours Eid Mubarak in the local council newspaper this week.  Thanks to Ruzina Begum for sending it in!

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.

 

Redbridge & Tower Hamlets

Redbridge logoRedbridge Faith Forum has published an action-packed programme for the year, which includes wellbeing walks, a talent show, Walk of Peace, interfaith quiz and an open forum with Street Pastors.

Download it here and if you have something similar for your borough, send it in!

logo_thiffTower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum, in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council and sponsored by HSBC, has produced a handy Faith Calendar 2014.  It includes significant dates from thirteen religious traditions and will be useful throughout the year.  Download it here.

Upcoming events

London 2014 rThere’s plenty on in London to get 2014 off to a great start!

20 January 9.30am – 4.10pm  A Conversation about Conflict exploring the faith influences that can be used to tackle difficult issues in a community setting.  St Ethelburga’s and Christian Muslim Forum are co-facilitating the workshop at 305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH.  Details here.

  • Could your faith community improve the way it responds to conflict?
  • Are you interested in bringing the principles and practices of your faith into your responses to conflict?
  • Are you interested in sharing your faith practices across faiths and learning from each other?

22 January 10am-12pm Together in Service funding briefing at Bethnal Green Mission Church, 305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH.  There’s also a chance to talk to the TiS team individually about potential projects.  Details here.

22 January 6.30-8pm  Poverty and the Tolerance of the Intolerable – talk by Prof Amartya Sen at LSE . The talk will be live-streamed on LSE’s website and a podcast made available. Details here.

27 January  Holocaust Memorial Day events have been been organised by many London boroughs in cooperation with local religious communities, including Barnet, Lewisham, Haringey, Southwark, Greenwich, Croydon, Brent, Lambeth, Hounslow and Havering.  Details of all London events here.

27 January 5.30pm European Parliament training event with Faiths Forum for London at Europe House, Smith Square, W1.  The aim is to engage with citizens and faith groups to raise awareness of the issues and debates taking place in European Parliament and how citizens can get involved the decision making. Details here.

South London Inter Faith Group meets on the last Thursday of the month at 12.30-2pm at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Roupell Park Estate, Redland Way, SW2 3LU.  Next meeting 30 JanuaryDetails here.

4 February 6pm The Dialogue Society Book Group Meeting 5: A Distant Shore, by Caryl Phillips The Dialogue Society, 402 Holloway Road, N7 6PZ.  Details here.

Westminster Faith Debates are back with a new series, on global religious trends, at RUSI, 61 Whitehall, SW1A 2ET at 5.30pm, including on 12 February What is driving sectarian violence in the wake of the Arab spring? and on 12 March Are attempts to promote worldwide religious freedom naive or necessary?  Details here.

18 February Women in the 21st Century conference at Queen Mary University, London E1 4NS with a wide range of speakers and workshops (£40). Details here.

Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group meets next to the Cathedral in Victoria on the third Wednesday of the month at 4pm.  Upcoming speakers include Hugo Clarke (Curzon Institute) on World War 1 (19  February), Raheed Salam, faith and interfaith consultant for NCVYS (19 March).  Details here.

11 March 3-5pm  London Boroughs Faiths Network meeting at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, SW1E 5DU.  We are also planning two focused meetings on health and on young Londoners.

Goldsmiths’ Faiths and Civil Society Unit has a series on Faith in the Public Realm, including How do governments do God?  Warwick Hawkins MBE, Head of Faith Communities Engagement, Department for Communities and Local Government
12 March at 5pm.  Near Neighbours – can Christians do public faith for everyone? Dilwar Hussain, New Horizons in British Islam, 14 May at 5pm.  Details here.

15 March  God and Government Conference with Theos, covering welfare, religious freedom, multiculturalism, and education among others.  Details here.

Research Project on Attitudes to Self-Sacrificial Death for National and/or Religious Motives.  Prof John Wolffe (Professor of Religious History, The Open University) is interested to hear from anyone from a Catholic, Protestant or Muslim background who would like to take part in this study by being interviewed.  “In the run-up to the centenaries of the outbreak of the First World War (August 1914), of the Easter Rising in Dublin (April 1916) and of the Battle of the Somme (July 1916), we are developing a historical and contemporary study of British and Irish views on martyrdom and sacrificial death. We are interested not only in perceptions of events a century ago, but also in the way casualties have been regarded in events within living memory such as the Falklands War of 1982, the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and IRA attacks in the mainland UK in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. We are also exploring more contemporary examples, notably reactions to the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings, to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the ‘Arab Spring’.”  Details here.