Westminster Bridge | Wednesday 29 March | 2.15pm

Message from Commander Chishty, Metropolitan Police

Dear Friends,

7th Day Anniversary of Westminster Bridge Attack ‘A Bridge for all Communities’

There has been an overwhelming desire by people from all different faiths and backgrounds wanting to pay their respect to those who lost their lives, suffered injury and to show that #WeStandTogether against all forms of extremism and hate.

The attack took place on one of our most well-known bridges, Westminster Bridge and many people feel it is fitting to come together on a ‘bridge’ across our cities and towns symbolising that we have a ‘Bridge for all Communities’.

The proposal is simply for an assembly of people who want to come together at the same time that the attack took place last week and be able to

  • observe one minute silence
  • have the opportunity for private reflection
  • offer prayers and good wishes
  • show that #WeStandTogether

As a show of unity we felt it would be lovely if people were able to carry a single flower during the event which can be laid down as a sign that we will never forget those who lost their lives.

These 7 day anniversary events will be taking place across the country, including London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, Leicester, Leeds and Sheffield.

The event in London will take place on Westminster Bridge and people will be asked to meet outside the Park Plaza Hotel on the South Side of Westminster Bridge at 1415hrs on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

With my best wishes

Mak Chishty
Commander Engagement

Human circle around mosque following Quebec attack

londonisoneJoin Londoners of all faiths and beliefs today to form a human circle of solidarity around Mosque during Friday prayers.  The group will gather at 11.45am, in time to circle the mosque just before Friday prayers, which are scheduled for 12.10pm.

Friday 3rd February – London Stands As One  #LondonIsOne #LondonUnited #WeStandTogether #LondonIsOpen

Visitors from Berlin | Monday 30 January

berlinAs part of our European strand of work, LBFN is delighted to host a reception for distinguished guests from the city of Berlin.

Join us at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW, at 5-6pm on Monday 30 January.  Register your place here.

We will hear from

  • Dr Thomas Schimmel, Director, 1219 Religions- und Kulturdialog, Berlin
  • Pasha Shah, Integration and Faith Division, Department of Communities and Local Government, UK
  • Katharina Smith-Müller, Inter Faith Advisor, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
  • Dr Thomas Wipf, Swiss reformed theologian and Moderator, European Council of Religious Leaders
  • Pastor Peter Jorgensen, Community of Evangelical Free Churches, Berlin
  • Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Director, Council of Christians and Jews, UK
  • Representative of Hartmut Rhein, Commissioner for Churches and Religious and Philosophical Communities, Mayor’s Office, Berlin (tbc)
  • Catriona Robertson, Convener, London Boroughs Faiths Network, and Interim Director, Christian Muslim Forum, UK

Interfaith, Cities and Government is a new project launched by the European Council of Religious Leaders (Religions for Peace), bringing together interfaith leaders and local governments from European cities, to share best practice, exchange knowledge, and explore collaboration. The visit to London follows a meeting at Berlin Town Hall in October 2016 which included London Boroughs Faiths Network, Faiths Forum for London, the Metropolitan Police and the European Council of Religious Leaders.

The reception ends at 6pm but our guests have kindly agreed to stay on for some informal networking until 6.30pm.

Training on safety and security

new-scotland-yardSafety and Security for Places of Worship in London: supporting each other across religious traditions.

Pilot course starting this year: one evening per week over 6 weeks at New Scotland Yard.

The training is for small to medium sized places of worship, with an encouraging message to build confidence and to kick-start some action.

We will learn across faith boundaries, developing diverse networks of support. Our emphasis is on bottom-up ways of working, building on the good work already taking place.

Connecting with our public agency colleagues, we will link churches with temples, synagogues with gurdwaras and Islamic centres: we will not only upskill ourselves, but will understand each other’s different safety concerns and become better able to support each other.

DRAFT PROGRAMME

  1. People in places of worship – safeguarding, lone workers, secure spaces, staff, volunteers (with Metropolitan Police)
  2. Emergencies – terror attack, flood, pandemic & recovery plans (with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Metropolitan Police & London Resilience)
  3. Hate Crime – on the street, on public transport, online abuse (with British Transport Police, Tell Mama & Community Security Trust)
  4. Safety in buildings – worship/teaching, events & visitors, statutory requirements, checks, fire prevention, exits, drilling procedures (with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Community Security Trust & Metropolitan Police)
  5. Supportive links – Borough Councils, Metropolitan Police, City Hall, London Transport Police, London Fire Brigade, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Tell Mama, Community Security Trust, London Resilience, NHS, Public Health
  6. Checklists – who does what, legal obligations, communications, governance and media matters

The pilot course will be open to suggestions and changes along the way and the learning will be captured.  We hope the course will be both robust and popular, and rolled out to other areas of the country.

To register your place of worship on the waiting list for training, or if your organisation is interested in contributing to this initiative, please get in touch.

We are grateful to Ecclesiastical Insurance for their continuing support.

Genocide never just happens | HMD 2017

hmd-2017There is always a set of circumstances which occur, or which are created, to build the climate in which genocide can take place.
Holocaust Memorial Day this year asks the question “How can life go on?
Boroughs across the capital are marking the day. Check the details here:

Hammersmith & Fulham

Merton

Brent

Barnet

Southwark

Tower Hamlets

Enfield

Camden

Wandsworth

Harrow

Newham

Hackney

Ealing

Greenwich

Haringey

Hounslow

Find more events on the HMD website.
Denial, a film about the legal case surrounding Holocaust denier David Irving, opens in London next week.

#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.

Women in Conflict: a writer’s perspective | Shami Chakrabarti | 21 September

win-logo

The Women’s Interfaith Network invites us to join them at Berwin Leighton Paisner, Adelaide House, London EC4R 9HA, on Wednesday 21st September 6.00pm – 9.00pm to hear Shami Chakrabarti in conversation with Elif Shafak, Bahiyyih Nakhjanvani and Saurav Dutt, followed by a Q&A session and refreshments.

Download the flyer here.  Admission: £15 WIN Members and Students / £20 Non-WIN members.  Tickets available from http://billetto.co.uk/en/events/women-in-conflict-from-a-writers-perspective.

Bahiyyih Nakhjanvani is an Iranian who was educated in the UK and USA and now lives in France. In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Liege. Her books have been translated into many languages. Her novel The Woman Who Read Too Much is set in the 19 Century and centres around a poet and scholar who shocked the political powers of Qajar Persia and violated religious convention by casting aside her veil.

Elif Shafak is a Turkish columnist, speaker and academic. She has published 14 books, nine of which are novels. She writes fiction in both Turkish and English, blendingWestern and Eastern storytelling traditions on stories of women, minorities, Immigrants and youth. Her writing draws on diverse cultures and literary traditions reflecting her interests in history, philosophy, Sufism and cultural politics. She was awarded the title Chevalier de lOrdre des Arts et Lettres in2010.

Saurav Dutt, a trainee lawyer of Bengali parentage, is the Guardian Books and LA T Times Books short listed British author of fiction and non-fiction works who has written for The Guardian and The Independent. He is a novelist, independent film producer, playwright, screenwriter and above all an accomplished author. His latest  novel The Butterfly Room challenges the stigmas attached to gender, sex, discrimination, homophobia and domestic violence.