17 May | Greenwich | Southwark | Lewisham | Tower Hamlets

For all who were involved in London 2012 (and everyone who wished they had),  Hamid Vaghefian has been in touch about an exciting sporty event and festival in four of our boroughs.  He writes:

“Imagine a major mass participation event that celebrates London’s multi-cultural diversity, brings local communities together to inspire social change, and welcomes all ages and abilities.

The Big Half will be truly global, uniquely local – but for this, we need you!

Sported is thrilled to be teaming up with London Marathon Events to give you, your group and your local community an amazing opportunity to be a big part of the festivities.

Together, we would like to extend a warm invitation to attend a special Big Half community launch event at 10:00am Wednesday 17th May 2017 at Rainmaking Loft, 1 International House, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1UN where you will get the chance to:

  • Find out all about The Big Half, The Big Relay, The Little Half and The Big Festival.
  • Get involved and become one of the first community groups to sign up. Get the chance to say “We were there at the start!
  • Learn how you can use The Big Half to promote and fundraise for your group.
  • Have your say and help us deliver a uniquely local event.
  • Network with other community groups in your local Borough.

London Marathon Events is delighted to announce the launch of The Big Half – an exciting new event and festival that will feel and be like no other!  Coming to the streets of Greenwich, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham in March 2018.”

Come along to the launch event on Wednesday 17 May 10am-12 noon at Rainmaking Loft London, 1 Saint Katharine’s Way, E1W 1UN.  Register your place here.

Spring: upcoming events in London

Spring has sprung!  And so have the opportunities for local public sector organisations and Londoners of all faiths and none to get together and make a positive impact on our local communities.

Tuesday 25 Apri Making My Wishes Known. With Lambeth Council’s Adult Safeguarding team and Faiths Together in Lambeth, a chance to think about what you would want to happen in a care or treatment crisis. Book your place here.

Thursday 27 April  12.30 – 2pm: South London Interfaith Group Lunch at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Redlands Way, Roupell Park Estate, Brixton Hill, SW2 3LU. Alan Gadd writes, “A vegetarian lunch will be served at 12.30pm and then between 1pm and 2pm we will have an opportunity to share inter faith news and concerns. This month, Ken Woolhouse will facilitate a discussion on ‘Forgiveness’ with contributions from several faith perspectives.”

Wednesday 3 May 5.30pm – 7pm  Warm-up for the Great Get Together,(17-18 June) marking the anniversary of the murder of Jo Cox MP at the Abbey Centre (Parker Morris Hall), 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU. Ask questions & share ideas to help plan your own event or get your community involved, sign up and receive your information pack and make your event faith friendly: involve those who are fasting for Ramadan, observing Shabbat on the Saturday & ideas for faith groups. Book your place here www.greatgettogetherinfosession.eventbrite.com or contact Near Neighbours co-ordinator Becky Brookman.

Sunday 6 May  Belief and Beyond Belief Festival at Southbank Centre, SE1. For Good or For Ill: How Has Religion Shaped Society?  Talks and panels throughout the day, including: How Can Faiths Work Together (with LBFN friend Jasvir Singh), Does God Love Me (Religion & Equality), Religion Behind Bars, Muslim Women Breaking New Ground, Faith and Fashion, How Has Christianity Shaped Society, Terroism and Society, Religion and Education and Women Faith Leaders.

Sunday 7 May 4.00 – 5.30pm  Lambeth Multifaith Action Group at Hyderi Islamic Centre, 26 Estreham Road, Streatham, London, SW16 5PQ. LAMAG is hosting an open discussion on “Faith in the Community” and the importance of how faith communities help to shape the community around them.

Thursday 11 May  7:30pm  A Faithful Friends visit to John Bunyan Baptist Church, Queen Elizabeth Road/Hardman Road, Kingston, KT2 6RJ for a talk by the minister, Rev Ken Walker, on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was hanged in April 1945 for his part in the resistance to the Nazis

Sunday 14 May  12-5pm Barnet Multi Faith Forum’s Barnet Unity Festival of Faith and Culture at Burnt Oak Leisure Centre, Watling Avenue, HA8 0NP.

  • music, dance and drama stage performances
  • sports zones
  • cooking demos
  • arts and crafts
  • children’s entertainments
  • food stalls & refreshments
  • exhibitions

Free entrance but it would help Barnet Multi Faith Forum if you register your place here.

Monday 15 May  Deadline for Westminster Faith Exchange‘s Annual Children’s Art Competition.  The theme for 2017 is ‘Being Alone.’ The competition is open until Monday 15 May, entry is free, and there are lots of prizes to be won. Find details and application forms here.

Wednesday 17 May 4-5pm  Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group, Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, SW1P 1Q.  Speaker is Rose Hickman, Community Partnerships Coordinator at The Passage.

Saturday 20 May   Westminster Interfaith’s ever popular 32nd Annual Multi-Faith Pilgrimage for Peace, starting from Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Arnos Grove at 9.15am and ending at the North London Sikh Gurdwara, New Southgate at about 6.30pm.  This pilgrimage attracts hundreds of people.  Book your place and find the information you need here.

Sunday 21 May 1pm – 4.30pm Lewisham Annual Walk for Peace. Organised by Lewisham Police, this year’s interfaith walk through Lewisham will visit a synagogue, a church, the Islamic Centre, a Hindu temple, and the Civic Suite. Details from John Biddle at Lewisham Police.

Sunday 21 May 10am – 5.30pm Faiths In Tune Festival at the British Museum  A diverse stage music and dance programme as well as an interfaith community fair where visitors can learn about and get in touch with various faith and cultural communities from all over London.  With the ever-popular Pearls of Islam duo and LBFN friends & multifaith group Berakah Arts.

Wednesday 14 June – Thursday 15 June London School of Economics Faith Centre. Conference: Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions – how narratives of faith are shaping today’s world.  Includes Karen Armstrong and Prof Mona Siddiqui.  Book here.

Wednesday 21 June 4-5pm  Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group, Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, SW1P 1Q.  Speaker is Jeremy Rodell of the British Humanist Association.

Understanding Islam | Chris Hewer | SW London

Dr Chris Hewer will be teaching two groups in South West London soon.  These popular courses are free of charge and take place in private homes.  Dr Hewer is well known in London for his work in this area.

Dr Hewer teaches with the input of his students and so they guide the way the course takes with their questions. The course runs from 09:30 to 16:30 daily.  Diana Mills, who organises the courses says, “We ask you to bring your own lunch but coffee and tea and biscuits, are provided. The course is free but we ask for donations to cover costs.”

The first course is Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May in Ham.

The second is Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th May in Kew.

Contact Diana to book your place.

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

#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?

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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

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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.

Film premiere | #LondonIsOpen Places of Worship | 21 September

londonisopen-21-septLBFN’s peace & reconciliation strand includes convening the London Peace Network, which marks the UN International Day of Peace each year.

Join film-makers, artists, religious leaders and LBFN friends from across the capital on Wednesday 21 September at 8am-9am at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square for the premiere of a short film celebrating London’s places of worship – we are open and welcoming, not closed and fearful. Download the flyer.

The film is inspired by the Mayor of London’s #LondonIsOpen series and will be shown at Southwark Cathedral later in the year in the presence of the Mayor.  Churches, Islamic centres, temples, synagogues, meeting houses and gurdwaras will be open to guests during their times of worship or meeting on 23, 24 and 25 September – contact LBFN for details.

To secure your place, please register on the Eventbrite page.