Refugees & Migrants: what is the current crisis telling us?

Refugees & Migrants 21 SeptemberJoin us for a Syrian Breakfast on Monday 21 September 8.15am – 9.30am to mark the UN International Day of Peace 2015 at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte St, London W1T 4PW (Goodge St tube).

The London Peace Network, Christian Muslim Forum, East London Mosque & the Faith-based Regeneration Network will be welcoming speakers from different walks of life: Phil Champain, Director of 3FF (formerly of International Alert), Dr Maha Azzam, policy expert on the Middle East, Dr Omer Hamdoon (Muslim Council of Britain) & Steve Miller (Faith-based Regeneration Network). There will be a chance for everyone to add their own thoughts and reflections.

Please let LBFN know by 5pm on Sunday 20 September if you plan to join us.

Please circulate this invitation to your colleagues & networks.  We look forward to seeing you!

Peace Iftar 30 June 7.30pm

Peace IftarJoin LBFN, the London Peace Network and our Collaboration House friends for a Peace Iftar on Tuesday 30 June at 7.30pm.  We have a great line-up of contributors, including Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Bishop Paul Hendricks, Aliya Azam MBE, Steve Miller, Imam Ajmal Masroor, Akeela Ahmed, Navleen Kaur and Abdullah Faliq.

Nasheeds (Islamic songs), accompanied by drumming, are also part of the programme.

Download the invitation here.

If you haven’t yet visited our offices at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte St, W1T 4PW, this is a good opportunity to do so.  Goodge St tube is 3 minutes’ walk away.

People from all traditions are very welcome, particularly if you would like to experience the breaking of the Ramadan fast for the first time.

Let us know if you are planning to join us (& any dietary requirements), so that we have enough food and your name is on the Guest List to gain entry.

This is a family-friendly iftar, so please bring friends (old & young) and family members.  There are five steps to the entrance, but otherwise accessible.

Our young people’s team (18-25 yrs) will be welcoming everyone.  If you would like to be part of the team (no previous experience necessary), or know someone who would like to be, please let us know.

Open Iftars across London are listed on the Big Iftar website – find one near you.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Peace Day leaflets for Islamic centres, synagogues, churches & meeting houses

peace flyer picPeace flyers for Islamic centres, synagogues, churches and meeting houses are now ready!

The weekend of 19-21 September provides a great opportunity for welcoming in neighbours and visitors from different traditions.

Local faith forums can provide the essential links between religious groups, putting people in touch and encouraging invitations and visits.

Download the flyers &/or send links to friends, colleagues, neighbours and networks, encouraging them to open their places of worship to neighbouring communities and visitors during peace weekend.

Download the flyers here:

Islamic Centres Friday 19 September

Synagogues Saturday 20 September

Churches & Meeting Houses Sunday 21 September

We are delighted that the Quakers have added their support this year, and that Religions for Peace UK are also encouraging their members to get involved.

Everyone participating will be part of a world wide weekend of peace-making, truce, reconciliation, conflict transformation, mediation, resilience, ceasefire and a celebration of peace-building.

Open House London and Ride N Stride are taking place on the same weekend and can be incorporated into local plans, adding interest and value.

A London Peace Conference will take place on Monday 15 September at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the City – details to follow.  The London Peace Network coalition was brought together to promote peace-making and the Olympic Truce in 2012 and is part of LBFN’s peace-building social lab.  The activities around the UN International Day of Peace have been very popular.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact the people listed on the flyers or LBFN.

Busy weekend in London 18-21 September

Save these dates in September and start making plans . . . a fantastic weekend for Londoners – curiosity, peace-building, hospitality & celebration!


21 September – join millions across the globe in marking Peace Day. The theme this year is the “right of peoples to peace“.

Thursday 18 September  Come to the London Peace Network’s lively peace conference at St Ethelburga’s Centre, EC2.

Friday 19 September  Invite visitors to your Islamic centre and exchange messages of peace with them.

Saturday 20 September  Invite visitors to your synagogue and exchange messages of peace with them.

Sunday 21 September  Invite visitors to your church or Meeting House and exchange messages of peace with them.  Temples and gurdwaras will also be issuing invitations.

Sunday 21 September  Flights for Peace – fly across the Thames from the Greenwich Peninsula, meeting new people from across London.

Flyers will be available soon.  Contact LBFN for details.

Photo: Grant Smith for Open House

Open House photo: Grant Smith


The capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design.  People will be visiting buildings of interest on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 September, so why not invite them to your own religious community, show them around and exchange messages of peace?


Londoners will be raising funds for Heritage of London Trust by walking & cycling around churches and places of worship on Saturday 20 September.  Invite them in to yours and celebrate the UN International Day of Peace, too!

If you are looking for ways to meet your neighbours or open up your place of worship to the wider community, the weekend of 18 – 21 September is the one for you!

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. 8 May 7 – 9 pm Faiths Together in Croydon event on Interfaith Marriage at CVA, 82 London Road, CR0 2TB. Contact Matt at

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

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

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 and use it to link to your own activities.  LBFN’s convener tweets @multifaith and is always happy to find LBFN friends on Twitter.


Peace weekend | 20th, 21st, 22nd September

The London Peace Network (which LBFN brought together last year for the Olympic Truce) is up & running again.  The salaam / shalom / peace bird is on the wing.  Find all the latest information on – link, like, share!

This is an initiative which offers a simple and effective way to build and strengthen relationships between people from different religious and cultural traditions at local level – at the same time as many people all around the world are engaged in peace-building activities.

peace_leaflet_church_webThe UN International Day of Peace falls each year on 21st September.  Last year, hundreds of Islamic centres led their local communities in marking the day by inviting in visitors to exchange messages of peace.

This year Islamic centres will be inviting in visitors on Friday 20th September, synagogues on Saturday 21st September and (to warm up for next year when the Day will fall on a Sunday) churches on 22nd September.

What you can do:

  1. Decide when you would like your visitors to arrive.
  2. Contact your local faith forum to find people from different religious traditions.
  3. Invite them to your Islamic centre, synagogue or church, along with any information they may find useful for their visit.
  4. When they arrive, exchange the messages of peace on the back of the flyer – or your own messages of peace.
  5. You may offer a cup of tea or some simple hospitality – it is up to you.
  6. If you would like to stay in touch, exchange contact details before your guests leave.

Churches Together in England, amongst many others, is supporting this initiative.  The flyer for churches can be downloaded here.  The flyers for synagogues and Islamic centres will be available soon and the Christian Muslim Forum is helping local religious communities get in touch with each other.  Messages of peace from nine traditions are printed on the back of each leaflet.

Please circulate the flyers as they become available and assist your local faith forum or network to participate through issuing and accepting invitations during the peace weekend.

If you would like any further information or details, just contact LBFN’s convener.

Inter Faith Network news | International Day of Peace

IFN logoHere is the Inter Faith Network’s August bulletin, which includes plenty of local news & opportunities in London, including

  • World Congress of Faiths’ annual Younghusband Lecture (19 August)
  • South London Inter Faith Group’s lunch (29 August)
  • Faiths Together in Lambeth interfaith walk (7 September)
  • Westminster Cathedral Inter Faith Group visit to the Jain Temple in Potters Bar (10 September)
  • Churches Together in Britain & Ireland conference on 12 September
  • Ride & Stride (Heritage of London) on 14 September
  • European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage15-29 September
  • Hounslow Friends of Faith women’s discussion on wealth on 25 September
  • Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe and the School for Oriental & African Studies’ exhibition The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination from 11 October
  • One World Week 20-27 October
  • Mitzvah Day 17 November
  • Inter Faith Week 17-23 November
  • and opportunities at 3FF and MUJU

There are also items on Multi Faith Spaces and the International Day of Peace.

Remember to keep 6 November 4pm free for LBFN’s theology for practitioners event on Multi Faith Spaces.

Plans for peace-building activities on 20 & 21 September are gathering pace, building on the pioneering Olympic Truce work of the London Peace Network last year.

If your local mosque (on Friday 20 September) or synagogue (on Saturday 21 September, which falls within the Feast of Sukkot) would like to take part this year, inviting in visitors to share messages of peace, please contact LBFN. Equally, if you would like an invitation to a mosque or synagogue in your borough on those days, please let us, or your local faith forum, know.  Flights for Peace across the Thames are also a possibility . .

September 21st falls in a Sunday next year, so it will be the churches’ opportunity to open their doors.  Sermon notes for all three religious traditions are being prepared this year.

If you are planning activities which are open to people across London, just let LBFN know and they will be added to the blog.

Southwark invitations during Ramadan


One of South London Inter Faith Group's walks last year.

One of South London Inter Faith Group’s walks last year.

Here are three generous invitations to break the fast (‘iftar’) with Muslim friends during the month of Ramadan. LBFN members and others from different religious and belief traditions are very welcome.

  1. Monday 22 July Muslim sisters at the Rockingham Women’s Group invite women and children to Harper Road (Baitul Aziz) Mosque, I Dickens Square, SE1 4JL, at 8pm for a meal after 9pm.  Nearest Tube station – Elephant & Castle.  Borough Buses 133, 40, 35.
  2. Wednesday 24 July The Old Kent Road Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, 365 Old Kent Road, SE15 5JH has invited all who are interested to break the fast and to arrive at around 8pm. The invitation is to St Peter’s Church, Walworth, and other local churches. A walking party will be leaving St Peter’s Church at 7.30pm.

Siriol Davies (Diocese of Southwark), who circulated the invitations, reminds potential guests,

“This will be a great opportunity to witness a little bit of Ramadan and to enjoy the friendship which exists across our faiths. The generosity and hospitality of the local Muslim communities in making these invitations is a great example to all of us.

Muslim brothers and sisters will have been fasting from dawn, around 3.00am, and the fast continues until sunset which is around 9pm. It is a complete fast which means no food or liquids.

Any visitors to the iftars are invited to fast for all or part of the day if they wish to.

If you would like to come to either or both evenings you are welcome to just turn up, but it would be very helpful if you could let me know by email or text 07913 470 816.

If you intend to walk on Wednesday from St Peter’s Church in the group leaving at 7.30pm it would be good to know this.  Also, please ask if you have any further questions about the evenings.”

  1. Sunday 28 July At Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 9DA, the South London Inter Faith Group is marking the end of its photo-exhibition there celebrating 16 years of inter faith walks.  All who are interested are invited to view the exhibition (7.30pm), to hear a short explanation of Ramadan and Iftar (8.30pm) and to join Muslim brothers and sisters for the call to prayer and iftar (around 9pm – 10pm).  Download the flyer here.  The Exhibition is open to the public every day from now until 28 July.

Please let me know if there are similar opportunities in other parts of London.


Round-up of London Peace Network news

As the weather cools and memories of our Olympic summer fade, have a look at the London Peace Network blog for the latest news and pictures of Olympic Truce events.

UN International Day of Peace, Tooting Islamic Centre, and prayers for peace

South London Inter Faith Group Walks in the City/Southwark and Merton

Imperial War Museum and an earlier visit

Open Iftar meals in Waltham Forest, Lambeth & Harrow

2012 Hours Against Hate


Near Neighbours Olympic Torch pledge

St Ethelburga’s This is Not a Plate

Ramadan Festival’s Dine @ Mine


Ringing bells for the Olympic Truce – and meeting Ban Ki-moon

War and Peace Festival at St John’s Waterloo

If you have any pictures or news you’d like added, please send them in.

So many of us have been involved in extra peace-making and trust-building activities during 2012.  We’ll be listening to some of these stories at our next meeting.  Please let me know if you’d like to share yours.


Invitation to Houses of Parliament for mini-launch

All London Boroughs Faiths Network members and friends are warmly invited to the Houses of Parliament for a short but special event tomorrow morning (Friday) at 11.30am.

Local mosques and Islamic centres across London will be opening their doors and welcoming in visitors on UN International Day of Peace.  This is a London Peace Network intiative for local Islamic centres, which has brought the main Muslim organisations together in support, and which LBFN has been co-ordinating.

Lord Bates, the champion of the Olympic Truce, has kindly invited us to launch our activities at Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament on Friday 21 September at 11.30am.

We will also be launching The Cordoba Foundation’s Occasional Papers, Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future, which includes contributions on the subject of peace and on the International Day of Peace from the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Hertzegovina and the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Copies will be available for everyone to take away.

Please download the invitation here.

It will be more of a mini-launch, since people will need to leave at 12.15pm for the huge range of activities planned at Islamic centres and mosques across the capital during and after Friday Prayers.

You will find a list of participating Islamic centres on the London Peace Network blog.

Please join us!  Let me know and I will add your name to the guest list.  I look forward to seeing you there.