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.

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Lambeth Inter Faith Walk | 17 September

19-crossing-clapham-commonThe South London Inter Faith Group has a tradition of over 25 years of organising inter faith walks.  Faiths Together in Lambeth, which hosts monthly meetings of SLIFG, holds their 2016 walk today, starting at noon at Streatham Synagogue.  Download the map and details here.

Upcoming events in & around Kingston

Rashid Laher and Dianne MahboubiInter-faith Forums / Faithfull Friends events, kindly circulated by Rashid Ali Laher (above left – Kingston IF Forum, Richmond IF Forum and South London Inter Faith Group).  Download full details here.

Saturday 11 October 2pm  Britain has a proud tradition of providing sanctuary to those fleeing persecution, and civil society has been at the forefront in welcoming and supporting refugees. Meet at All Saints Church Kingston. Walk with Sukkah, a ceremonial tent to mark the Jewish festival of Sukkot ~ highlighting the need to resettle refugees in communities not camps ~ details http://www.unhcr.org/542abbc16.html.

Monday 13 October ~ 1000-1600hrs ~ MILAAP Multi-Cultural Centre, Kingston.  Dr Chris Hewer (www.chrishewer.org) Study Day: “What is it to be a Woman? Focus on Islam”. Contact Diana Mills 020 8948 3276 dianamills@phonecoop.coop

Saturday 18 October ~ 1830 hrs Annual Gala Evening, Claremont Fan Court School, ESHER – an evening of “Foods & Performances” from diverse cultures. www.elmbridgemultifaith.org.uk Contact GeoffreyMorriss@emas-bc.co.uk 01932 868454.

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 October ~ Hunger for Justice Weekend acting and praying for our climate. Invite your MP along and challenge them to act on climate change ~ Register your Church via website: www.christianaid.org.uk

Tuesday 4 November ~ “Faith Schools Should Not Be A Part of State Education” at 2000hrs ~ South Farnham School, Menin Way FARNHAM GU9 8DY ~ College Principal, 2 School Heads & CE British Humanist Society www.farnham.humanist.org.uk 01252 726684

Saturday 15 November ~ 1900 Hrs ~ “Concert in Aid of the Kingston Food Bank” at Saint Thomas Aquinas RC Church, Ham Street RICHMOND TW10 7HT ~ Tickets £5 per head ~ RashidAli Laher 020 8541 1330 rai.laher@blueyonder.co.uk

LAST THURSDAY most months (30 OCT, 27 NOV & 18 DEC) ~ Open Lunch Time Meetings South London Inter Faith Group at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Redlands Way, SW2 3LU.  Vegetarian Lunch 12.30pm followed at 1pm to 2pm ~ an opportunity to share Inter Faith news and experiences, and to discuss matters of concern to SLIFG.  Contact Reverend Alan Gadd ~ membership@southlondoninterfaith.org.uk.

Reflections from Sunday 14 September ~ Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames “Heritage Open Day” Inter Faith Walk ~ memorable day, worth remembering things to do and advance the need to sustain local volunteers, supporting the growing needs of the vulnerable living amongst us:
• Street Pastors in Kingston ~ www.kingston.streetpastors.org.uk
• Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness ~ www.kcah.org.uk
• Kingston Kaleidoscope Project ~ www.kaleidoscopeproject.org.uk
• Kingston Foodbank ~ Trussell Trust ~ www.kingston.foodbank.org.uk
• Kingston WelCare ~ Making Families Stronger ~ welcarekingston.org.uk
• Oxygen Kingston ~ Young Persons resources for Youth work ~ www.yfc.co.uk
• Joel Community Trust ~ New Centre for Homeless ~ www.joelcommunitytrust.org.uk
• Kingston Quakers:- Kingston’s first EcoFriendly Meeting Place www.kingstonquakers.org

Kingston – raising awareness & understanding of the vulnerable amongst us

lotus_flowerThis year’s inter faith walk in Kingston-upon-Thames focuses on the vulnerable amongst us.

Kingston Inter Faith Forum and Faithful Friends invite you to join them on Sunday 14 September, visiting six places of worship across the borough.

More information from Rashid Ali and Diana Mills and download the flyer here.

Walks | pilgrimages | fundays

Three local walks and pilgrimages and a funday are coming up during September.

BATCA flyerSaturday 13 September Balham & Tooting Community Association’s annual Funday will take place at Gatton Muslim Primary School and St Augustine’s Church of England in Tooting, Wandsworth.  Attractions will include food from around the world, a clown, fairground rides, traditional sideshows, penalty shoot outs, creative arts, free NHS health checks for over 40s, craft stalls, farm animals, a fire engine and much more.

The theme this year is “Celebrating Life Together.”   Download details here.

WF walkSunday 14 September

The Women’s Interfaith Network in Waltham Forest is leading a Friendship Pilgrimage “Sounds of Spirituality” around the borough.

They will visit nine places of worship, starting at the Sri Karpaga Vinayagar Temple and ending with supper together.

People are welcome to join the pilgrimage at any stop.

Download the flyer and programme.

ftilSaturday 20 September Faiths Together in Lambeth will be leading an Inter Faith Walk, starting at Church of the Holy Spirit, stopping at four more places of worship and practice in the north of the borough and finishing at Lambeth Masjid and Progressive Community Centre.

Walkers are invited to join at any time.  Download the flyer and map.

st e walkSunday 21 September The Ethelburga Walk from Barking to Bishopsgate will raise funds for St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

It will make its way through “surprising green spaces in East London.”  There’ll be storytelling, music and refreshments en route for a great day out and for a good cause. Children and dogs welcome.

Download the flyer here and register at www.stethelburgas.org/walk.

Are you planning a walk or community event?  Let LBFN know and we can add it to the blog.

Ride + Stride around London’s places of worship 14 September

Ride+Stride Logo 2Would you like to welcome walkers and cyclists to your place of worship or practice on Saturday 14 September?  Londoners will be finding sponsorship to visit as many as possible, with the proceeds split 50-50 between their own choice of local church, mosque, temple or other community and the Heritage for London Trust.

Sadly, the date chosen clashes with the solemn day of Yom Kippur, so Jewish friends and synagogues are unlikely to be participating.  Let’s hope significant days and dates are avoided next year.  The BBC website has a good calendar for checking dates up to two years in advance.

LOGO BLUE3064See whether your borough’s religious buildings are part of Ride+Stride on the HfLT website, which has a handy map.  Wesley’s Chapel, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the Swedish Church, the Royal Foundation of St Katharine, Wandsworth Quaker Meeting House and St Paul’s Cathedral are already signed up.

Lambeth Council has integrated Ride + Stride into its Lambeth Heritage Festival.  

HfLT’s Alice Knight is happy to sign up new participants – she has some A2 posters to use as publicity which are free of charge.  On the day, someone needs to welcome walkers and cyclists, tell them something about the heritage and sign their sponsorship forms.  Juice and biscuits is an extra treat but not essential.  Download the form and return it to Alice asap at contact@heritageoflondon.com.

“Get on your bikes or put your best foot forward to raise much needed funds for London’s places of worship!

Ride+Stride is a sponsored walk and cycle around religious buildings of all faiths and eras.

The less energetic can also take part as many of these buildings are on major public transport routes.

Participants are free to choose whatever route and distance suits them.

The funds raised will be split equally between the participant’s nominated place of worship and the Heritage of London Trust, who will then give it out in grants.”

In future, this scheme could link in with the Open University’s Building on History initiative, which Finchley and Wandsworth are pioneering.

Many thanks to Jason Cobb for alerting LBFN to Ride + Stride.

Boris backs London inter faith walks 14th – 15th July

London’s Mayor is backing a series of inter faith walks being held across South London this weekend to showcase the multi-faith character of the capital.

The Mayor says,

“I am delighted to lend my support to the South London Inter Faith Walks in this summer like no other for London.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games offer the most wonderful demonstration of togetherness, and it will be a joy to see athletes and visitors from all over the world, of all faiths and none, coming together in our capital where we are almost unique in being able to offer them all a home from home.

That is something to celebrate and for which we can all give thanks, and I can think of no better way to do so than by joining one of these Inter Faith walks in that same spirit of togetherness and sporting endeavour.”

Coordinated by South London Inter Faith Group and organised by local groups, each event is free and open to anyone of any faith or none. Participants will spend about an hour in up to eight different places of worship and can drop in and out at any part of the day. Participating boroughs are: Hounslow, Richmond, Kingston, Merton, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon, Lewisham, Bromley and Greenwich. 

Sarah Thorley, organiser of 15 previous south London walks says,

“Come and join in! Meet and walk and talk with your neighbours. Now is your chance to enter all those mysterious buildings you’ve never quite dared to go into.

Visit temples, churches, mosques and synagogues all in one weekend.

See for yourselves the genuine inter faith cooperation that exists.”

To find details of the walks in your area, see www.southlondoninterfaith.org.uk/2012-inter-faith-walks.

Details and maps of the walks can also be found on the London Peace Network website, along with many other Olympic Truce activities this summer.