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.

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

#LondonIsOpen after Westminster attacks

The Mayor’s vigil in Trafalgar Square yesterday brought Londoners together from across our communities.

It’s a good time to remember that London’s faith communities continue to be open and welcoming.  View and share the film that captures this spirit.

london-is-open-logo

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.