22 January Together in Service funding briefing

togetherinservicelogoUpdate on the new DCLG Together in Service funding, which looks promising for LBFN members:

There’s a briefing for Londoners on Wednesday 22 January 10am-12pm at Bethnal Green Mission Church, 305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH.  There’s also a chance to talk to the TiS team individually about potential projects.

The next application deadline is 5pm on 6 February.  More information from the TiS website.

The grants (£2,000 – £5,000) are supporting new initiatives from faith-based groups, working with other faith groups, open to the whole community, encouraging volunteering and enhancing community life.  Each group (which must be registered as a charity) will also be expected to match the TiS funding in kind or cash.

Ring 0845 094 6350 or e-mail felicity.smith@faithaction.net to book a place or to find out more.

A theological reading of Multi Faith Spaces 6 November 4.30

MFS arriving

It’s a year since LBFN hosted Manchester University’s Multi Faith Spaces exhibition.

We promised a follow up event for practitioners, academics and policy makers to pursue the intricate, practical and theological challenges that were aired during our seminar discussions.

  • Do these spaces simply ‘house difference’ or do they bring people together (or alienate them)?
  • What do they say about how people from different traditions share London’s places and spaces?
  • How do they relate to the role of religion in the public square?
  • What is the intention – and what actually happens in practice?
  • Does their presence have knock-on effects within our communities?

I am delighted that Dr Terry Biddington (part of the Manchester team) has kindly agreed to talk to us about his new paper, Towards a Theological Reading of Multifaith Spaces, which asks

“how multifaith spaces relate to the heterotopias, non-spaces and Thirdspaces of some social theorists; what the theological issues around multifaith spaces are for those religious believers who use them; what theological approaches and language might begin to name and explore the potential of multifaith spaces for new shared understandings of human identity; and how multifaith spaces relate to notions of God.”

I’ve had a sneak preview (the paper will be published later this year) and it’s exciting stuff.

It also relates to the developing ideas around the Friday-Saturday-Sunday architectural proposal, intentional sharing and ‘visiting’ of religious places and how religious and non-religious people share place and negotiate identity.  The paper focuses mainly on Abrahamic traditions, but our discussion will be broader.

We’ve agreed Wednesday 6 November at 4.30pm for this event and I am looking for a suitable multifaith space in central London as a venue.  Please contact me if you know of something suitable.

There will be a couple of respondents to Terry’s paper, followed by discussion and something to eat.  We should be finished by about 6.30pm.

People involved in hospital chaplaincy, FE colleges, prisons, workplace MFS, universities, airports (& other shopping centres) are very welcome – please pass this invitation on to those whom you know.

Save the date and register your interest with LBFN if you’d like to join us in November.

European network on religion & belief – 28th November

Last year’s Brêakfåst in Mültifaitħ Eŭrőpe during Inter Faith Week was a great success, despite the early hour.   Catch up with the latest news on the Europe page.

This year, we are meeting at Europe House, the European Parliament’s United Kingdom Office in Westminster, on Monday 28th November.

We’ll meet at 12.45pm for 1-2pm, with extra time for networking after that.  I guess we should call italthough you’d be wise to bring your own tiffin/sandwiches/piece if your lunchtime requirements go beyond light refreshments.

Let me know if you’d like to know more or download an invitation here.  You will need to add your name to the guest list at www.multifaitheurope.eventbrite.co.uk.  The planning group is working towards a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels next year.