Designing and improving public services | 20 April | CoProduction Conference

9959244_orig1This is a conference for those of us working with our local councils, NHS and other public agencies.

By bringing the experience and expertise of our local communities together with those of the statutory bodies, we can co-design and co-produce public services that make a big difference to people’s lives, that use public money more effectively and which tackle the inequalities we are all aware of.

If your faith forum, church, temple, Islamic centre, synagogue or gurdwara is working with (or interested in working with) your local borough council or NHS, please come along.

WCEN’s CoProduction Research Conference is on Monday 20 April at Springfield Hospital in south London (Tooting Bec tube) & is open to religious and community groups from across London.

One of the workshops is tailored especially for those of us who are interested in getting started on making a contribution to the physical health & emotional wellbeing of our communities.

Professor John Benington (University of Warwick) is a leading thinker in the future of how public services are evolving and will be speaking on “mobilising movement for whole system change in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity”.  The day will finish with a conversation between Prof Benington and Wandsworth Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Martin.

It’s an opportunity to share ideas from across systems and social networks: academics, policy makers, public servants, local religious & community organisations.

The conference is free of charge and includes lunch.  Download the invitation and the programme and email if you plan to attend.

Faith action audits


LBFN’s convener on how local religious & community organisations can work with public agencies to co-produce and improve services.  (2′ 53” into video)

LBFN was invited to the launch of the Cinnamon Network’s Faith Action Audits – a way of quantifying and demonstrating the value of faith-based social action to local authorities, borough police and other public agencies.  The audits will be led by local churches but will also include initiatives by temples, Islamic centres, synagogues and gurdwaras.

The audits have been designed to provide evidence for the impact of social action undertaken by local faith groups.  It’s hoped that presenting the evidence will enable closer working with the local public sector.

If you’re interested, read the press release, contact Anthony McKernan and find out if an audit is planned in your part of London.

Multi-faith spaces

What’s your experience of quiet rooms, prayer rooms, multi-faith spaces? In hospitals, prisons, council offices, police headquarters?

What is the impact of these spaces?  There are plenty of them in London, many of them in the public sector.

Have you been part of a planning team?  Is there one where you work?  Do you make use of these spaces?

LBFN has invited Andrew Crompton, part of a research team from the University of Manchester, to tell us about the findings so far.  Andrew says,

” Most multi-faith spaces are windowless rooms with a suspended ceiling and cheap furniture (which looks like it’s come from IKEA) and home-made decorations – they’re kind of homely.

In fact they’re sort of vernacular expressions of spirituality.”

Andrew and his colleagues are investigating multi-faith spaces

  • as symptoms of specific societal trends and political ambitions
  • as works of architecture, shaped through the actions of architects, designers, engineers, artists, users, etc
  • as agents that encourage, shape or facilitate particular activities
  • as historical entities, that have developed and consolidated over time.

LBFN will pass on your comments to the team – or why not come along to our next meeting on the morning of Wednesday 14th September in Victoria (details from the Convener)?



London Boroughs Faiths Network is an informal network of practitioners which brings together the local public sector and local religious and community groups.  We meet up around four times a year.  Find out more.

View from the London Eye (from

What would you like to find here?  What would you like to contribute?

  • Upcoming faith-public sector events?  London’s busy.
  • Job vacancies/internships/work experience opportunities?
  • Links to blogs, organisations, twitter, groups, people, Facebook, resources?
  • Recommendations – caterers, religious literacy, venues, publications?
  • Media links, reviews, clips?
  • Government policy updates?  What’s in the pipeline at local level?
  • Debate?  Big Society?  Faith and public policy?

The blog is currently written by LBFN’s convener, but it is set up to include more than one author.  LBFN members are more than welcome to add posts – please get in touch.

Looking forward to our next meeting on 7th October, but in the meantime, sign up (top right) for an email subscription – the easiest way to keep in touch.

Say hello, leave a comment, and add your news, recommendations, upcoming events or questions below.

Over to you . . .