Background to the Week
In July 2008 the Department for Communities and Local Government published Face to Face and Side by Side – a Framework for Partnership in our Multi Faith Society. This document presented the Government’s strategy for encouraging the further development of inter faith activity in England. It set out how faith communities, Government and wider society can work together, at all levels, to bring people with different religions and beliefs together.
In the course of the consultation, the Executive Committee of the Inter Faith Network for the UK proposed that there be an Inter Faith Week drawing on experience of a successful Week of this kind held in Scotland. One of the Government’s undertakings in the final document was to work in partnership with the Inter Faith Network for the UK, with its member bodies, to organise an Inter Faith Week in 2009. The Inter Faith Network links national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies, and education and academic bodies with an interest in inter faith issues.
Inter Faith Week in 2009 was very successful with a range of exciting and stimulating events taking place across England and Wales. These events included inter faith sports; discussions and dialogues; inter faith walks and pilgrimages; festivals and celebrations; exhibitions; concerts and classroom activities in schools. Faith communities across the country took part, alongside schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, and many other types of organisations.
Inter Faith Week took place again in 2010, and saw increased participation in the Week across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There was an overall increase in events of 24% on the Week in 2009. Further details about the Week in 2010 can be found in Inter Faith Week 2010 in England, which also included some ideas for marking the 2011 Week. A full list of events to mark the 2010 Week can be found here.
During Inter Faith Week 2011, participation in the Week increased again, with 507 events known to have taken place, an increase of 44% since the inaugral Week in 2009. Visits to this website also increased, with traffic in the fourth quarter of 2011 up 31% on the 2010 Week. Further information about the 2011 Week can be found in Inter Faith Week 2011, a short illustrated brochure about the 2011 Week which includes a section on planning for Inter Faith Week 2012. A full list of events known to have taken place to mark the 2011 Week is available here.
Full lists of events which took place each year, as well as reports on the Week, can be found on the reports and event lists page.
You can also find press releases about the Faith Communities Event at Lambeth Palace and the 2009 Inter Faith Week in general below. More recent press releases can be found on the news releases page.