PRESS RELEASE: Thousands uniting to mark Inter Faith Week 2022
Inter Faith Week gets under way in England, Northern Ireland and Wales this weekend!
From Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 November, thousands of people will be participating in events for Inter Faith Week. Millions more will be seeing its positive messages through social media.
Running since 2009, Inter Faith Week strengthens inter faith understanding and cooperation; highlights the contribution of faith groups to society; and also encourages dialogue between those of religious and non-religious beliefs. It is a Week for people of all backgrounds.
Inter Faith Week begins each year on Remembrance Sunday to encourage remembering together of the service of those of different faiths and beliefs from the UK and the Commonwealth.
Inter Faith Week activities this year include: faith trails and place of worship open days; Remembrance events; school activities; exhibitions and art and photography competitions; quizzes; podcasts; discussions and debates; inter faith volunteering; tree planting; wellness sessions; sports activities; civic receptions; training sessions and educational roadshows to increase religious literacy; and more. Religious literacy will also be a focus of messages from national faith leaders at the start of the Week. With #COP27 under way and the Queen’s Green Canopy programme, many activities have an environmental theme.
2022 Inter Faith Week venues are diverse: from churches, gurdwaras, mandirs, mosques, synagogues, temples and viharas to civic halls, school classrooms, hospital atriums and chaplaincy spaces, offices, cafes and restaurants, football pitches and forests!
Canon Hilary Barber and Narendra Waghela, Co-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK, which leads on the Week, said:
“Inter Faith Week is now a firm fixture in the UK’s calendar. It is a fantastic time for conversation, mixing, learning and volunteering together to help local communities.
Faith and belief is of profound importance to millions in this country and the different faith communities play a major role within society. Inter Faith Week provides a powerful opportunity to explore that, as well as dialogue with those of non-religious beliefs, and to increase religious literacy. It is a time for creating new links, working partnerships and friendships which are about living together well and co-creating a society rooted in shared values where all can flourish.”
Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, Communities Minister and Minister for Faith, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said:
“Faith communities play an enormously important role in our communities. Inter Faith Week is a time to celebrate that and the ways that they work together for the common good, on the basis of shared values such as service. The growth of Inter Faith Week is a testament to the increasing awareness of the importance of inter faith understanding and cooperation and to interest in its themes.
Integration and cohesion are strongest where there is understanding and positive interaction between people of different religions and beliefs. Inter Faith Week is an important time for highlighting the good work that already happens and also creating new opportunities for people of all ages to meet, learn, and understand each other better.
I wish all marking the Week success in their activities”
Inter Faith Week is attracting ever more interest. Organisations taking part include faith, belief and inter faith organisations; schools, colleges and universities; sports clubs; hospitals and hospices; police, fire and ambulance services; libraries and museums; youth organisations; workplace staff networks; a wide range of national and local charities; and others. 2021 saw a marked increase in participation from many of these. For example, school numbers have gone up 143% across the last two years; numbers of hospices and hospitals by 79% and workplaces by 100% against numbers from 2020.
The final Sunday of Inter Faith Week is Mitzvah Day, a Jewish-led day of social action involving people of all faiths and none working together in their local communities. Each year, many ‘Inter Faith Mitzvah Day’ activities take place to jointly mark Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day.
A sampler of activities can be found here. More examples can be found at www.interfaithweek.org.
IFN Co-Chairs: Mr Narendra Waghela and the Revd Canon Hilary Barber
- Enquiries about the Week: IFN office - 020 7730 0410 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews available.
- More about the Week can be found at: www.interfaithweek.org The interactive map can be searched by town, date and type of activity. More events are being added daily.
- Inter Faith Week’s aims are to: strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels; increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society; and increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs.
- The hashtag for social media is #InterFaithWeek. Inter Faith Week social media accounts can be found at http://www.twitter.com/IFWeek, http://www.facebook.com/ifweek, http://www.instagram.com/IFWeek, www.linkedin.com/showcase/ifweek
- Inter Faith Week is a programme of the Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN) www.interfaith.org.uk, a charity which has been working since 1987 to promote inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK. IFN’s programme of work, including Inter Faith Week, is supported by faith communities, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, trusts and other donors.
- IFN works in consultation with the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum and the Inter-faith Council for Wales/Cyngor Rhyngffydd Cymru in relation to the Week in those nations.
- A range of Inter Faith Week activities in England are being supported through the Near Neighbours programme of the Church Urban Fund.
- Scottish Interfaith Week is led by Interfaith Scotland (http://www.interfaithscotland.org/). It has its own dedicated website at: http://www.scottishinterfaithweek.org/. Scottish Interfaith Week also takes place from 13 to 20 November and this year will be on the theme of storytelling.
- Mitzvah Day, a Jewish-led day of social action, takes place on the last day of Inter Faith Week. The two initiatives have a close working relationship and many activities are arranged to jointly mark Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day, known as ‘Inter Faith Mitzvah Days’. https://mitzvahday.org.uk/