Inter Faith Week: 2 Months To Go!

Inter Faith Week, now in its ninth year, begins two months today on 12 November.

The Week aims 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
  • Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs

Each year, hundreds of organisations take part: faith and inter faith bodies, non-religious belief organisations, community and voluntary organisations, businesses, local authorities, emergency services, schools, colleges, universities, chaplaincies, sports organisations and others. Last year saw the biggest Inter Faith Week yet.

Inter Faith Week is a programme of the Inter Faith Network for the UK.  Its Co-Chairs, Bishop Richard Atkinson and Jatinder Singh Birdi say:

“Amid challenging times, the Week is a powerful opportunity to create and demonstrate friendship and solidarity and to continue to work towards a society rooted in shared values and cooperation.

We invite you to hold an activity for the Week – large or small.   Be part of making new connections and friendships, learning about the faiths and beliefs of other people you share your daily life with, or volunteering with people of other faiths on a project to help your local community.” 

Minister for Faith Lord Bourne said:

“In recent months we have seen how faith communities have come together to offer help to people caught up in appalling incidents and tragedies  – literally throwing open their doors to offer sanctuary. They have been superb.

“Inter Faith Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate the contribution that faith communities make and show how that can be strengthened by working together.”

The Week begins on Remembrance Sunday and many people of different faiths and beliefs will be marking that in some way. Among the events and activities already planned for this year are faith trails, dialogues, and social action events. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks and increase in hate crime, solidarity events and programmes will also feature.  

Event listings will be added on a rolling basis across the coming weeks on the Inter Faith Week website: www.interfaithweek.org The first events are already up.

Earlier this year, IFN published ‘Let’s Talk: Practical Pointers for Inter Faith Dialogue’ and Inter Faith Week encourages participants to draw on this to open new conversations, including about the more challenging aspects of our common lives. www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/lets-talk-practical-pointers-for-inter-faith-dialogue

NOTES
  1. For further information about Inter Faith Week contact: ashley.beck@interfaith.org.uk;  020 7730 0410.
  2. Inter Faith Week is a programme of the Inter Faith Network for the UK (www.interfaith.org.uk) It manages the Inter Faith Week website www.interfaithweek.org,  working with the Inter-faith Council for Wales (interfaithwales.org.uk), and the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum (niinterfaithforum.org) in relation to Wales and Northern Ireland.
  3. Inter Faith Week was established in England and Wales in 2009, and in Northern Ireland in 2010. Scottish Inter Faith Week (scottishinterfaithweek.org/) has taken place with great success since 2004 and is led by Interfaith Scotland (www.interfaithscotland.org). The dates of the Week are this year the same.
  4. The Inter Faith Week website carries more information and resources including a special toolkit packed with event ideas: www.interfaithweek.org/toolkit
  5. Inter Faith Week has its own Twitter account www.twitter.com/IFWeek  and Facebook page www.facebook.com/IFWeek It will also be using Instagram this year for the first time www.instagram.com/IFWeek
  6. A short, illustrated report on Inter Faith Week 2016 can be found at www.interfaithweek.org/resources/inter-faith-week-stories-from-2016-inspiration-for-2017
  7. Sunday 19 November will be Mitzvah Day (www.mitzvahday.org.uk) - a Jewish-led day of social action involving people of all faiths and none working together in their local communities. Many events are being jointly held to mark both Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day and these will form a part of Inter Faith Week.
  8. The Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN) was founded in 1987. Its vision is of "a society where there is understanding of the diversity and richness of the faith communities in the UK and the contribution that they make; and where we live and work together with mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good." 2017 marks its 30th Anniversary.
    IFN is a linking and umbrella organisation with member organisations including national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith organisations; and educational and academic bodies with a focus on in inter faith or multi-faith issues. Its Co-Chairs are the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE and Jatinder Singh Birdi.

Published 12 September 2017