Bravery on the Street of Woolwich

Yesterday, I was closeted away writing an article on the Coalition and faith, for the new website Public Spirit, when I started to be distracted by news reports of the fatal attack on a soldier in Woolwich.

My heart sank as I realised how faith was likely to be played out in the media for the next little while. As I called into the FaithAction office and read news reports, many spoke of the palpable sense of fear, this act seemed to be truly one of terror.

But behind the headline another story started to emerge — for me, that is — of the acts of individual bravery in the face of fear and danger, those who confronted the killers or the women who tended to the dying soldier. In points of crisis, we have a choice to flee and draw into ourselves or to step up and ‘have a go’. So let us not only condemn this attempt to terrorise us, but let us also draw hope from the acts of bravery on the streets of Woolwich yesterday. Let not the overzealous media who tar this attack as ‘Islamic’ steal the narrative on faith. One heinous act must not be allowed to overwhelm the selfless acts of goodness by people of faith performed without fanfare, day in day out.


Today, take the opportunity to look at the work of faith-based organisations and see their positive contributions.

…but remember: for every website you can view, there are thousands who namelessly serve the communities around them.


Faith with its sleeves rolled up is a reality in UK society. Don’t let this attack be the narrative on faith.

The contributors to FaithAction’s Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up
9th May 2013, Houses of Parliament

About Daniel Singleton

National Executive Director

Daniel Singleton has been the National Executive Director of FaithAction since 2007. This role has seen Daniel forge close working relationships across a number of national government departments, as well as local statutory and voluntary-sector bodies. As part of FaithAction’s mission to connect national and local government with grassroots organisations, Daniel also meets regularly with FaithAction member groups to help them develop in their social action.