The Faith I see…
That word has not appeared to bring about any positive connotations lately in view of what is happening in the world around us. Faith is being blamed for some awful atrocities that we have seen, especially in the last few weeks.
Working for FaithAction, I see a different side to faith. I see Faith as a tool for drawing together communities, a place to go for those in need. Faith groups up and down the country take an active stance in making a difference to peoples’ lives- faith reaches out to them in their dark places and provides comfort to those who feel lost.
Our friends at Jewish Care for example are the largest health and social care organisation serving the Jewish community in London and the South East. They run over 70 centres and services, caring for more than 7,000 people and their families every week and work with older people, people with mental health problems and many more. Elim Connect in Somerset is a Christian charity running the SLAP project (Street Level Access Programme) doing amazing work in reaching out to the homeless and providing assistance to those in unemployment, those suffering emotional problems and again, much more.
Faith, whatever religion, runs like a strand through society whether we like it or not. The work of faith based groups is abundant, but they need a bigger platform. FaithAction’s ongoing campaign is called ‘Faith too Significant to Ignore.’ There was a demonstration of faith groups wanting to support this as we gathered over 200 of them for our National Conference in November. We continue to promote this and are still encouraging people to sign up and lend their voice to it.
Practical action makes communities better. The range of projects and initiatives undertaken by Faith based groups brings cohesion, not separation. We need to make sure that these GOOD stories of faith, are the ones that are being told.
We need to stand up for faith- it’s too significant to ignore.