The FaithAction Manifesto 2019: part 2
As Elspeth outlined last week, FaithAction has some ideas about how we’d like to see this nation changed. The word that we believe captures our vision is decency. The promotion of the decent life should be a goal of all policy, domestic and foreign, but with the next general election just around the corner we decided to take a few key policies we believe in and put them in a manifesto.
As our manifesto has been launched, I wish to discuss one of the policy areas we included: FaithAction believes the next government should Recognise the Skills, Experience and Benefits of Faith-Based Organisations and Resource Appropriately.
Why is this important?
Some problems – mental health, addiction, loneliness – affect us all. They are everyone’s business, and we should be looking for common solutions to these common problems. Historically, faith-based organisations have played a central role in these efforts, and the relationships, access, experience, and volunteers they bring to the table mean they should continue to be considered as key players.
Moreover, the community-based nature of FBOs brings additional benefits including long-lasting social capital. Faith communities offer places of belonging, rehabilitation, healing, learning, creativity, and transformation. We want these surplus benefits to be recognised.
What do we want to see?
Faith communities have many years of experience in helping to bring about a more decent life for the communities they operate in. We therefore want to see MPs meeting with faith leaders, and local governments partnering with faith communities, to bring about change.
The Faith Covenant is a key tool for facilitating trust and increasing cooperation between Local Authorities and FBOs. We therefore want to see more people talking about it, more signatories, and more effective partnerships formed.
A decent society is also a neighbourly one. Faith communities have a drive to fix problems but also to build relationships. We want to see this emphasis on seeing people not as projects but as neighbours to be proliferated vertically, between government and society, but also horizontally, between individuals up and down the country.