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Help the Church Respond to the UK’s Housing Crisis
Cinnamon Network and the Church of England are working together to help build the capacity of churches to support local people with housing needs and build community. This year they are looking to develop a broad range of initiatives that address the UK’s housing crisis and its underlying causes. They want to find church-based social action projects that want to replicate the great work they’re doing locally to prevent homelessness and support those with housing challenges. They also want to hear from churches who want professional support and guidance as they seek to use land and property to provide affordable or supported accommodation for local people. To register your interest, please follow the link to their website: www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk
New 'Opt Out' Organ Donation System
From 20th May 2020, the new 'opt out' law for organ donation will be implemented in England. This means that the current 'opt in' organ donation system will become an 'opt out' system. All adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they have made a decision that they do not want to be a donor, or are in an excluded group. Donating organs will remain a personal decision. While the new system starts in May, people will continue to be able to record their decision to opt out at any point. It’s important that everyone takes the time to discuss their choices on donation with their families, whatever their preference may be. The simplest way to record a decision is on the NHS Organ Donor Register website, available at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk. However, it is also possible to tell a friend or family member or record it in writing.
IFN Social Media Photography Competition
The Inter Faith Network for the UK is launching its very first Photography Competition! Have you managed to capture the spirit of inter faith interaction in your area? They are inviting you to take part. The categories are: Local inter faith social action (entry via Facebook or Instagram) Local inter faith dialogue (entry via Facebook or Instagram) Local inter faith arts/culture/sports (entry via Facebook or Instagram) Local youth inter faith engagement (entries via Instagram ONLY) Entrants have a chance to win either a donated £50 gift card, or a £25 gift card for the runner up. There will be one winner and one runner up per category. Competition ends at noon on 17 March 2020. Winners will be announced within a week of the competition close date. For more information on how to enter, please click here
Integration Involves All of Us
By Anne Smith
Standing at a bus stop recently, the lights in the studio flats in the block opposite were on. As a result, I could see inside a number of the tiny apartments. In each there was a lone individual and every single one was sat alone, hunched over a screen - albeit a mixture of laptops, tablets and phones. With the walls between them, it seemed to sum up the isolation of modern society, where everyone was so physically close and yet so distant, with only the distorted perspective of the digital screen as a source of connection. We all need connection. Human beings are wired for it and yet Western society is currently experiencing overwhelming levels of loneliness and isolation. In connection, we find purpose. Helping others is one of the foundations of well-being - when we help others, the benefits are mutual. Take Vera and Soheila for example, who met when Vera was volunteering in a Creative English class. Soheila had been afraid to leave the house as she did not speak English, but as the two women got to know one another it transpired that they were neighbours. Now, they see one another regularly – Vera pops in…
Faith on Display in Parliament
By Matt Allen
2020 marks the beginning on a new season for British politics, with three years of Brexit debate (mostly) settled, the strongest majority government since 2005, and a major shake-up in regional and class-based voter alignment. Could this juncture also see an increased appreciation of faith views and contributions to British society? The December 2019 election saw the arrival of a host of new MPs, with new opinions and priorities, several of whom were very happy to use their maiden speeches to talk about the importance of faith, among other things. One prime example came from Stuart Anderson, the Conservative MP representing Wolverhampton South West. Anderson began his maiden speech by sharing about the history of Wolverhampton, before mentioning several of the ‘gems’ of the city today: the football team, the university, the local newspaper. "But the real prize in Wolverhampton is the people," said Anderson. What evidence did he provide to back that claim? Just two things: that they are straight-talking, and they are a community of faith. We have a multicultural, multifaith population, ranging from Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and many more. In Wolverhampton, you can walk past a church, a gurdwara and a mosque all on the same…
- 09 March - A FaithAction Masterclass – Building profitable relationships
We all have to go to events and meetings – and meet other people, but how do we make the most of these times when all we can think is, “I wish I was back at my desk getting on with my work”?
- 29 February - Diaspora Churches and Public Engagement (London)
- 04 March - Places of Worship Security Awareness Advice (London)
- 09 March - Integrated Care in Action
- 17 March - The Muslim Network Health Collaboration (London)
- 18 March - Data, the VCSE Sector and Health Inequalities: How to Access and use Equality and Health Inequalities Data
"I believe that there is a significant and positive role for faith communities to play in the support of mental health."
"I pledge to support faith groups in my community to become Friendly Places which welcome and support those struggling with their mental health."Find Out More!