Faith in Communities: Bridging the Divide – new report
We’re delighted that the Government has marked Inter Faith Week by publishing a report that celebrates the fantastic ways in which faith communities contribute to our society.
The report, which gives highlights from the ‘faith tour’ of the country by Lord Bourne, the Government’s Minister for Faith, sweeps aside the notion that faith communities are closed-off, isolated or divisive. Lord Bourne writes:
“…these perceptions could not be further from the truth. Without exception, I found vibrant places of worship … with generous, outward-facing congregations, and all with similar motivations – to manifest their values and beliefs into helping to make stronger, more united communities … supporting the most vulnerable, helping to make areas safer and cleaner, providing places for the lonely to find company and many other services as well.”
It was also great to see a spotlight put on the work of some of FaithAction’s members and friends, such as Khizra Mosque, Faith Network for Manchester and the Cinnamon network – as well as some special mentions for the way in which faith communities support health and wellbeing. It was Cinnamon’s research that showed that the value of time given by faith groups to their communities is worth over £3 billion per year – a statistic quoted in the report – and to have the extent of faith’s contribution being recognised by Government in this way represents a success for all of us.
Finally, the recommendations that finish the report include some of our own key messages: recognise the valuable contribution of faith institutions; and, if you are from a faith community, reach out and make partnerships with others (faith-based or not) who are doing similar work, so that we can learn from each other.
FaithAction is here to help establish such links so, whether it’s other faith groups you want to link with, the wider voluntary sector or government officials, give us a call if you would like some support.