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APPG on Faith and Society

Keeping the Faith

Read the latest APPG report on how partnerships between local authorities and faith communities have strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Faith Covenant has been drafted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society, of which FaithAction is the secretariat, to support faith groups/organisations and local authorities in working together. It is a joint commitment between the two to a set of principles which will guide engagement, working to remove the mistrust they face and promote open and practical work based on shared values.

The Covenant was first launched in Birmingham in December of 2014, at an event bringing together Birmingham City Council, representatives from local faith groups, and members of the APPG. At the launch, Cllr James McKay of Birmingham City Council said,

Faith communities have always been called upon to tackle hardship and need in our communities. It is the absolute bedrock of what it means to have faith, and people of faith were serving their communities long before the state ever woke up to the fact that it had responsibilities, too.

Every day our faith groups give an enormous amount to Birmingham, and do so in the ever-changing landscape of public services. The Faith Covenant provides a set of working principles that help us all get the biggest social benefit out of this partnership, as those public services continue to change.

Organisations and services can only become stronger by working together in an open and generous way, with a shared set of values and principles to guide their activities on a daily basis.

Since then, twelve other local authorities have signed the Faith Covenant, covering between them about 10% of the UK population. Momentum has continued to grow thanks to the establishment of a Faith Covenant Forum (a biannual meeting for Faith Covenant areas to come together to share best practice) and the way in which local authorities and faith communities have worked more closely together to respond effectively to needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in bringing the Faith Covenant to your area, please contact us by emailing [email protected], and get in touch with your local council to let them know as well.