APPG on Faith and Society and the Faith Covenant

Launched in 2012, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Faith and Society aims to highlight the contribution to society by faith-based organisations, identify best practice, and promote understanding of the groups providing innovative solutions around the country.

FaithAction acts as the APPG’s secretariat.

The group also looks to learn from international best practice, and how other countries harness the innovation and solutions from faith-based organisations and embed them in emerging policies and bills.

At a time when media commentary focuses on secularisation and the alleged decline of faith in Britain, there is a growing movement of faith-based social activism around the country which could be better known and appreciated. It is making itself felt in the UK in a growing range of projects – youth work, employment support, food banks, debt counselling – and overseas with fair trade, banks for the un-bankable and health initiatives on a large scale.

The Faith Covenant

The Faith Covenant has been drafted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society 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.

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, twenty three 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 check out the page below to find out more about the process!

#FaithinPartnership Week

Hosted by FaithAction each year in collaboration with the APPG, #FaithinPartnership Week champions the belief that strong cross-sector partnerships between faith groups and statutory bodies have immense potential to drive and sustain change for the vulnerable and marginalised.

Recent news from the APPG