It would be easy to assume that the news this month has been mostly bad. That’s because the extraordinary attracts our attention and the ordinary is easily overlooked. It has been a great consolation that people of faith coming together in quiet acts of solidarity is now quite ordinary. That doesn’t mean it is unnecessary. I am grateful to the Archdeacon who emailed his Area Deans suggesting they remind clergy colleagues that it might be a good time to check how their Muslim neighbours are feeling; and suggested other Archdeacons in his Diocese might like to do the same.
I’ve chosen the blog pic from among those taken at the big IF rally earlier this month when 45,000 people of all faiths and none came together to demand of government four achievable actions that would make huge strides to end world poverty. Julie Saddiqi, Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Britain spoke alongside Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Movement Rabbi, Reform Judaism, and Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid. Thanks to Julie Siddiqi for permission to use the picture.
Indeed it is a good time to remind ourselves that building relationships of trust takes time and patience but when we look back or when, if rarely, tragedy strikes all the effort is seen to be so worthwhile.
Talking of building relationships Theos, The Contextual Theology Centre and Contending Modernities have just published ‘Making Multiculturalism Work’ by David Barclay which can be downloaded via this link.
St Peter’s Walworth have long had a relationship with Old Kent Road mosque. They now have a Near Neighbours grant to begin a new group in the Autumn which will meet to explore their respective spiritual traditions (especially contemplative prayer), then come together to share silence followed by refreshments and a chance to get to know one another.
Dr Chris Hewer, ‘Understanding Islam’ tutor and author, has been working with Ahl ul-Bayht TV to produce a series called The Big Picture. The titles of each article/broadcast are available now and each week as an episode is aired the title will become a hyperlink to the article. The broadcasts will be uploaded as you tube clips to view - all on his website via the link above.
In other news....
The European Network on Religion and Belief – ENORB is an Anti – Discrimination Network which covers the Religion and Belief strand of the European Fundamental Rights and Equalities policy. It is a voluntary network with no funding but has a website and has just published a review of the previous 12 month’s work and reports from recent seminars on their website.
The Church Buildings Council and The Prince's Regeneration Trust have produced a Business Planning Toolkit to help faith communities deliver successful regeneration projects. The kit will be launched in Norwich on 4th July but watch the PEN blog for how to obtain a copy once available.
Essex Mind and Spirit have published the report of their 4th Tackling Mental Health in Multi Faith Contexts conference at www.essexmindandspirit.moonfruit.com
The latest news from CUF includes the report ‘The Human Cost of Welfare Reform’ and news of their Tackling Poverty Together conference to be held in London on 13th November at which Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will be speaking
Events this month are on the news and events page of the PEN website here.