Celebrating faith in Barking and Dagenham
Barking and Dagenham is celebrating Interfaith week this week which runs from 8 to 15 November.
This is a national event designed to focus on interfaith understanding and cooperation, strengthen good interfaith relations, increases awareness of the different and distinct faith communities and increases understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs.
We would normally hold events in partnership with the Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum but, unfortunately due to the pandemic, this hasn't been possible this year. We are recognising this week however, by flying the Interfaith Week flag above the Town Hall throughout the week.
We have also shared a video from the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, Cllr Saima Ashraf and faith leaders from the borough, which can be viewed here - https://youtu.be/EdOBrdh4NKI. There are also virtual tours by local places of worship, which we are sharing throughout the week, across our social media channels.
As we celebrate here in Barking and Dagenham, I want to build on the contribution members of different faith and non-faith communities make to their neighbourhoods, and wider society, which is why Interfaith week is important to recognise.
We also have the Faith Builds Community policy, which was created collaboratively with ourselves and interfaith charity, Faith and Belief Forum. The policy aims for ‘a better connected, faith friendly borough, where people of all backgrounds feel safe, celebrated, and included’. Since its inception last year, there have been many advancements within the seven main themes of the policy, but some of the main highlights have been:
• The launch of a new awards programme to celebrate Faith and Belief, run by the Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum.
• A collaboration with Studio 3 Arts to develop a film entitled ‘Ways of Connecting’. The launch of this short film can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Ju4TL7dqI&feature=emb_title.
• The development of the Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum website https://bdfaithforum.org.uk/ which people can now visit and interact with.
Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement said: “Interfaith week is all about community, it is all about coming together and celebrating both our diversity and what we have in common. It aims to strengthen relationships between different faith communities and with the wider community, increase awareness of different and distinct faith communities, and increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious belief.
“ As we celebrate here in Barking and Dagenham, I want to build on the contribution members of different faith and non-faith communities make to their neighbourhoods, and wider society, which is why Interfaith week is important to recognise.”
To view our Faith Builds Community policy, visit - https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/faith-builds-community-policy