East London council celebrates Inter Faith Week
Barking and Dagenham celebrates Interfaith week, from Sunday 10 – Saturday 16 November. This national programme focuses on interfaith understanding and cooperation, strengthens good interfaith relations, increases awareness of the different and distinct faith communities and increases understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs.
Locally, the Faith and Belief Forum, the Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum and the council are all working together to coordinate events which aim to strengthen relationships between faith communities and promote a collaborative approach to developing inter faith activities. This year is particularly important, as we launch a ground-breaking Faith Policy statement, agreed between the council and local faith leaders, and which sets out shared ambitions and ways of working together to strengthen the role faith plays in wider community life.
To celebrate the diversity of the local community, on Tuesday 12 November from 11am, the council will be holding a flag raising event outside Barking Town Hall. This will be to mark Inter Faith Week, with faith leaders, local schools, council staff and residents all invited to mark this special occasion.
Inter Faith Week 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.
This will be followed by a Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum event, on the theme of faith, diversity and harmony, which will be held in the Council Chambers at the Town Hall on Wednesday 13 November from 5pm. It will feature speeches from faith leaders on their faith and experience of living and worshiping in Barking and Dagenham. At the event, awards will also be given to the winners of their Inter Faith Week creative competition - an arts-based competition for local children on the theme of faith, diversity and harmony. The winners will be invited to read out their poetry, essays or share their experiences of living in Barking and Dagenham and their works will be put on display at the Town Hall for the whole of Inter Faith Week.
A number of faith organisations across Barking and Dagenham will be opening their doors to visitors. These include St Margaret’s Church, the Al Madina Mosque, Singh Sabha London East (Barking Gurdwara) and the Harmony Christian Centre and Jain Derasar in Dagenham, plus several more.
Mark Tyson, Director of Policy and Participation at Barking and Dagenham Council said: “This borough is all about community, it is all about coming together and celebrating both our diversity and what we have in common, this is why Inter Faith Week is so important to us as a council.
“Inter Faith Week 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. Celebrating and building on the contribution which members of different faith and non-faith communities make to their neighbourhoods and wider society is central to these aims.”