The coming decade will see the country facing new social needs and tough new challenges. There will be fresh demands on public health, social care, education, employment support and community inclusion.
These challenges will require the identification of a new set of resources. We will need to unlock the potential of every part of our society to contribute towards solutions.
We believe that one important resource can be realised by supporting faith-based organisations to work with local authorities constructively and effectively, as part of civil society.
That will mean ensuring that local authorities are confident in commissioning services from, and transferring assets to, appropriately qualified faith-based organisations, and that they include faith groups when they look for solutions to social needs.
The APPG on Faith and Society is convinced that faith groups have a great deal to offer as providers and advocates for the communities in which they serve, and that some of their potential is being unnecessarily overlooked at present.
To help tackle the problem, the Group has drafted a Covenant which can be adopted by faith groups and local authorities in cities across the UK. Together, local authorities and faith communities should work out a local version of the commitments below, according to the priorities and needs of that locality.
The Faith Covenant
The Faith Covenant is a joint commitment between faith communities and local authorities to a set of principles that guide engagement, aiming to remove some of the mistrust that exists and to promote open, practical working on all levels.
The Faith Covenant principles are currently in draft form. Local authorities that are interested in adopting the Faith Covenant should contact FaithAction.
Launch in Birmingham
Birmingham City Council is the first local authority to respond to a call from the All Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Faith and Society for all local authorities across the UK to sign the newly-developed Faith Covenant. The City Council and faith group representatives signed the Faith Covenant at a public launch held at the Library of Birmingham on Thursday 11th December 2014.
More Adopt the Covenant
- Leeds, signed 5th March 2015
- Northamptonshire, signed 17th June 2015
- Barnet, signed 9th September 2015
- Solihul, signed 21st September 2015
- Calderdale, signed 25th November 2015
- Southampton, signed July 2017
- Blackpool, signed 19th September 2017
The Covenant in Practice
Interview with United Christian Broadcasters
On the 11th December 2014, Daniel Singleton of FaithAction, secretariat of the APPG, spoke with United Christian Broadcasters regarding the Faith Covenant.