Faith Covenant in full

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.

The Faith Covenant is built on the following principles:

  • Faith communities are free to practise their beliefs and religious observances without restriction, and to raise their voice in public debate and to be respected, within the framework of UK law.
  • Public services and faith-based social action should respect service users from all backgrounds, with no discrimination on the grounds of religion, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, mental capability or long term condition.
  • The voice, participation and solutions that faith communities bring are important, and consultation should enable them to be brought to bear for the benefit of the wider community.
  • Organisations and services are stronger for drawing on diverse sources of funding; monopolies of funding, action and participation are damaging

The Faith Covenant entails the following commitments:

Local authorities commit to welcome the involvement of faith groups in the delivery of services and social action on an equal basis with other groups. In addition, they commit to:

  • Building relationships and trust with faith groups;
  • Adopting strategies for the engagement of faith communities in consultation exercises;
  • Encouraging faith groups and their members to be involved in the reshaping and redesign of local services;
  • Establishing clear guidelines around funding;
  • Sharing training and learning opportunities between faith communities and the local authority.

Faith-based organisations commit to work actively with local authorities in the design and delivery of services to the public. In addition, they commit to:

  • Seeking opportunities to bring people together to serve the community, particularly its poorest and most isolated members;
  • Serving equally all local residents seeking to access the public services they offer, without proselytising, irrespective of their religion, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, mental capability, long term condition or disability;
  • Using resources provided for delivering a service wholly for that purpose, and not for any other;
  • Ensuring excellence in child protection, health and safety, accountability and transparency;
  • Responding to consultations where appropriate;
  • Sharing training and learning opportunities between faith communities and the local authority.

About the Faith Covenant