The Faith Covenant Forum brings all of the Covenant holders together (both local authority representatives and faith leaders) to share best practice during Covid-19 and beyond. It is also a space for prospective Covenant areas to hear about what the Covenant looks like in action.
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
- Solihull, signed 21st September 2015
- Calderdale, signed 25th November 2015
- Southampton, signed July 2017
- Blackpool, signed 19th September 2017
- Essex, signed October 2017
- Brent, signed 15th November 2017
- Wolverhampton, signed December 2017
- Preston, signed 7 June 2018
- Brighton and Hove, signed 18 November 2018
Relationships have had to form fast, with vulnerabilities shared openly and work had to be done collaboration – the situation has been a catalyst that in ordinary times would not have happened.
We must keep the momentum going of the work that has happened during COVID and highlight how pre-existing relationships helped with this work.
The faith sector is instrumental in leading with food provision and bringing issues to the council’s attention. It is vital for reaching as many people as possible.
The covenant is a very good conduit for multifaith collaboration and action……. It provides a way to have dialogue, show inclusivity and [create strategic] connections.
The Faith Covenant on own isn’t enough – when Southampton signed there was already a good relationship with faith communities. The Covenant [however,] allowed us to link up and cement this joint working partnership.
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.