News from the All-Party Parliamentary Group

Event with the University of York: Churches, COVID-19 and Communities

The All-Party Group on Faith and Society hosted a report briefing with the University of York on Thursday 9th December. The report, Churches, COVID-19 and Communities is a joint publication by the University of York, Historic England, the Church of England, the Association of English Cathedrals, the National Churches Trust, and the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance. The report examines the impact of closing church buildings and restrictions on activities provided or hosted by churches, on the lives and wellbeing of individuals and communities. It also

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Event with Leeds Beckett University: Concepts for a COVID-19 Commemoration Event

The All-Party Group on Faith and Society held a session with Leeds Becket University on Wednesday 24th November. At the event, two students from the UK Centre for Events Management, based at the university, put forward their concepts for a National Commemoration Event for the UK to mark the COVID-19 pandemic. During the session, senior lecturers Reverend Ruth Dowson, Dr Ian Lamond and Bernadette Albert, gave some background information about the brief given to the students. Students Olivia Preston-Lee and Beatriz Lobato-Castilla, then presented their

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SAVE THE DATE: Churches, COVID-19 and Communities

Earlier this year, the Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture at the University of York produced a report on the value of churches to local communities entitled Churches, COVID-19 and Communities. This was measured primarily through the services and support churches provide to local residents (members and non-members alike), as well as through the experience of loss felt as a result of the closure or restricted activity of churches during the pandemic. The report and subsequent work have looked at four central questions:

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Faith Covenant Forum Meeting, 10 March 2021

On 10th March 2021, the APPG hosted its third Faith Covenant Forum, a virtual roundtable discussion providing an opportunity for Covenant holders to share learning and best practice, and for prospective Covenant areas to hear and ask questions about how and why they should establish one. This Forum meeting was chaired by Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, and featured updates from Brighton and Hove and Preston, as well as a discussion around the idea of a “new deal with faith communities”, as proposed in Danny

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Recent APPG Report and Faith Covenant Both Endorsed in Parliamentary Debate

On Thursday 11th February, Rt Hon Stephen Timms tabled a debate in Parliament on the response of faith groups during the covid-19 outbreak. Several MPs joined this debate to commend faith communities and faith-based organisations for the excellent and often sacrificial ways in which they have served their communities throughout the past year. Timms drew special attention to the Keeping the Faith report, conducted by the Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, and commissioned by the APPG on Faith and Society with support

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APPG welcomes interest in the Faith Covenant from housing associations and British Army

The Faith Covenant was set up by the APPG on Faith and Society in order to facilitate open, practical working between faith communities and local authorities, removing mistrust and encouraging collaboration according to a mutually agreed set of guiding principles. Since 2015, 13 local authorities have signed up the Covenant, with many others expressing interest in recent months as a result of the crucial role that faith communities have played in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Faith Covenant works not only to establish an

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New report calls for appointment of Faiths Commissioner to strengthen relationships between local authorities and faith groups

A new report has recommended that a Faiths Commissioner be appointed to champion faith groups across Government. Keeping the Faith has been published today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society and the Faiths & Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that collaboration between local authorities and faith groups dramatically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey was sent to all 408 local authorities in the UK and 55 in-depth interviews were conducted with local authority leaders and co-ordinators of

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Faith Covenant Forum Meeting, 5 October 2020

On Monday 5th October, the APPG on Faith and Society held the second Faith Covenant Forum meeting, a virtual roundtable discussion providing an opportunity for Covenant holders to share learning and best practice, particularly with regard to faith-council joint responses to COVID-19. For a full video recording of the meeting, see below. For minutes of the meeting, see here.

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Inaugural Faith Covenant Forum Meeting, 2 June 2020

In June 2020, the APPG hosted its first Faith Covenant Forum, a virtual roundtable discussion providing an opportunity for Covenant holders to share learning and best practice, particularly with regard to faith-council joint responses to COVID-19. For a full video recording of the meeting, see below. For minutes of the meeting, see here. If you are interested in learning more about the Faith Covenant or how you might set one up in your Local Authority Area, please contact [email protected] Relationships have had to form fast,

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Join us for the launch of a new Demos report, Holy Alliances

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society are hosting The launch of a new Demos report, ‘Holy Alliances’ Tuesday 3 September • Westminster Refreshments provided If you are interested in attending, please contact [email protected] for more information. In the decade following the 2008 financial crash, there has been a widely acknowledged growth in church social action, as well as a much less-acknowledged rise in partnership working, as churches increasingly link up with non-Christian organisations to meet social need.

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