News from the All-Party Parliamentary Group

Secretary of State Launches ‘Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up’

Eric Pickles launches major new publication on faith-based social action at event in Westminster

book_launch_005Speaking at a packed parliamentary gathering yesterday (9th May), the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP launched a new collection of essays intended to record the most innovative faith based analyses of social action today which emerges from the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith in Society.

Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up is a pioneering publication which explores the practical contribution of faith-based organisations to UK society. The diverse collection of essays comprises perspectives ranging from theory to practice, activism to policy across our diverse religious heritage. Contributors to the publication include Stephen Timms MP, Dr. Daniel DeHanas, Avril McIntyre MBE, Sonia Douek, Francis Davis and Dr. Husna Ahmad OBE.

The event was attended by a number of parliamentarians including Fiona Bruce MP, Gary Streeter MP, David Rutley MP, Penney Mordaunt MP, Lord Davis and Lord Sheikh, as well as members from faith-based organisations across the country.

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP introduced the publication,

As Chair of the APPG, and a contributor to the collection, I’m delighted to be able to launch this publication here today. Just a glance through the pages of “Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up” shows the diversity of faith organisations working hard and offering ideas to help change UK society for the good. This is exactly the kind of work we aim to promote with the APPG; FaithAction’s book brings much of our discussion into a tangible, readable form.

In launching the book, the Secretary of State Eric Pickles drew from case studies highlighted in the publication,

The book presents a compelling case for a healthy dose of faith in other walks of life.

These compelling visions and interesting anecdotes show that faith remains as relevant to this country as it ever was. And I’m keen to make sure that nothing gets in the way of this great philanthropic intent, because faith answering the call, flexing its muscles, rolling up its sleeves, getting stuck in, retains its unique to inspire, to revitalise, but above all, and most important of all, to strengthen our society.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, sent a letter of support which was read out at the launch,

book_launch_20I am delighted to have this opportunity to send you my good wishes as you celebrate the contribution of religious groups to social action in their local communities. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society and FaithAction have helped to make this irreplaceable work more visible by collaborating on Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up. I hope it will bring the contributions of faith-based groups to the common good more fully into the public eye.

During the event, the Secretary of State also announced the launch of the first ever £250k ‘Faith in Enterprise National Awards’, affirming the potential of churches and other faith bodies to reach out to younger people at a time of economic challenge so as to encourage them to found a firm or create  jobs. The awards are an initiative of the Cathedral Innovation Centre.

Summarising the launch of the book, Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director of FaithAction said,

The book goes to recognise the unseen armies serving our communities, sometimes appreciated by government and public opinion in the media but often not and certainly not to the full extent.

The many perspectives contained in this publication present a compelling argument for the value of active faith in the twenty-first century. We believe that faith is not merely a list of doctrines but a call to action, a motivation to act selflessly and make a positive change to society. FaithAction is in some ways the transmission unit, we want to connect government and faith-based organisation and the private sectors, and we want to drive change.

I am very pleased to say that Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up is a testament to that ethos.

Faith With its Sleeves Rolled up is now available for purchase via Amazon and Lulu.