Interfaith Week 2016

About the Week

Inter Faith Week 2016 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales

WHEN? 

Inter Faith Week 2016 will take place from Sunday 13 - Sunday 20 November. 

Inter Faith Week will usually take place in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in the 3rd week of November, beginning on a Sunday.

WHAT?

Inter Faith Week:
•Highlights the good work done by local faith, inter faith and faith-based groups and organisations
•Draws new people into inter faith learning and cooperation
•Enables greater interaction between people of different backgrounds
•Helps develop integrated and neighbourly communities
•Celebrates diversity and commonality
•Opens new possibilities for partnership

WHY?

Building good relationships and working partnerships between people of different faiths and beliefs is part of the year-round work of many people and organisations across the UK.

Having a special Week provides a focal point, helping to open inter faith activity up to a wider audience so that more and more people are made aware of the importance of this vital work and are able to participate in it.

The three aims of the Week are:
•Strengthening good inter faith relations at all levels
•Increasing awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
•Increasing understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs

HOW? 

Anyone can take part in Inter Faith Week and hold Inter Faith Week events.

WHO? 

Inter Faith Week is for everyone. Some of the many kinds of organisations who have participated in previous Weeks include:
•faith communities and their places of worship
•community and voluntary groups
•inter faith bodies
•youth groups
•schools and SACREs
•institutions of further and higher education
•local authorities and other public agencies
•sports organisations
•museums
•businesses and workplaces
•TV and radio stations
•and many others

WHERE?

ENGLAND, WALES, NORTHERN IRELAND

The Week in England is led by the Inter Faith Network for the UK, working with its member bodies. In Wales, the Inter-faith Council for Wales leads and in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum leads. Event listings for the three nations will appear, by agreement, on this single website.

SCOTLAND 

Scottish Interfaith Week has been running with success since 2004 and is led by Interfaith Scotland.

History

Background to the Week

In July 2008 the Department for Communities and Local Government published Face to Face and Side by Side – a Framework for Partnership in our Multi Faith Society. This document presented the Government's strategy for encouraging the further development of inter faith activity in England. It set out how faith communities, Government and wider society can work together, at all levels, to bring people with different religions and beliefs together.

In the course of the consultation, the Executive Committee of the Inter Faith Network for the UK proposed that there be an Inter Faith Week drawing on experience of a successful Week of this kind held in Scotland.  One of the Government's undertakings in the final document was to work in partnership with the Inter Faith Network for the UK, with its member bodies, to organise an Inter Faith Week in 2009.  The Inter Faith Network links national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies, and education and academic bodies with an interest in inter faith issues.

Inter Faith Week in 2009 was very successful with a range of exciting and stimulating events taking place across England and Wales. These events included inter faith sports; discussions and dialogues; inter faith walks and pilgrimages; festivals and celebrations; exhibitions; concerts and classroom activities in schools.  Faith communities across the country took part, alongside schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, and many other types of organisations.

More information can be found on the Interfaith week website by clicking here.

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