• Inter-Faith Week 2020 Buddies Scheme

    Bristol Multi-Faith Forum is actively encouraging the ‘Inter-Faith Week Buddies’ idea as a possible way to mark the Inter-Faith Week. The Inter-Faith Week ‘buddies’ scheme involves two people of different faiths or of a particular faith and of a non-religious belief:

    • keeping in touch on a weekly basis during September and October;
    • choosing or developing  questions on which to share their thoughts and experiences; and
    • during Inter Faith Week, sharing online or at a socially distanced event, in an agreed way, some reflections on what they have gained from this.

    Some questions for possible exploration:

    • How does your faith or non-religious belief shape your daily life – including at this time of COVID-19?
    • What, in your faith or non-religious belief, encourages service to others in society?
    • Has COVID-19 brought any lessons about common values and action?
    • Why is Inter Faith Week important?

    This is an opportunity for sharing and learning, on a one-to-one basis across a limited period of time, about what is important to us, in the context of our wider community. The process may, of course, lead to longer term conversations and new forms of practical co-operation.

    INTERESTED IN TAKING UP THE IDEA WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION?

    If you are interested in taking up the Inter Faith Week Buddies idea, please call on 0778 9040267 or email: info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk.

    • Please know how to build good relations with people of different faiths and beliefs.
    • Invite interested members to be in touch, asking them if there is any particular faith or belief background or backgrounds from which they would be interested to have an ‘Inter Faith Week buddy’ and securing their permission to share a contact email address or phone number with someone who would also like to be a ‘buddy’.
    • Put people who have expressed interest in touch with one another. [Note: It can be helpful for people to have met in person first but no face to face meetings should be arranged at present unless they can adhere to social distancing guidelines].
    • Act as a point of contact if any queries or concerns arise in the course of the virtual dialogue.

    You may also wish to arrange an opportunity for Inter Faith Week feedback by participants – eg a Zoom meeting or blog section on your website.

    If your organisation is a national faith community representative body you may wish to join with a similar body of a different religious community to take part.

    All participants remain responsible for all aspects of their activities. 

    Some Practical Pointers

    GETTING STARTED

    • Agree your expectations, for example about frequency and duration of contact  (you can always agree to change that later), respectful engagement, what you hope to gain from the exchange, etc.
    • Set any boundaries of what you are happy to discuss (for example, some might wish not to discuss events in other countries).
    • Be realistic about what kinds of questions and responses will work within the format.
    • Take a few minutes to go through together Building Good Relations with People of Different Faiths and Beliefs and to agree these or other ground rules that you wish to have.
    • Agree that your exchange will be private to you, except what you both agree to share at the end of the process.
    • Begin by sharing a little about yourselves and asking a question of each other.
    • Bear in mind that this is a time with some major faith festivals and that may have some impact on people’s ability to reply to each other swiftly at times.

    SHARING WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED

    • Agree together, in the last week of October or first week of November what you might like to share with others about your conversations: what you have learned from these and what points for others might have emerged from them.
    • Agree how you will share these thoughts – it may be that you are part of a local inter faith body, for example, and they would like to feature some of your reflections as part on an online discussion or event during Inter Faith Week.
    • If you would like to share on social media that you are taking part, please use the hashtags #InterFaithWeek and #IFWbuddies and tag @ifweek on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    SAFEGUARDING AND SAFETY

    • Safeguarding is very important. Buddies should be over the age of 18 years old and commit to engage in respectful listening and dialogue. They should also respect the privacy and security of other buddies and their families.
    • There are many different ways that you could choose to engage, for example, telephone, email, letter, or virtual chats using Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, Teams, WhatsApp, Facetime or any of the others available.  Whichever platform you choose, it is important that people feel safe and keep themselves safe. All major platform providers give safety and security advice and it is worth having a look at that before you begin.
    • Do not share your phone number, WhatsApp, address, email, social media profiles etc unless you are both comfortable with doing so.
    • Do not share anyone else’s phone number (including WhatsApp, WeChat, etc), address, email, social media profiles or any other form of personally identifiable information.

    DIALOGUE TIPS

    For tips on inter faith dialogue, and the different forms it can take, you might like to take a look at IFN’s Let’s Talk: practical pointers for inter faith dialogue resource, which is freely available online: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/lets-talk-practical-pointers-for-inter-faith-dialogue.

    THE THREE AIMS OF INTER FAITH WEEK
    • Strengthening good interfaith 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
  • Bristol Consular Camp organised by Mayor Tom Aditya was a big hit

    The Indian High Commission’s (HCI) Consular Camp held on Saturday, 8th February 2020 at Bradley Stoke, Bristol by Mayor Tom Aditya as part of Bristol Multi-Faith Forum’s (BMFF) Community Cohesion Campaign was a big success. Hundreds of people came to attend the day-long camp. It provided the opportunity for all those who wished to avail the services of the Indian High Commission for Indian Visas, passports, Overseas Citizen of India applications, and consular services as well as enabled a platform to promote the message of community cohesion and social harmony amongst the people.

    The Bristol Consular Camp arranged free of cost to the applicants by the BMFF as part of the community cohesion campaign, processed 435 applications completely, and handled another 125 queries. A team of 15 officers led by HCI Counsellor Mr. Anil Nautiyal worked tirelessly for extra hours to help all those who turned up at the camp. Massive thanks to all officers for their efficient service. Many people who attended the camp felt that the HCI officer’s service at the Bristol Consular Camp was much better, smoother, and friendlier than even going to the Indian High Commission in London. Hundreds of people gave positive feedback about the Bristol camp. Refreshments and secretarial support were also provided by the BMFF. We appreciate all volunteers who helped to coordinate the camp, especially Advocate Tripti Megeri (BMFF Secretary), Mr. Abishek Aditya, Mr. Noychen Augustine, and Mr. Jayantibhai Rajguru. Also, gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Cllr Franklin.

    The Indian diaspora comprises only less than 2% of the 1 million people in the Greater Bristol area. The prominent languages used by this very diverse community are Punjabi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, and Marathi. The religious diversity and medley of this 20,000 strong diaspora are also fascinating. BMFF expresses its gratitude to the Bristol Hindu Temple, the Sikh Gurudwaras, the Indian Christian Churches, the Indian Muslim Community, Jain Community, Buddhist Community and all sections of the Indian diaspora for supporting this initiative. BMFF also acclaim the help of friends who shared news about the camp through various media and social networking platforms. Thank you all.

    info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk

     

  • Question Time on ‘Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam’

    Dear Community Stakeholders and friends,

    Bristol Multi-Faith Forum invites you to an upcoming ‘Question Time on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam’ on Sunday 7th July 2019, 2 pm to 4 pm at Greenbank Mosque, Greenbank Road, Bristol BS5 6HE. This Question Time provides an ideal opportunity to hear from experts on this topic, in light of the launch of the updated Fatwa (religious edict) on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam.

    We will be joined by three guest speakers Shaykh Dr Mohammad Mansur Ali (Lecturer of Islamic Studies, Cardiff University) who has conducted academic reviews of over 100 fatwas on organ donation in Islam, Dr Majid Mukadam, (Transplant and Organ Retrieval Surgeon, QEH, Birmingham) and Ms Angela Ditchfield (Diversity Lead on Organ Donation, NHS Blood and Transplant). Mr Amjid Ali (NHS Blood and Transplant Project Lead on Organ Transplantation in Islam) will guide this Question Time on Organ Transplantation in Islam’, arranged in partnership with the Bristol Council of Mosques, Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, UK Islamic Mission, and all the local Mosques.

    This gathering forms part of a series of workshops arranged by the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum in partnership with local faith communities under the auspices of the NHS BT Community Investment Scheme initiative. We very much hope that you will be able to attend and request that you pass on this information to your local Muslim contacts and friends. Please register freely through this link. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/question-time-on-organ-donation-and-transplantation-in-islam-tickets-64199161420

    Best regards and Ma’salaam,

    Cllr Tom Aditya,
    Chair, Bristol Multi-Faith Forum.

  • NHS BT Organ Donation Awareness Campaign and Community Champions Programme

    The Blood and Organ Donation Awareness Campaign and Community Champions Programme under the auspices of the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum (BMFF) is happening at Bethel Church, 254 Church Road, St George, Bristol BS5 8AF on Wednesday, the 12th of June 2019 from 6 pm to 8.30 pm. This programme includes discussions about the religious and health perspectives of organ donation, interactive ‘Q&A’ sessions, cultural programmes, delicious refreshments and goodies.

    Many civic dignitaries, religious and community leaders and NHS BT specialists are attending the event.  Speakers of the event include the Lord Mayor, Bishop Dexter Edmund, Broadcast Journalist and Organ recipient Mrs Primrose Granville, ‘Living Kidney Donor’ Mr Wendell Raphael and NHS BT Specialist Dr Shibu Chacko MBE. We cordially invite you to come and attend the event and enhance your horizons.

    The Campaign Organ Donation Awareness Campaign and Community Champions Programme also include events at the Bristol Hindu Temple (163B Church Road, Bristol BS5 9LA) on Tuesday, the 18th of June 2019 from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm and at the Sikh Gurudwara (301, Church Road, Bristol, BS5 8AA) on the 18th June from 7.30 pm to 9 pm as well as at the Greenbank Mosque (Greenbank Road, Bristol BS5 6HE) on Sunday, the 7th of July 2019 from 2 pm to 4 pm.

    Please come and be part of the community champions programme and help to save lives. We will be grateful if could please circulate this message to all your congregation members, contacts and friends.

  • Bristol condemns the Srilankan blasts

    Bristol Multi-Faith Forum (BMFF) strongly condemns the series of barbaric terror attacks at Christian churches in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 people as well as caused serious injuries to more than 500 persons on Easter Sunday. The lethal sequence of eight vindictive bomb blasts upon innocent poor people illustrate the brutal and evil nature of radical terrorists to threaten peace and security; and it exposes the devious fanatic attempts to forge mayhem, murder and anarchy. BMFF express its sincere sorrow and sympathy to the affected communities at these atrocious acts of hate.

    BMFF is the forum for multi-faith community cohesion and social harmony in Bristol and West of England. We encourage all religious communities and denominations to stand together in fraternity and fellowship against these appalling onslaughts. There will be peace vigils in Bristol to honour the victims and their families and to stand in solidarity with the Sri Lankan community. BMFF stand in solidarity with the Christians of Sri Lanka who have been attacked in this malicious way and request the authorities to apprehend the attackers and bring them under the rule of law. We also pay tributes to service personnel and volunteers who are providing support to the victims in Sri Lanka.

    BMFF offers its deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wishes a quick recovery to all who were injured and offer prayers to all those who are affected. We urge all communities to stand together and continue to work together with ever greater urgency against ignorance, prejudice and hatred. Hatred targeting any community because of its faith and belief is a scourge that cannot be tolerated. There must be freedom for all communities to worship and practise their faith freely and without fear. Let’s stand for peace and unity.

    Tom Aditya
    Chairman, Bristol Multi-Faith Forum
    21st April 2019

     

  • Attack on New Zealand Mosques

    Bristol Multi Faith Forum strongly condemns the hate-crime attack against places of worship in Christchurch, New Zealand, which massacred 49 lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of the affected communities against this vicious act of hate. BMFF is very concerned, sad and greatly disturbed at this hate crime and terror attack. We also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured and affected in New Zealand. BMFF as a forum of community cohesion and social harmony in Bristol, encourages all religious communities and denominations to stand together in fraternity and fellowship. Let’s stand for peace and unity.

    Tom Aditya

    Chair, Bristol Multi-Faith Forum

  • Read our latest e-bulletin – March 2019

    We publish regular e-bulletins – with information on events, resources, and funding. Read our latest edition, published on Friday 8th March 2019. Please contact us with any news or information that you would like to have included in future editions. Send any information or events you would like included to info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk Read the e-bulletin here

  • Our latest News Magazine – Winter 18/19

    We produce a magazine every six months giving details of some of the activities and programmes we’ve been involved with.  This one covers the period from Summer 2018 to Christmas 2018.

     

     

    You can read the magazine here

  • Love Your Neighbour Awards

    Bristol Multi-Faith Forum hosted the Love Your Neighbour Awards ceremony from 6 pm to 9 pm on Tuesday 13 November 2018 at Bristol Rovers Football Club Memorial Stadium (Thatcher’s Suite, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0BF).  The ceremony and our AGM were held as part of the National Inter-Faith Week.

    We had asked for nominations in the following categories:

    Promoting inclusion

    Improving access to services

    Health and wellbeing

    Peace and reconciliation

    Faith and creative arts

    Youth

    Interfaith relations

    We received over forty nominations! For a full list of all our nominees, along with their ‘nomination stories’, please see our programme here

    See photos from the evening here

    Our invited guests were:

    * Mr Tim Bowles – West of England Combined Authority Mayor

    * Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Crew, Avon & Somerset Police

    * Mr Adam Tutton – Chief Executive Officer of the Community Trust at Bristol Rovers

    The evening was a huge success. As well as the ceremony itself, we had live entertainment from Dildar Singh and his band RSVP – and a vegetarian buffet was served.  After this, people were free to network and socialise.

    Thank you to Bristol Rovers Football Club for hosting and sponsoring the evening. The Awards were organised in partnership with Community Access Support Service (CASS), Rethink Mental Illness Bristol, LinkAge Network, Bristol Community Development Team and Counter Extremism Team of Bristol City Council.

    Photo of members of our steering group with three invited guest speakers, Mr Tim Bowles,  Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Crew, and  Mr Adam Tutton.

    See our poster here

     

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