Bristol Multi Faith Forum (BMFF) was established in 2004 following consultation with the city’s faith communities and community sector. The format for BMFF is one that has been developed through the feedback of the faith communities whilst also considering the wider city objectives in association with the Bristol Partnership, Safer Bristol and Bristol City Council.
During 2007 became an independent body funded by the Council. A development worker, Irene Prentice, was appointed in October to develop the objectives of BMFF. The Forum meets every other month, at venues of the members.
BMFF seeks to achieve its aims by:
- Giving a voice for people of faith following a decade where faith has been greatly sidelined.
- Serving as a Forum for Faith Communities to enter into dialogue with each other and with relevant organs of the statutory, private and voluntary sectors.
- Developing and nurturing leadership in the faith communities, in partnership with those communities, in order to do the above and also to be a platform for focus on commonalities and shared objectives amongst the faiths.
With this is mind the Forum will seek to:
- Promote the interests and concerns of the Faith Communities in the City of Bristol.
- Provide representatives for, and participate in the decision-making of, citywide partnerships and other bodies where joint faith communities’ representatives are required by statutory or other agencies, or where faith community representation is optional and the Forum decides to participate.
- Develop relationships with key people in the statutory, private and voluntary sectors.
- Maximise the take up of appropriate statutory and other funding by faith communities.
- Encourage joint faith social action where practical to respond to opportunities and needs in the communities of Bristol.
- Act as a body or channel for consultation by statutory and other bodies who are seeking the views of faith communities.
- Work in collaboration with the Bristol Inter Faith Group and “The Inter Faith Network UK’ where appropriate.
- Promote intra-faith and inter(multi)-faith dialogue.
- Support the development of faith forums, or similar bodies, for each faith community.
- Be active in influencing policy and providing responses to government and other consultations.
The Forum is not exclusive. Individual faith groups and establishments are welcome to be involved. However, we do have an objective to establish forums for the larger denominations in order to give a united voice. The first of these, the Muslim Forum, has already been established and is functioning.