News

  • Our first E-Bulletin

    We have started publishing fortnightly e-bulletins – with information on events, resources and funding. Read our first edition, published on Friday 17th April. Please do contact us with any news or information that you would like to have included in future editions. Please forward this to anyone who may be interested in being added to our email list.

    Send any event information to me at johanna@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk. Please click here to read the E-Bulletin.

  • BMFF News Magazine April 2015

    Our latest news magazine is available to read online or to download. In this month’s edition we say goodbye and thankyou to Farzana Saker and welcome our new Development Worker. There are articles on Islamophobia, Remembering the Bosnian Genocide and the Organ Donation Conference, amongst others. There is also information on upcoming events. If you would like to submit an article for consideration for future editions, then please contact us at info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk or 07789 040267 (mobile). To read the publication please click here.

  • Sincere condolences to the family of Becky Watts

    The Bristol Multi Faith Forum, representing the network of people from all different faith groups in the city, offers sincere condolences to the family of Becky Watts.

    The death of a loved daughter is hard enough to bear. The circumstances and crimes that brought about Becky’s death are horrific. It is hard to understand how this could happen.

    In faith communities across Bristol people are mourning with Becky’s family and friends and praying for them in their grief.

    In these difficult days, we continue to pray that together we will find ways of stepping up to challenge violence, wherever we find it.

    Revd. Tracey Lewis.

    Chair of Bristol Multi Faith Forum

  • ‘Remembering the Bosnian Genocide’ HMD Event

    As part of Holocaust Memorial Day we held an event ‘Remembering the Bosnian Genocide’ on Thursday 5th Feb 2015. It was a free event to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, with particular emphasis on the Bosnian Genocide. Our VIP speakers were Lord Paddy Ashdown and and Stephen Williams, MP. Candles were lit to remember all victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. To see the full report please click here. To see photos of the event click here.

  • Read our January 2015 News Magazine

    Our latest news magazine is available to read online or to download. In this month’s edition there are articles on community engagement, the new Multi Faith Support Service that is being piloted in Bristol’s Civil Justice Centre, a series of events held in the autumn called Two Sided Story, amongst others. There is also information on upcoming events. If you would like to submit an article for consideration for future editions, then please contact us at info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk or 07834812663 (mobile). To read the publication please click here.

  • ‘Telling Real Stories of Faith Communities in Bristol’

    This was the title of our 2014 AGM and open meeting. It was focussing on ‘Them’ and ‘Us’… how to tell real stories of the Faith Communities in Bristol.

    Unfortunately our speaker Tim Pemberton was unable to attend and we couldn’t arrange another speaker despite our best efforts. However, under the direction of our Chair Tracey Lewis, a vibrant discussion took place and many agreed that one of the good news items to come out of the conference was that people from diverse backgrounds talked and learnt together.

    One of the main weaknesses identified during the debate was that there are no nominated known community representatives who can be called upon by the media to respond to current news issues of the day. The BMFF need to work with community representatives on this issue. The question is, how best do we find able individuals who would feel confident to engage with the media at a short notice? Perhaps some training could be arranged if there was sufficient interest.

  • October 2014 News Magazine

    Our latest news magazine is available to read online or to download. In this month’s edition there are articles on the recent Health Awareness Day, a Speed Faithing/Speed Phasing event, and Fostering and Adoption, amongst others. There is also information on how to get involved in next year’s Diverse Doors Open Day, as well as some upcoming events. If you would like to submit an article for consideration for future editions, then please contact us at info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk or 07834812663 (mobile). Please click here to read the publication.

  • A letter from Avon and Somerset Police regarding recent international events

    Dear all,

    All communities in the UK and overseas will clearly have been affected by the footage that has been released by ISIL over recent weeks which appears to show the horrific deaths of two US citizens and that of the British aid worker David Haines.

     Police are taking positive action to ensure that individuals and communities are kept safe from anyone who may try to use this footage as a way of spreading hate and division, and causing harm to others.

     It is important to ensure a measured response and that the public remain calm and raise any concerns they may have with the police as soon as possible.

     Communities are likely to be aware that the threat level from international terrorism in the UK has recently risen to severe in response to developments in Syria and Iraq. This means that it is highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK, but an attack is not imminent.

     There has been huge attention given to publicising the threat posed by ISIL but we need to balance this with the importance of not serving their objective of fuelling publicity and public fear. Communities need to be aware that sharing extremist material which promotes ISIL’s cause could, in itself, be in breach of terrorism legislation but, in any case, should beware of giving the organisation an unjustified status and credibility.

    There is considerable effort taking place to remove terrorist material from the internet and individuals can and should refer any content they are concerned about to the police on www.gov.uk/report-terrorism or directly to the social media platforms themselves who can act against material that breaches their own terms and conditions. There is also work to promote alternative messages and to disrupt and, where justified, prosecute extremist speakers and those who seek to radicalise vulnerable people from our communities.

     The Government’s Prevent strategy is about protecting people from the threat of terrorism. It is about stepping in to help vulnerable people at risk of being recruited by terrorist or extremist groups, whether in this country or encouraged to travel abroad, and safeguarding individuals and the community as a whole.

     Communities can work together to develop resilience to extremist influences which support terrorism, be alert to any groups which target them or use their community spaces for propaganda activities and watch for any people who raise funds destined for illegal activities.

    Keith Openshaw

    Community Liaison Co-ordinator

  • ‘Local and International News: Coming together to understand recent news items and our diverse responses.’

    This is a Bristol Multi-Faith Forum Open Meeting, to start a conversation around this important issue.  Please join in this important conversation. All are welcome. We will explore questions as a group and in smaller groups, such as:

    * How do we respond locally to hate crimes especially to racial and religious hate crimes?

    * How do we respond to conflict overseas especially in the Middle East/Africa?

    * How can we stand together across diverse communities and avoid importing the conflict to Bristol?

    * How can we protect our community members from both extremist and ‘far right’ ideologies?

    * What more can we do in terms of constructive responses?

    * Who else needs to be part of these conversations?

    Bristol Multi-Faith Forum is actively encouraging people from diverse faiths and ethnicities to help shape the Forum’s priorities with regard to community engagement, interaction, peace-building, removing hate crimes from our city and cooperation between and across all communities. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Farzana Saker on 07834 812663 (mobile) or email info@bristolmultifaithforum.org.uk

    To see a flier click here. To see a letter from Avon and Somerset Police on recent international events click here.

  • A message from the Inter Faith Network for the UK on recent overseas events

    This is a message from the Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network to member bodies on UK inter faith relations and the impact of overseas events, particularly in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

    Written on 12 August 2014, it says

    ‘Dear member bodies,

    We wrote to you just over a week ago in the context of the potential impact on inter faith relations in the UK of events overseas at this time, and particularly in the Middle East.

    Communities in this country continue to feel and voice tremendous pain about unfolding events.  On the hearts and minds of people of different faiths are the sufferings of  Christians, Yazidis and others  in  Iraq – as well as of those in  Gaza and  Israel, Syria, Libya and a number of other countries and territories.

    Some of your organisations have issued statements about the situations there; others are expressing their desire for justice, security, and religious freedom through prayers, vigils, donations to provide badly needed relief,  or through other routes.

    Extreme actions taken by groupings overseas, such as ISIL,claiming to be in the name of a religion, can sometimes be taken to represent the true face of that religion, fanning flames of prejudice here as well as elsewhere. There is evidence that this is happening.  Images of brutal deaths become fused in the minds of some not just with the perpetrators but with the religion in whose name they claim to operate.  The work of continued explanation and correction of misrepresentation and misunderstanding  through the media and in personal encounter is critically important.

    As we said in our message of last Monday,  at these times, our bonds of friendship and trust – long in the making – are tested. It is hard but vital to keep communication open and to continue to be willing to be in dialogue. It is likewise vital to stand up for the safety and security of each other’s faith communities; to offer, side by side, humanitarian succour to the vulnerable and needy; and to seek ways, whenever  this is possible,  to find a common voice on human rights and on issues of  justice and compassion.

    The policy of the Inter Faith Network for the UK, supported and reaffirmed at various points over the years, remains that statements are not made by its Officers directly about overseas events, but only in the context of their impact on inter faith relations in the UK.   This is also a policy of some of IFN’s member bodies.  The National Meeting, ‘Tough to Talk?’, on handling difficult issues in an inter faith context will provide an opportunity to hear reflections in the light of members’ experience in responding here in the UK to overseas issues.’

    The Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE, Co-Chair

    Mr Vivian Wineman, Co-Chair

    Mr Mohinder Singh Chana, Vice-Chair

    Dr Kishan Manocha, Vice-Chair

    Maulana M Shahid Raza OBE, Vice-Chair

    Dr Jagdish Sharma, Vice-Chair

    Note:

    This message can also be found on the home page of the IFN website: www.interfaith.org.uk and in the statements and messages subsection of ‘Resources’: http://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/statements-and-messages  where IFN’s policy on making of statements can also be found.

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