This October marks the 35th Black History Month (BHM), a national awareness campaign which recognises and celebrates the contributions of Black people to the economic, cultural and political life in the UK. This year’s national theme is Time for Change: Actions Not Words.
Barnet Council will be working with local residents and communities to celebrate BHM. Local communities and organisations can now apply to the council for funding to support activities for this year’s BHM. In addition, the council is planning a programme of events which is being co-designed with schools, headteachers and council officers.
Get involved – apply for funding by 12 September
Methane emissions are four times more sensitive to climate change than the world’s top scientists had estimated as recently as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report in February. According to Nottingham Trent University Singapore’s Simon Redfern, the professor of Earth sciences behind this new research, the atmosphere is changing as the world heats up.
With thanks to the support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery – Magic Little Grants.
From the Faith Communities Forum
of the Inter Faith Network for the UK
This week, the UK Government is hosting an International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief. The focus of the Inter Faith Network for the UK is the United Kingdom. However, we welcome the Ministerial Conference and its delegates in the context of this work. Our vision is of a society where there is understanding of the diversity and richness of the faith communities in the UK and the contribution that they make; and where we live and work together with mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good.
The Inter Faith Network for the UK, the UK inter faith linking body, was established in 1987 and has worked since that time to support and encourage inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK. This has contributed in no small measure to the creating of the conditions in which freedom of religion and belief can flourish. That freedom is not simply a matter of laws and conventions which ensure such freedom, vital though those are. Freedom of religion and belief is also about freedom to practise as freely as those laws, and other rights, permit.
Sadly, freedom of religion and belief is sometimes truncated by conditions that constrain their ease of expression. For example, for some communities the threat of hate crime and terrorist attack has meant their places of worship needing to operate with a high security. There is also the threat of physical violence and verbal harassment which are daily fears for some within communities which are identifiable by faith or ethnicity, as hate crime figures consistently show. Freedom might also be understood to be impinged upon where religion and belief are subject to misunderstanding and misrepresentation – with adherents repeatedly obliged to explain, correct and defend.
We recognise the complexity of life in a society where at times some rights are counterbalanced by others: the boundaries of those rights will always be subject to discussion, and, as necessary, adjudication.
Recourse to illegal actions, including violence, where there is disagreement should never be an option. It is vital that citizens have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to navigate life together within a shared society where there will always be differences of view – including of religion and belief. That is part of the warp and weft of a thriving civil society which undergirds and supports mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good.
4 July 2022