A Message for Ramadan

Dear Friends,

We hope that you are keeping well through these challenging times and wanted to thank you for following the Government’s social distancing rules.

Ramadan is a time when Muslim families connect with loved ones, self-reflect and spread kindness. The current pandemic has dramatically changed how people observe the holy month, and staying at home will mean changing and adapting usual religious and cultural practices. Working together in Barnet and across the country, we have managed to reduce the spread of infection and we just need to continue practicing social distancing for longer now to protect those most vulnerable and elderly in our communities.

We fully appreciate that it’ll be hard to stay at home, not sharing evening meals with extended family and friends or not attending places of worship, but it is important that we do so and save lives. Using technology may help to stay connected with your family, friends and the wider religious community at this time.

It is also important to be aware that health services across North Central London are open and receiving people with non-Covid symptoms. See here for more details.

We have seen an increase in deaths locally due to Covid over the last month or so, but we are also seeing higher than usual number of deaths from other causes, as are the rest of the country. It is therefore extremely important to access emergency care and ongoing care for long-term conditions to ensure you all stay safe and well.

Ramadan Mubarak

Cllr Caroline Stock, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and Dr Tamara Djuretic, Director of Public Health, Barnet Council and the Royal Free Group

Best wishes for Ramadan

For the first time in many centuries religious festivals, observances and celebrations are being experience in very different ways due to the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown.

During the past few weeks, Easter for Christians and Passover for Jews were experienced and shared via streaming and digital technology. It was both very different but uniquely special in many unexpected ways!

On Thursday the Muslim annual observance of Ramadan begins – Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next. For most Muslin this involves fasting from sunrise to sunset.

Many Muslims work in frontline NHS & care services and due to the current pandemic, the long hours, plus the use of extensive PPE, the observance of fasting will be very difficult. We wish our Muslim brothers and sisters best wishes during Ramadan.

For information about Ramadan at home visit, or working visit https://mcb.org.uk/latest/

If you would like to make contact with a Barnet based Mosque, or Imam please contact: info@barnetmultifaithforum.org



COVID-19 pandemic : A Faith Sector message of Reassurance and Hope

Amid the fear and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, faith groups bring a message of reassurance and hope.

Faith groups offer a warm and welcoming presence providing care, protection and support to all those within their community. This is an honoured, long term tradition with a focus for the sick, disabled, vulnerable and lonely. Our belief and practice of working together with other faiths, will help us move through the challenges today in the wider community to promote health, wellbeing and peace for all.

If anyone needs faith or spiritual support, they should contact their faith leader (Minister, Rabbi, Priest, Imam, etc.). If someone is not a member of a faith group but would like to be put in touch with a faith organisation they can contact BMFF at info@barnetmultifaithforum.org

In this spirit of working together for all people, we would invite faith and community groups in Barnet to let us know what they are doing to support the community at this time so that we learn from each other, publicise and promote our work via a Pandemic Support webpage on the BMFF website. www.barnetmultifaithforum.org

This will also have links to Government, Barnet Council, NHS, Voluntary and Faith Organisations websites

Barnet Multi Faith Forum Co-chairs
Esmond Rosen & Trevor Alexander.

COVID-19 advice from the Inter Faith Network for faith communities

COVID-19 – move to ‘Delay’ phase

The Government moved today to the ‘Delay’ phase of its programme to tackle COVID-19.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51857856

Government guidance on COVID-19

IFN has received some queries from inter faith organisations debating whether to go ahead with planned meetings.  It is vital to take into account the Government’s guidance. It remains at this time, within the parameters of that guidance, a matter of judgement for organisations whether gatherings are appropriate to hold.  Considerations include such factors as size of gathering and potential vulnerability level of participants (based on what is currently known about that).

Faith community organisations and COVID-19

The NHS’s guidance remains the foundational guidance for everyone. They are updating this continually.

IFN has put up information on its website about how IFN’s member national faith community bodies are responding to Coronavirus.  As will be seen from this, there is precautionary guidance being issued by a number of them. All such guidance remains subject to change and continual updating.

The page also includes links to some articles about how faith communities are responding. You can find this at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/faith-communities-and-coronavirus.