TiA Newsletter Issue 1: June 2021

Feature: Faith ‘Open House’

Coventry City of Culture Trust

‘Faith’ is a 24-hour invitation to find out what keeps each of us going in tough times. Through music, theatre, installation and ritual, we will unfold an epic overarching story, culminating in an extraordinary moment that everyone can take part in. For more information, please click Coventry2021.

How can you get involved?  

On the morning of Saturday 11th September 2021, we would like to offer audiences the opportunity to experience and learn about one another’s faiths, and about the places of worship, and community organisations that call Coventry ‘home’. 

This will be a chance for those who might not usually visit places of worship to spend time with someone’s faith (in whatever shape that might take) and to learn more about their beliefs, practices and work in the community.

We’re also really keen to hear from community groups that hold a non-religious worldview. This part of the event is called ‘Open House’ and is planned to take place from 11 am – 2 pm on Saturday 11th September 2021, ahead of performances in the streets in the afternoon.

Some examples of ‘Open House’ activities might include sharing a community performance or exhibition, offering arts or craft activities, inviting people to learn about your rituals or beliefs, or simply offering a space in which we can share stories or begin a conversation. We recognise that every group will be different and will have a different response to what is appropriate and respectful. We would like to hear from you how you would like to share the faith that keeps your community going.

As most of the project will take place in an area of the city known as the ‘Coventry Sacred Space’ we’re specifically looking to connect with groups based in this part of the city, if your organisation/group is not based here but you are interested in taking part then please still get in touch as there could be an opportunity to work together.

For more information and to nominate your interest to take part in Faith’s ‘Open House’ please click here and fill in the following form by Friday 18th June.

Coventry Moves Together

Community and faith leaders from across the city are urging local people to join them as Coventry Moves Together on Saturday 5 June. The event begins at 8 am and will be enjoyed and experienced by the people of the city, region and across the nation online and through broadcast and will tell the story of Coventry and look ahead to its future.  

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Editor’s Message

This is a first for me, my honour and pleasure to bring you TiA’s Newsletter.

Our purpose is to

  • keep you informed of the progress related to the Coventry Sacred Space Initiative and other similar work.
  • act as a portal, to a perspective and view from Coventry people with influence and power.
  • provide interesting and useful information that could help you in your area of work, interest, or development.
  • welcome and invite you and your organisation to share your news, possibly of events, activities and puzzles that stretch the mind.
  • stories, that elevate the heart, increase the pulse to act and words that comfort and bring healing.

In doing so, our hope is to help people, communities, and providers connect more meaningfully. Thereby secure and maintain an environment that encourages everyone to prosper, live fully and sense of love for others, nature and that binds all things together. I hope you find the contents of our first issue all of the above, I welcome your comments, suggestions and thoughts

Deepak Naik


A Sikh Journey

My name is Pavanjeet Sandhu.  I have a Sikh heritage. In my youth, I would have not classified myself as a practising Sikh despite being knowledgeable about my religion.

G7 Interfaith Vigil

Building a better world after the pandemic. Join people from faith communities on the eve of the G7 summit to reflect on how we bring about a just and green recovery from the pandemic.

Coventry Sacred Space Initiative

What makes space sacred – to many people, their place of worship (church, mandir, temple, mosque, synagogue) is the answer. However, a hospice, inside an ambulance, a foodbank centre, a river, a tree is too, a sacred space. A smile, a touch, music, movement, and stillness – stimulates healing, generates hope, and incubates joy. This space can also be described as sacred. I wonder, what is sacred for you?

In Coventry, the Swanswell Park/Pool could act as the heart of the Coventry Sacred Space. Over 400 years ago, a monk’s monastery was located here. The area has welcomed wave after wave (Jewish, Irish, Indian sub-continent, Caribbean) people, families, and communities searching for refuge have transitioned through. Water is life-giving, the pool is the largest body of water near the centre of the City. However, this gives some reasons to imagine weekly family activities of music, art and dance, pathways that lead to discovery and mental well-being and food vendors that offer healthy food at affordable prices.

This is just one proposal and hope; within the Coventry Sacred Space Initiative, we have many other ideas that ultimately attract business, tourists, and people from across the City. Thereby transforming the landscape, instigating vibrations from vibrant activities and by the process of stimulating the five senses – manifest the sacred in Coventry.

This year, as we begin to free ourselves from the pandemic, regret and grief begin anew from our feeling of loss. As the UK City of Culture, a platform to launch ourselves into a possibility of making choices leads to harmony between people and communities, bringing hope and living at peace with nature.

 Interested and want to know more, together we can.


Together (TV) We Can Inspire


TV is not all about the bad and sad news. There are positive initiatives, and people who want to bring some joy.

Together TV has launched the Sunflower Challenge, the initiative that will distribute 400,000 free sunflower seeds across the UK to help people improve their mental health and connect with their community, running a 12-week growing journey fronted by TV gardener Danny Clarke. Please find the initiative deck here.

The channel wants as many people as possible to get involved in their initiatives. Please support their work. Click your remote to Freeview 82 | Sky 170 | Virgin TV 269 | Freesat 164

People can register on an individual basis for free seeds, a weekly calendar, exclusive tutorials, and friendly tips on how to grow them too. The details can be found on the channel’s website  https://www.togethertv.com/sunflowerchallenge/CG

To promote the initiative, please find a few assets attached and linked here (including some copy for you to use): https://www.togethertv.com/sunflower-challenge-toolkit

If you would like to share on social media, please tag us in any posts so we can reshare and give your account some love!

Instagram: @togetheruktv.      Twitter: @TogetherukTV.      Facebook: @TogetherTV

For further information, please contact

Francesca Aita, Head of Marketing 




A Sikh Journey 


My name is Pavanjeet Sandhu.  I have a Sikh heritage. In my youth, I would have not classified myself as a practising Sikh despite being knowledgeable about my religion.

I studied Politics, Philosophy and Theology at University and began reading various sacred texts and theological works from all religions. After reading those works and sacred texts, my mind had more questions.

I realised that I have not read the Sikh Scriptures and upon inspection, realised that the Gurbani of the Sikh Guru’s contained the answers to my questions as a student. Delving deeper into the Theology of Sikhi, I had recognised that truth was derived from justice which in turn is derived from the 5 virtues.

The term sacred in the Sikhi means anything associated with achieving the spiritual liberation in this life, and living an honest life focusing on living a positive and moral life by adhering to the following 5 virtues; truth, compassion, contentment, humility, and love for all beings and avoiding the 5 evils or the 5 thieves; lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego/pride. By avoiding these 5 evils and practising the 5 virtues and by reading the bani/scriptures of the Sikh Gurus we are able to open our metaphorical third eye and connect to the Divine Supreme Being and achieve an eternal state of bliss and we become mesmerised by this.

I began listening to more Kirtan / Shabads (religious hymns) making me feel relaxed and at peace with myself. I started my journey as a practising Sikh when I turned 25, I had visited the birthplace of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji; the first Sikh Guru which is located in a small town called Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, about 1 hour away from the city of Lahore. This experience completely changed my life, my aspirations and my lifestyle.

During this experience, I had sat in the Darbar Hall / Gurdwara and witnessed first-hand the room where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born. For Sikhs, we see the Guru as the light of the Supreme Being and seeing the ground where Guru Nanak Dev Ji began his mission to cure the world of all the pain and sin this experience was a privilege, I will never forget as I felt connected to my Guru and Vaheguru and felt this ineffable numinous state of awe.

The 9th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji in their writings remind Sikhs of the primary purpose of human life is to remember God and meditate on his name to achieve true salvation and also reminds us that all our achievements are due to God blessing us with his grace. The aim of Sikhs is to encourage everyone to become a God Conscious being no matter their faith or background, it is not to convert but to encourage plurality in terms of connecting to the Supreme Being.

For Swanswell Park, I would construct statues of individuals from all religious backgrounds, happily praying or worshipping together in peace as a symbol of love to all beings and encouraging religious plurality.


Coventry Moves Together


Community and faith leaders from across the city are urging local people to join them as Coventry Moves Together on Saturday 5 June 2021. The event begins at 8 am and will be enjoyed and experienced by the people of the city, region and across the nation online and through broadcast and will tell the story of Coventry and look ahead to its future.  

It starts with a solitary voice and will culminate in a unique, once-in-a-lifetime, collective moment for the people of Coventry at 20:21, called Coventry Moves Together when the whole city will form an orchestra – simply by switching on their radios or web-based devices and tuning in to one of the local or community radio stations taking part. 

Composer and sound artist Dan Jones, who has worked in film and on other major commissions for UK City of Culture 2017 and Paralympic Games, has created a new piece of music – including the voices of Coventry schoolchildren.  The track has been split into multiple streams and will come together as a full piece of music when radio stations can be heard simultaneously. 

So, families, friends and neighbours are being asked to head out to their doorsteps, into their gardens or on their balconies and tune into different streams so that the whole city can hear the full, eight-minute piece.  It is being implemented with the support and collaboration of local businesses and services such as libraries, faith groups, retail units, hotels, supermarkets, music venues, charities, transport networks and police, ambulance and fire services, which will join with the whole city is broadcasting one of the streams. 

The piece has been inspired by the legendary Coventry-born composer and mathematician, Delia Derbyshire, and will be broadcast via BBC CWR, Hillz FM, Radio Panj, Radio Plus, Vanny FM, Fresh Radio, Arawak, Block Radio and Radio Abbey to create a world-first moment – a city-wide surround sound musical performance. 

The aim is to reach 350,000 individuals from all communities on their own doorsteps, in their gardens and at workplaces across the city. The piece will later be shared with the rest of the world through broadcast and online – but only after it has premiered on the doorsteps of Coventry. 

Jon Davis, a Producer of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry Moves is going to be a very special day for Coventry and it will culminate in a very moving collective moment at 20:21.

“We want the whole city to join us as Coventry Moves Together by helping to join all of the pieces of the Coventry Moves Together jigsaw by tuning into different radio stations to help make the composition sound complete.” 

For further information, please contact: 

Lee Corden – lcorden@advent-communications.co.uk – 07734 888129

Or visit Coventry City of Culture on: 


Building a Better World After the Pandemic: G7 Interfaith Vigil: 10 June 2021

Join people from faith communities around the UK and the world on the eve of the G7 summit to reflect on how we bring about a just and green recovery from the pandemic for the whole world and to send a message to the G7 leaders as they meet in Cornwall.

We’ll be livestreaming the event from Truro Cathedral and will be joined by representatives from different faith backgrounds in the UK and globally and by people from communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

Register on Eventbrite

Protect Duty within Faith Communities

The Home Office has launched a consultation on the Protect Duty. The consultation explores how we might use legislation to enhance the protection of UK-wide publicly accessible locations- and anyone who uses them- from potential terrorist attacks.

The Government is keen to hear views from the full range of UK faith communities, not only because the Protect Duty is likely to affect many faith centres, but also because the Government recognises that the needs, priorities and operation of places of worship are often very different to those of other, commercial or public sector publicly accessible locations. It wants to ensure the Duty will improve protection for people using faith centres and other publicly accessible locations without being overly burdensome.

The Protect Duty consultation is separate from the Places of Worship security consultation and the Faith Security training survey you may have responded to. Rather than consulting on Government’s physical security measures and training offerings, the Protect Duty focuses on how public security could be improved through legislation that would provide certainty of responsibility and greater consistency of measures and effect across the whole country.

The consultation can be found at this link:


The consultation closes on 2 July. 

If you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact the team at ProtectDuty@homeoffice.gov.uk.


TiA Briefing Workshops

TiA organised its first in a series of briefings to offer key information to interested organisations on important issues relating to Coventry.

In the first briefing, we get an update on the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 plans and how local organisations can get involved. In addition, there is an update on the Coventry Sacred Space Initiative.

The Speakers were:

Erica Whyman – Vice-Chair at Coventry City of Culture Trust, Deputy Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Directing Faith.

Jen Davis – Associate Director on Faith.

Jon Davis – Senior Producer, Coventry City of Culture Trust.

Deepak Naik, TiA Coventry Sacred Space Initiative.

Mohammed Bashir, Community Coordinator for of Coventry City Council introduced the proceedings.

Please see the Briefing Notes.


Race and Ethnic Disparities Report

The Government has just produced it 258-page report on racism. Inspired by the George Floyd protests, the PM last year had set up the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities to examine inequality in Britain. The report covered, health, education, criminal justice and employment. The basic finding is that the UK is not rigged against ethnic minorities.

Historical Inequalities in Commemoration Report.


In December 2019, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) appointed a Special Committee to probe the early history of the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) to identify inequalities in the way the organisation commemorated the dead of the British Empire from the two world wars.

This report estimates that between 45,000 and 54,000 casualties (predominantly Indian, East African, West African, Egyptian and Somali personnel) were commemorated unequally.

A further 116,000 casualties (predominantly, but not exclusively, East African and Egyptian personnel) but potentially as many as 350,000, were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all.

Boris Johnson said he is “deeply troubled” by failures to properly commemorate black and Asian troops who died fighting for the British Empire during World War One.


See the full CGWC Report

A good summary at BBC News Commonwealth Gravestones




There are number of funding opportunities that may be relevant to local communities.

National Lottery Community Funds – After being paused due to the coronavirus crisis, the National Lottery Awards for All, Reaching Communities, and Partnerships funding programmes are open for applications again.

Final round of tampon tax fund launched – Charities can now apply for funding to support projects helping thousands of women and girls across the UK, as part of the latest and final round of the Government’s Tampon Tax Fund. £11.25 million to be made available for charities working with disadvantaged women and girls. Threshold for applications reduced to £350,000

The Black Fund – Give Back Fund – The programme offers grants of up to £5,000 to fund programmes that empower black people and stand up against racism. Closing date: 30/06/2021

The Volant Charitable Trust – Covid 19 Response Fund – The Volant Trust accepts applications from charities in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for medical equipment and the production or distribution of PPE will also be considered.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Through the Covid-19 crisis we have been made increasingly aware that inequality plays out in ways that connect and intersect across race, gender, class, disability, and other.

The Henry Smith Charity – An independent grant making trust. We aim to use our resources to help people and communities at a time of need and to bring about positive change.


Please let us know of any news you may like to include in our next newsletter in August 2021.

Please email info@tiatrust.org