TiA Newsletter Issue 2: August 2021
Census 2021 Output Consultation
The Office for National Statistics has initiated a consultation regarding the 2021 census. As a result of factors such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Brexit, the UK is facing rapid societal change. More than ever, the priority is to deliver timely and accurate statistics, that enable the understanding of that change to inform decision making and service provision.
The aim of this consultation is to obtain an updated view of your detailed needs for Census 2021 data and analysis and to understand your priorities. Your feedback will help us to make decisions on the final design of the Census 2021 outputs and analysis for England and Wales.
The ONS is asking for your feedback on the proposals we’ve outlined in the Census 2021 outputs: content design and release phase proposals document. We’ve structured our proposals into sections to help you find the topics that you want to consult on. These include:
- The shape of the outputs and analysis release schedule
- Main changes to variables compared to the 2011 Census
- Proposals for feasibility work to derive new variables
- Population-base specifications
- Taking a census during a period of change
- Paradata, information about how census data was collected and processed
You can find detailed information about the consultation, as well as supporting documentation providing context for the questions we’re asking, on Citizen Space, the ONS’s consultation platform.
The consultation will remain open until midnight on 5 October 2021.
ONS recommends that you respond to the consultation in our online questionnaire.
Other ways of responding are available. For example, you can download a word version of the questionnaire from Citizen Space and email your response to email@example.com.
The results will publish our response to users’ feedback this winter.
This is our second newsletter which we are publishing. 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
Thank You Day
TiA was involved in helping to organise a special Thank You Day to thank our COVID heroes in Coventry. An interfaith service was held at Coventry Cathedral to celebrate the efforts of COVID heroes.
Interfaith Week 2021
Inter Faith Week takes place this year from Sunday 14 to Sunday 21 November. It is a tremendous platform to learn more about different faiths and beliefs and the communities that follow them.
Being a Quaker
Stella Roberts outlines her life as a Friend, or more commonly known as the Quakers and in particular examines the rich heritage in Coventry.
I’m a Quaker, a member of the Religious Society of Friends. We call ourselves Friends, and that’s with a capital F, but the more usual name we’re known by to the rest of the world is Quakers. This was once an abusive nickname we were given by a judge in the early days when Friends were persecuted for their faith, but it’s now one we wear with pride.
Firstly I’ll say a little about Quaker history:
Our Society was formed in the mid-17th century, a time of great religious and political upheaval when many people were questioning the power of the established church. The king, Charles 1 had been executed and the country was being ruled by Parliament – these were revolutionary times when many groups like the Quakers sought religious freedom. Some groups eventually died out but the Society of Friends grew and flourished, spread to America and subsequently throughout the world. Today we think its message is still as radical, simple, and contemporary as in those early days.
The Society was founded by George Fox, who as a young man, left his home in Fenny Drayton, a village quite near here in the Nuneaton area, and travelled the country, meeting and talking to other ‘seekers after truth’. He convinced many people that everyone could have a personal experience of God without the intercession of any third party, such as a priest. He challenged people to look within their own hearts and towards an inward teacher – Quakers often call it the ‘inner light’ – so that they might see their own darkness and be transformed by the experience. He urged Friends to live in such a way that they might ‘come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.’
The most distinctive element of our Quaker faith is our way of worshipping together. Here in Coventry that takes place in our meeting house in Hill Street, on land we have owned since 1668. It’s convenient to have such a place, but a meeting for worship can be held anywhere – for instance, in someone’s home or as an act of witness outside a place where nuclear weapons are being made. Chairs are usually arranged in a circle and there’s probably a small table in the middle with flowers, our book of Quaker writings old and new, Quaker Faith and Practice, a bible and other spiritual works. As the first person enters the room and sits in silence, the meeting has begun. As others join them, they may nod and smile in greeting, without speaking. So what do we do in the silence? For me it’s paying attention to that which is most profound, worthwhile and opening myself up in the quiet, the stillness, trying to tune into power both within and beyond myself. What do I call it? It’s hard to define – the Light, the Divine, the Spirit, a Presence that some call God as a sort of shorthand to describe the indescribable.
GOD could stand for Great Other Dimension. It’s a personal matter that everyone has to decide about for themselves.
Most importantly it’s not a journey I’m taking alone, which I could do as meditation at home on my own. It’s a communal experience, a mysterious togetherness; all the more powerful for being combined and of course a different combination each time. ‘Gathered ‘ is the word Quakers use to describe a meeting that really seems imbued with a special power. Anyone present may stand and speak into the silence if they feel compelled to do so – what we call spoken or vocal ministry. Words are usually brief and hopefully don’t destroy the silence; they emerge out of it and then after the speaker finishes, the silence enfolds everyone once more.
Meeting for worship is about waiting and listening in the silence to what might emerge for me – at best answers to dilemmas maybe or acceptance of matters that can’t be resolved. Hearing vocal contributions may provide me with helpful insights or be moving in a way that helps me better understand the speaker. Sometimes that ministry might not speak to me or worse might really jar with me – then I try to see what that says about me. Does it hold some sort of lesson about my attitude, my intolerance perhaps, or is it just meant to help someone else who is present?
Every meeting is a challenge and an opportunity and is the source from which Quakers draw the strength to do whatever work they do in the world, enterprises large and small. It’s also one of the ways in which we seek companionship as fellow travellers on life’s journey and helps bind us together as a community, a Society of Friends. Worship is part of our lives not something set apart; we see everything as sacred and part of daily life. There’s a Quaker poster that shows a city square with people walking through, going about their everyday business. The caption reads Daily round, holy ground.
I’ve mentioned our book Quaker Faith and Practice – this contains Quaker writings, spiritual insights and reflections, both from the earliest days of the Society up to the present. The first chapter, which is also available as a separate booklet, is called Advices and Queries. As the title suggests, it contains challenging questions and snippets of advice, ‘offered for the comfort and discomfort of Friends,’ as it says in the introduction. Not for a rule or form to walk by, but for guidance, something to aspire to through the power of the spirit.
If you’ve read or seen the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy you will recall that the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything was 42! Well, the spiritual insights in the 42 sections of this little booklet encapsulate what we call our Quaker testimonies, ways of living and behaving, which can be summed up under the headings: truth and integrity, equality, simplicity and peace.
Early Friends were known as ‘Friends in the truth’ – Quakers try to be honest in our dealings with people and organisations, which may mean taking an unpopular stand, going against the ways of the world. We don’t swear oaths in court, as this implies a double standard, but affirm that we are speaking truthfully as we always try to do.
We are urged to live simply, only buying according to in our needs, living lightly on the earth and embracing the ideas of sustainability, so vital to continuing life on the planet.
We believe that everyone is precious, worthy of equal treatment in society. This has led to us being at the forefront of many social revolutions, such as working for the abolition of the slave trade, organising the Kindertransport to get Jewish children out of Nazi Germany, and in modern times, campaigning for restorative justice for offenders, pressing for same-sex marriage legislation.
Perhaps we are most well-known for our peace testimony. Quakers have always been actively engaged in peacemaking activities and education; many have been in trouble for refusing to fight or have served alongside armed forces in peaceful roles, like working in the Friends Ambulance Unit in two world wars. I first noticed the Quakers in my youth when I marched to Hyde Park in the anti-nuclear demonstrations of the 60s – always there with their colourful banners – an outward expression of an inner conviction.
None of this activity could happen without the strength and inspiration gleaned from our way of worship, whereas George Fox urged us, ‘we meet and know one another in the things that are eternal.’ From that grounding, we can learn to ‘live adventurously and let our lives speak.’
Coventry City of Culture Trust and the RSC Present ‘Faith’
A major series of events around Coventry will allow audiences to experience faith in all its forms through food, discussions, promenade performances, installations, and open spaces.
Friday 10th – Saturday 11th September 2021
Coventry City of Culture Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Company will create a new theatre experience in collaboration with City Voices. The experience will take place over 24 hours in locations across the city and online. Faith is directed by the RSC’s Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, and will invite audiences (both in-person and virtually) to immerse themselves in the diverse faiths of Coventry, a proud interfaith city, through music, theatre, art installations, rituals, discussion and dialogue. Tickets, which are free, will be available to book for pre-registered audiences on Friday 20th August, with general on-sale on Friday 27th August. Casting information to be confirmed.
Faith has always been part of Coventry’s story. Yet how we – as world citizens – experience faith, both as individuals and as communities, manifests itself in different ways. Look beyond the spires of Coventry’s iconic Cathedral and you’ll uncover a rich and interconnected sacred architecture of Gurdwaras, Mosques, Temples and Churches of all denominations where Humanists, Quakers, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Rosicrucian, Methodists, Catholics, Pagans and countless other faiths, and those of no faith at all, live side by side.
Theatre designer Tom Piper, famed for his poppy memorial at the Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, will create an evocative visual representation of the existing ties and connections between the different faith groups. Faith communities across Coventry will join together physically, with Coventry’s places of worship set to be tied together with Coventry blue ribbons, creating a beautiful temporary tapestry through the city. Coventry-based composer Sayan Kent (Maggie May, Liverpool Royal Court, Calcutta Kosher, Kali Theatre) will compose an original score to accompany the whole project.
Laura Nyahuye will be collaborating with Tom to create a beautiful reflective installation in the cathedral ruins exploring the relationship between faith and mental health.
On Friday evening, an invited audience of faith and community leaders will come together in Swanswell Park to share food and engage in discussion about how faith shapes their lives. Audiences will be able to access resources online to host their own conversation about faith at home and cook dishes that have special meaning in different religions.
Saturday morning sees faith centres and spaces across Coventry opening their doors and welcoming in audiences, offering them a chance to experience their faith through ‘Open House’. 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. Whether through a performance of sacred music, a shared cup of tea, a chance to observe prayer, or simply the discovery of a space for quiet reflection, this event is sure to open hearts and minds. One highlight will be a video project with young people from three different faith based schools talking thoughtfully about what faith means in their lives and how it is changing across generations.
Audiences will also be invited to join four different intimate walking performances across the city throughout the day, telling the stories of Coventry families and friends and their very different relationships with faith and hope, through a series of journeys with the city as the stage. Performances will also encompass a movement piece from the Belgrade’s Youth Theatre Group.
Chris O’Connell presents The Messenger. Beginning on Stoney Stanton Road, audiences are introduced to Baani, who faces the imminent death of her mother. Tasked with getting a message to her father, she agrees to meet him at Pool Meadow bus station, but this is a journey she has never made before. Baani is resourceful and very good company but will anyone help her find her way?
Also written by Chris O’Connell is The Return. Taking place on the cathedral steps, two old friends meet after almost 40 years. Seeing both each other and the Coventry they love through very different eyes, the piece explores whether it is possible to betray a city, and if so, whether it can forgive you.
Chinonyerem Odimba presents The Arrival, which follows a young Sikh couple as they try to find a new home. Audiences will be taken on a journey through the city centre in 1978, starting in Broadgate and culminating at the Belgrade Theatre. Taking in Lady Godiva, two-tone and the importance of a good ruby murray, The Arrival is set against a backdrop of racial violence but told with humour and resilience, asking us to question what the ingredients for a good life are.
Also written by Chinonyerem Odimba is Generation 2020, which follows the grandson of the Sikh couple, as he and his friends discover that someone they care about has gone missing. Audiences will be led on an odyssey around hidden corners of north Coventry, as they try to find him and come to terms with recent upheaval. Generation 2020 is a spirited celebration of the imagination and humanity of young people.
Ceremony of Lights
Faith culminates with a ceremony to come together and experience the power and multiple meanings of light. Audiences will be invited to gather at dusk in Millennium Square to light one of 500 flames to create a final tapestry of lights in the city centre and to take part in a unique pledge to walk forward together, in knowledge and in hope.
Faith encompasses hybrid live and digital events. For audiences unable to attend Faith in person, and for audiences who have attended, a selection of digital content will be available. Highlights include a cook-along event in the week leading up to the culinary experience, video content exploring the role of food in faith communities and interviews with the creative team and communities involved in the projects. All performances will also be live streamed with BSL and captioning, and will be available to watch after the event via coventry2021.co.uk.
Erica Whyman, Director of Faith, and Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said: “Faith is a Coventry-wide invitation to celebrate this remarkable multi-faith city. Over the weekend of 10th and 11th September across the city and online, we will inspire conversations about what we each believe and what keeps us going in tough times. Chinonyerem Odimba and Chris O’Connell have written funny, insightful and moving plays about how faith really operates in our daily lives which will be performed with the city as our stage and our backdrop, leading to a powerful ceremony of light on Saturday evening in which everyone can take part.”
“As we come through one of the most testing times in our lifetimes, Faith is a moment to acknowledge our losses, see and respect our differences and celebrate our resilience as we find ways to go forward in hope. It has been made in close collaboration with representatives of the faith communities of Coventry, and it has been a privilege to witness close up the spirit of solidarity and optimism that continues to thrive in this city.”
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry, City of Culture, said: “We are delighted to have developed this extraordinary collaboration between locally based creatives, representatives of the many faith communities of Coventry, City Voices and the Royal Shakespeare Company. We can’t wait for visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Coventry, a proud interfaith city of peace and reconciliation.
“The arts have a unique power to strengthen connections, promoting understanding of our significant differences as global humans but also to recognising our similarities, as we all work together for peace, justice and healing in our world.
“With music, theatre, art installations, rituals, food and conversations, there really is something for everybody, and we invite audiences to open their hearts and minds to the diverse ways in which we as humans lead our lives and live by our beliefs.’’
Individual programming ticketing information and timings will be available on Friday 20th August via the Coventry City of Culture website – https://coventry2021.co.uk/what-s-on/
Thank You Day Celebration to thank our COVID heroes
TiA was involved in helping to organise a special Thank You Day to thank our COVID heroes in Coventry.
An interfaith service was held at Coventry Cathedral to thank and celebrate all those who have been working hard to keep us safe during the pandemic. Other events were held throughout the country.
The idea was originally proposed by a small group of people to pay tribute to unsung heroes and since then has been backed by a number of celebrities.
Julie Siddiqi MBE, founder of Together We Thrive and one of the original proposers for Thank You Day said: “It was wonderful for me to start Thank You Day at Coventry Cathedral.
“It is a place of special significance and being there with friends from all backgrounds was really inspiring.
“Faith communities have done so much during this past difficult year; we have lots of people to thank.”
The cathedral’s dean, The Very Reverend John Witcombe, said the service was an “inspiring” event and had been “immensely moving”.
The campaign for Thank You Day was started by a small group of people from across the UK, including Debbie Matthew, a stroke survivor from Perthshire, and May Parsons, the nurse who administered the UK’s first Covid jab at University Hospital in Coventry.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hosted a barbecue for community leaders, NHS workers and representatives from the Royal Voluntary Service.
For the national perspective, please go to the BBC Website.
Photo Credit: Jame Gray Photography.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07734 888129
Inter Faith Week 2021
Inter Faith Week takes place this year from Sunday 14 to Sunday 21 November 2021.
It is a tremendous platform to learn more about different faiths and beliefs and the communities that follow those; highlight the contribution of faith communities to society; encourage understanding about and between different faith and belief groups, and encourage inter faith cooperation.
It’s a Week for everyone – young and old and of different faiths and beliefs, including non-religious beliefs. Activities benefit those who take part; they also send a strong message that good inter faith relations in the UK matter and that there is an appreciation of people’s faiths and beliefs and how those inspire them to contribute to the community and live well together.
Inter Faith Week’s aims are to:
- Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels
- Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
- Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs
For further information, please go to Inter Faith Week
The Rainbow Bench
A vibrant rainbow bench has been installed in Coventry city centre to encourage strangers to strike up a conversation with each other. The brand-new ‘chatty bench’ has landed outside Coventry Skydome to bring the community together and get people talking. The idea behind the bench is to combat loneliness and encourage those sitting on the bench to turn around and have a chat.
For the full story, please click here.
“What is it in your ethical evolution/faith journey that is at the core of your opposition to nuclear weapons?”
A nuclear weapon can destroy a nation and the world, as we humans know it.
A virus, microscopic in size but colossal in its ability to kill millions of humans irrespective of any differences in today’s lived reality. Our ingenuity knows no limit to find new ways to erase the human race, mercifully leaving all else to flourish.
Tragically, this capability is too often guided by our egotistical beliefs that we are unique in the universe, that God loves us above all else, and that Truth is with us and our kind. Our maya for power, greatness and legend is an illusion. In truth, we are mortal and within time and space, we are but a speck, if that.
This illusion, our ego beliefs and the behaviours that flow from them must be questioned, challenged, and changed from our systems and critically from within, our endeavour individually and collectively must be guided by the universal light of our consciousness and accept that this resides in all.
Our inner light is the key to us as humans not releasing the nuclear bomb or uncaging a virus that leads to a global pandemic. Begin by honouring your inner light, do your duty and act in accordance with Dharma.
– Deepak Naik –
12 weird and wonderful facts you didn’t know about Coventry
There’s no place quite like home, which is why we thought we’d share with you the facts about the city you might not know. Not only was Coventry the country’s capital for many things during the medieval period, it was also the childhood home to Queen Elizabeth I.
Find out at coventrytelegraph.net
European Network for Religiion and Belief General Assembly
The European Network for Religion and Belief (ENORB) held its 2021 General Assembly to outline its activities and strategic plan for the net four years. Members had the opportunity to talk about their work, especially the impact of Covid on their activities.
Three Members of the Board were (re)elected. Alan Murray, the founder of ENORB was re-elected, as well as Etienne De Jongue the former Secretary General of Pax Christi International. Deepak Naik, from United Religion Initiative, was elected as a new Member of the Board. Deepak is the executive director of Together in Action Trust in the UK, the Chair of the board of United Religion Initiative (UK), and also a Board Member of URI (Europe) since its inception.
There are number of funding opportunities that may be relevant to local communities.
Ocado Foundation grants programme
Ocado Foundation has launched a grants programme for UK charities and community groups, with BizGive. It offers grants of up to £1,000 to successful applicants, with in-kind goods also available on request and applications for digital volunteering also accepted. Applications are accepted until the end of the year. More information is available here.
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.