TiA Newsletter Issue 3: October 2021
The Swanswell Festival
As part of the Coventry City of Culture programme, a weekend of faith-related events were held on 10&11 September 2021. Attached to the event was the TiA coordinated Swanswell Festival on Sunday 12th September 2021.
The primary purpose of the Swanswell Festival was to raise the profile of the Coventry Sacred Space Initiative.
- Access local communities with the aim of obtaining their interest, engagement and how their needs, hopes would be best served by the Initiative.
- Honour the ‘ARRIVAL/WELCOME’ area of Coventry and imagine/design activities that transform the concept of Initiative into a reality.
- Celebrate and Exhibit diversity of cultures, faiths/beliefs, communities, generations thereby reinforce cohesion and harmony in and between communities.
- Create an opportunity to discuss and debate matters (e.g., climate and environment, needs of young people, the Initiative, mental and physical well-being) that impact the lives of people across the city and beyond.
The full-day event was packed with performances, cultural intrigue and significant statements made by a diverse range of speakers.
Please check out the Photo Gallery of the day’s activities.
The festival was opened by Cllr Abdul Khan – Deputy Council Leader and Chair of Sacred Space Initiative Group in the presence of Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John McNicholas and accompanied by Lady Mayoress.
Westminster was represented by the local MPs Zarah Sultana MP (Coventry South) and Taito Owatemi MP (Coventry Northwest). There was a special reflection by Osman Sheikh, Chair of Coventry Multi-Faith Forum followed by the planting of a legacy tree.
Activities included Chair yoga by Dr Jotangia, youth football from the Irish Catholic community and martial arts by GKR. Lively performances included a Ukrainian Choir, Bharat Natyam, Phase One Steel Band, Ukrainian Choir. An impromptu fusion of Hey Dosti (a very famous Bollywood song) was performed by the Ukrainian Choir with their Asian Christian friends.
On the other hand of the spectrum, there were important messages on mental health from Rachel Kelly from MIND (Coventry & Warwick) and Fred Kratt of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit with Anton Noble of Guiding Young Minds.
Please also listen to a fascinating piece on Sikh Reflections on BBC Sounds
Above: Planting of the Legacy Tree: (L-R) Taito Owatemi MP, Lady Mayoress of Coventry and Zarah Sultana MP.
Top Left: Cllr Abdul Khan opening Swanswell Festival.
This is our third 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. In this issue, there is a particular significance as the Coventry City of Culture festival got on the way with a special weekend on Faith related events. TiA was involved in coordinating the Swanswell Festival as part of the festivities.
- 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
Caring for the Environment
Swanswell Festival emphasised the special role of faith and the environment.
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.
Profile: Open House
As part of the Coventry City of Culture Open House event, places of worship were encouraged to open doors to their premises and allow people to visit and learn about their faith practices, culture, beliefs, and their role in the community. Here we present a short profile of the Shree Krishna Temple whose premises were also decorated with blue ribbons as part of the art exhibition.
Please see the BBC coverage: Ribbons join faith buildings in Coventry City of Culture
Faith Leaders sign a declaration ahead of COP26
Ahead of the COP26 Conference in Glasgow on 1st November 2021, UK faith leaders have released a declaration.
For nearly 30 years, the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs (Conference of the Parties). This year will be the 26th annual summit (COP26). With the UK as President, COP26 takes place in Glasgow.
In the run-up to COP26, the UK is working with every nation to reach an agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses, and citizens for twelve days of talks.
Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration for COP26
Our faith communities are united in caring for human life and the natural world. We share a belief in a hopeful future, as well as an obligation to be responsible for caring for our common home, the Earth.
We recognise the opportunities that COP26 brings in addressing the urgent need for action in limiting the effects of climate change and the critical importance of decisions made in this conference to take forward the agreement made in Paris in 2015.
People have exploited the planet, causing climate change.
We recognise that the burden of loss and damage falls most heavily on people living in poverty, especially women and children.
We acknowledge the commitments made through the Lambeth Declaration in 2015. Now, because of the gravity of our situation, the impact of climate change around the world, and the inequality of its effects we seek to strengthen those commitments.
We commit to respond to this challenge by:
Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same.
Making a transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action.
Being advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy, resilient, zero-emissions future.
We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and of Article 17 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.
We look to governments to work together and with others to create a positive vision for 2050 where addressing climate change is not just an opportunity to stop burning fossil fuels, but also: to achieve cleaner air and water; to reduce food wastage; to ensure a just and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources, and to protect the habitats we share with all other life on whose health we also depend.
Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life that all can share, and we need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations. To offer hope in the world we need to have confidence that those in power understand the vital role they have to play at the Glasgow COP26.
Glasgow Multifaith Declaration 20/09/2021
Our collective energy and prayers will be with those working for a successful outcome.
UK Senior Faith Leaders
Caring for the Environment
A major part of the Swanswell Festival was to highlight the role of the environment. Different faith and belief communities offered statements on Caring for the Environment.
The statements are related to what each of the faiths or beliefs have to say regarding their vision of the environment.
With the way the world is being hit by climate change and the eagerly awaited UN conference on climate change (COP26) in Glasgow in Novermber 2021, the issue is rightly in the headlines.
Please click the Caring for the Environment photo on the right to see the statements.
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
City of Culture Faith Fest
The Coventry City of Culture celebrated a special Faith fest with a whole host of spectacular and innovative events.
In a partnership between the Coventry City of Culture Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Company, a whole host of events explored the big questions through the beliefs of people of faith, and of non-religious world views, through music, theatre, installation and ritual.
There was a range of cook-along videos online while an invited audience of Faith and Community Leaders meet to share food and engage in discussion about how faith shapes their lives.
Faith centres and spaces across Coventry will open their doors for an Open House, sharing more about their beliefs, practices, and work in the community.
Four new plays directed by RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman; The Messenger, The Return, The Arrival, and Generation 20, were performed through the streets of Coventry with the stories of important moments in everyday life – from birth to love to death.
A series of pop-up performances and installations, inspired by the themes of Faith and created by City Voices, took place across the city.
Faith will culminate in an extraordinary Ceremony of Light in Millennium Place as a pledge to move forward together and respect our differences.
There was a wide coverage on social media and some on the National media.
Please see the BBC coverage: Ribbons join faith buildings in Coventry City of Culture
Invite to the Light Project 2021
Foleshill Creates with support from the Coventry City of Culture is inviting people to take part in the Light Project workshops and the Carnival of Lights Celebrations. Whilst there are multiple events hosted by local groups to celebrate Diwali, this event cuts across culture and religion to bring the event to every resident, regardless of their background.
Participants with any level of creative skill will be able to create their own light inspired pieces, from simple designs that children can make to more complex group pieces that can be made by families or groups. People will learn how to work with paper, paint, textiles and develop their arts and crafts skills. We want to create a sense of community and celebration for everyone taking part.
For further information, please go to www.foleshillcreates.co.uk and also sign up for their newsletter.
|Everyone is welcome.
All materials are provided.
No skills are required.
All creative pieces will be kept by the participants.
Everyone will be invited to take part in the community parade early in November 2021.
25 things you may not know about Coventry.
We offer more facts about Coventry which is fascinating and useful for the quizzes. For e.g. Chuck Berry recorded his number one hit ‘My Ding-A-Ling’ at a Coventry dance hall.
This information comes from Coventry City Council. Check out the facts at Coventry City Council.
Rise of the Electric Vehicle
According to Midlands Connect, the number of electric vehicles in Coventry is set to increase by more than 3,000 per cent by the end of the decade.
As reported in Coventry Live, Coventry is set for a huge surge in electric vehicle (EV) ownership. However, the main hurdle to the progress is the shortage of charging points.
In a poll by Midlands Connect, the public concern is over the lack of EV chargers. Coventry continues to be ahead of the curve in the region when it comes to providing the infrastructure required for an EV future with the city council recently having installed hundreds of public chargers in inner-city areas.
Coventry currently has the highest number of EV chargers per head of any town or city in the Midlands. But more than a third of Coventry households do not have access to off-road parking so would rely on public chargers to power their EV.
Read further at Coventry Live.
Charities and not for profit organisations are always searching for funding or how to go about looking for funds, especially when you are not a finance expert! Whilst we CANNOT recommend any funding body, we thought to signpost to some well-established ones. They are not necessarily free, so you will have to take advice and do your own research. The information below is purely for an educational basis.
It is worth checking out the government guidance on charity set up and funding at ‘Get funding to start a charity.
Grants Online was established in 2001 and has become one of the UK’s comprehensive and up to date information resources for organisations looking for grant funding. There are around 5,000 funding schemes available in the UK. Grants Online update its information daily. Check out Grants Online. Subject to subscription.
A database for funding for local businesses, community and charitable organisations. Again, subscription/fee is involved but can save you a lot of time and resources searching for financial support. Check out Grantfinder.
We will highlight others in the future. Please let us know if you use a particular online funding tool that could help other organisations.
New £1 million fund to help faith groups support communities
A ‘new deal’ between faith groups and government to capitalise on efforts to help communities during lockdown is being forged today (9 September 2021) thanks to a new £1 million fund.
From delivering food to front line workers and vulnerable members of society, supporting those who were lonely or isolated and helping vital information get to those who needed it most, faith groups have been instrumental in supporting communities throughout the pandemic.
Now faith groups will be able to apply for a share of the £1 million Faith New Deal Pilot Fund for projects providing innovative solutions to issues such as food poverty and poor mental health.
Projects combating loneliness and isolation, providing debt advice and helping those who were unemployed during the pandemic get back to work are set to benefit from the new pilot.
Faith groups have used their trusted position at the heart of the communities they serve, innovating to overcome challenges quickly and utilising their already well-established volunteer networks.
The funded projects will build on this good work, strengthening relationships between public bodies and faith groups by supporting faith-based initiatives to tackle social issues and boost COVID-19 recovery.
Faith Minister Lord Stephen Greenhalgh said:
Over the last 18 months, I have seen first-hand the outstanding work faith groups are doing to serve their communities.
Their vital work has helped the most vulnerable members of society during the pandemic with crucial support and services.
This new fund will draw on that wealth of experience and energy, for the benefit of all.
For further information go to Faith New Deal Pilot Fund