TiA Newsletter Issue 5: February 2022

The Sacred Music Festival 

There is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the liveliest performers at the Warwick Arts Centre to celebrate unity of diversity, harmony, and wellbeing.

The Coventry Sacred Music Festival is part of the Made in Coventry, an ongoing series of events at Warwick Arts Centre to showcase the range of music and culture happening across our city.

Warwick Arts Centre is working with Together in Action in highlighting a diverse range of performances including a Bharat Natyam classical performance by Chitrakalaimanram and a multi-lingual choir by Worldsong.

The evening concert will be held on Saturday 5th March 2022. Join us to celebrate and be inspired by the wonderful creativity of Coventry communities.

Please look our for further details at Warwick Arts Centre


Editor’s Message

Happy New Year – 2022

Hope, Prayer and Courage are words that describe my thoughts for 2022.

Some 22 months ago – the world became aware of a virus that cannot be seen by the human eye but its impact on humanity and our society penetrate all areas of our life.

To say, thank you – to our NHS workers, Police and Utility Offers, dustmen/women, Priests feel insufficient to represent our feelings and appreciation for their dedication, care, and loyalty. And for organisations such as Foodbank, Langar Aid, SEVA and many others that propelled their level, type, and range of service significantly – overnight – what can we say?

The Coventry Sacred Space Initiative and similar efforts in the community has provided a balm-like effect in our neighbourhoods, in and between communities and people different however united in their desire to offer help, to bring healing and to increase hope for a world that is free from injustice, poverty and conflict and locally is safe, an opportunity for all and respect for one another and the nature with its range of colour, fragrances and expressions and manifestations.

The Coventry Sacred Music Festival is our next large event, scheduled for Saturday 5th March 2022 at the Warwick Arts Centre promises its wide range of performers and acts reflecting the diversity of beliefs and unity of seeking the divine in music, voice, movement and stillness.

I am grateful to the Members, Volunteers and Supporters of the Initiative for their kindness, energy and blessing – we are all aware of the challenges the virus has created and how difficult it is to lift up and erect legs under a proposal such as the Coventry Sacred Space. Currently, we are working hard to secure funding post-April 2022 and with Coventry Multifaith Forum to lead work, thereafter.

Together – we can imagine a better future and collectively when we combine our efforts, we can make real the difference we imagined into results that bring better health, realise fairness, increase opportunity and joy to life.

Deepak Naik




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.



Watch this Space

Supporting our green spaces

Watch This Space is a three-step resource for communities to champion and support their local green spaces and campaign to protect them with an easy-to-use guide to the planning system.

Population Figures Published

New Estimates

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released population estimates by ethnic group and religion for England and Wales for 2019.

National Thank You Day – Sunday 5th June 2022.

Ross Kemp, Gary Lineker, Gareth Southgate, Levi Roots and Lorraine Kelly are among the big names launching plans for this year’s National Thank You Day.

The event is aiming to help build the country’s biggest-ever thank you party on the final day of The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, Sunday 5th June.

The National Thank You Day is hoping to break a British record – with aims to see over 10million people take part in the country’s biggest-ever Thank You Party, to say a thank you both to The Queen and to each other and to get together with neighbours to share a Big Jubilee Lunch.

The plan is backed by some of Britain’s biggest businesses, organisations, and institutions from the NHS, The National Lottery Community Fund, and the FA, to the Royal Voluntary Service, the Scouts and the Church of England.

For further information, check out National Thank You Day.

Building My Faith – Avi Tordjman


People learn about their faith through various means. But for one individual, it was a calling – he literally is building his faith. Avi Tordjman, saw an opportunity in an 1870 building that was once a synagogue, and he decided to buy it with a mission to renovate it and turn it into a not-for-profit community hub as well as a place of worship.  



The synagogue building is on Barras Lane, Coventry which use to have a small congregation throughout its use. But in the last couple of decades, the building was under lock and key as the congregation dwindled and dry rot set in for years as there was no maintenance.

Much funding is needed, yet Avi is hopeful and dedicates most of his time working on the project. The Grade II listed building has a prayer hall, the Rabbi’s house and an especially rare feature, a mikveh, which is a sunken bath used for ritual purification.

Historically, as the West Midlands has been famous for watchmaking, it had attracted many European immigrants who were experts in this type of work. A tight-knit community grew up around Spon Street during Victorian times and the subsequent creation of the synagogue.

The area became a centre of the Jewish community for over a century, and in September 1970 the community enjoyed its centenary celebration, for which they received congratulations from the Queen and Israeli President Zalman Shazar.

By 1999 the congregation had dwindled and running costs were exceeding donations. Orthodox Jews need a minimum of ten men to make up a minyan, required for worship. After Solihull Shul expanded and built its new synagogue, the congregations decided they would combine. The Barras Lane hall was still used by Coventry’s Reform Jewish community for a while time, but as the building fell into worse repair it was left empty.

For nearly a decade or so now, Avi has been working on the restoration. He has refitted the Rabbi’s house, and currently working on repairing the historic prayer hall. Avi’s work is further complicated as he is discovering the original features underneath the plaster which he is very keen to keep. So, the process is slow and intense.

Avi does not see himself as anyone special – he just believes that it is his calling and it is his way to build his faith… within.

Watch this Space


Watch This Space is a three-step resource for communities to champion and support their local green spaces and campaign to protect them with an easy-to-use guide to the planning system.

Developed by the Field in Trust charity, it champions and supports parks and green spaces by protecting them for people to enjoy in perpetuity. Because once lost, they are lost forever.

Our nation’s parks and green spaces are valued green hearts and lungs of our communities: bringing people together, building social cohesion and helping us to feel physically and mentally well.

Sadly, these endangered spaces continue to be threatened with imminent loss. It is up to all of us to act to stem the decline and disappearance of our nation’s cherished parks and green spaces.

Parks and green spaces in the UK are under threat and it is up to all of us to stem this cycle of disappearance and decline. We believe that everyone, irrespective of who they are and where they live should have the right to enjoy and benefit from local parks and green spaces.

Parks and green spaces are proven to help people stay physically and mentally well; places where we can all move, breathe, run and play. They are an important tool to drive social cohesion, combat loneliness and build community spirit.

Please check out the Watch this Space booklet. It is an excellent online tool – please help to save our green fields. 

New Population Estimates Published.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released population estimates by ethnic group and religion for England and Wales for 2019. The purpose of these estimates is to provide timely estimates of the population between censuses and, as we move away from the 2021 census, to improve understanding of the ethnic and religious diversity in England and Wales.

Main Points

  • In 2019, the most common ethnic group in England and Wales was White (84.8%), decreasing by 1.2 percentage points since the 2011 Census; the next biggest change from 2011 was within the Other ethnic group which increased by 0.9 percentage points.
  • As part of the White ethnic group, an estimated 78.4% of the population in England and Wales identified their ethnic group as White British in 2019, a decrease of just over 2 percentage points since the 2011 Census; Other White increased by nearly 1.5 percentage points to an estimated 5.8%.
  • Around half (51.0%) of the population reported their religion as Christian in England and Wales, a decrease of nearly 8.3 percentage points since the 2011 Census; No religion (including not stated), was the second most common response, increasing just over 6.1 percentage points from 32.3% in 2011 to 38.4% in 2019.
  • Younger people were more likely than older age groups to report having No religion in 2019, with over half (53.4%) of those aged 20 to 29 years reporting having No religion.
  • More women (54.9%) than men (47.4%) reported their religion as Christian; this difference was more pronounced in older age groups, with 71.4% of women aged from 60 to 69 years reporting as Christian compared with 61.3% of men the same age.
  • London was the most ethnically and religiously diverse region in England and Wales where the largest ethnic groups were White British (43.4%), Other White (14.6%) and Black African (7.9%); people with a religion other than Christian accounted for over 25% of London’s population compared with an estimated 10.6% of the overall population.


Further information can be found on the ONS website


Coventry set to become first electric bus city

Coventry set to become UK’s first all-electric bus city as £140 million project kicks off. The aim is to have all buses in the city electric by 2025.

Coventry City Council (CCC) announced it has ordered 130 zero-emission double-decker buses. It is understood they will be introduced in early 2023 as part of a £140 million project. National Express Coventry have ordered the buses, which will help improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions in the city.

Read more at Coventry Live


GG2 Awards

Firmly established as the premier awards for inclusion, diversity and leadership in the UK, the GG2 Leadership & Diversity Awards recognises Britain’s great cultural diversity. Over 700 guests from all walks of life come together, senior politicians, influential business leaders, and military personnel mix with celebrities from the arts, film, TV and sport to celebrate and recognise Britain’s most enterprising and talented black, Asian and minority ethnic high achievers.

Twenty years ago, the climate could not have been more different. Institutional racism had yet to be defined as a term, but we all knew it existed. There were very few or no black or Asian figures whether it be in policing, law, government or in the boardrooms of corporate Britain. It was in this backdrop that the GG2 Leadership & Diversity  Awards were launched – to shine a light on the extraordinary, hidden talent that lay within ethnic minority communities.

From medicine, the arts, law and uniformed services to entrepreneurship and philanthropy, the greatest achievements of individuals are those that benefit us all. The GG2 Leadership & Diversity Awards spotlights remarkable people who use their talents for the greater good. They come from all walks of life and contribute in many fields.

Be a part of our celebration of diversity in multicultural Britain. Enter our awards at GG2 Awards


World Harmony Week:

Building Harmony in view of our Uncertain Future. Online 8th February 2022.


For World Interfaith Harmony Week, Conversations across Beliefs have invited people of faith of all ages and parts of the world to share their views on harmony. Interdependence, shared humanity, and community life emerges as some of the essential streams that nourish harmony amongst human beings and our environment.

Through this interconnection, facilitated through technology, many young people today have unprecedented opportunities to find their place and peace in the world. On the flip side, we face serious challenges as well; depression and anxiety are among the main causes for illness and disability in adolescents according to the WHO. The uncertainty about our future only contributes to the fact that many of us do not know what makes us find much-needed peace of mind and harmony in this time.

This event will investigate what harmony means to young and old, and how faiths across the world can contribute to building harmony and peace of mind. It will allow all attendees to build connections and to understand each other during the event which will hopefully help us to build harmony beyond Interfaith Harmony Week.

The event also serves as the launch of the “A collection of statements on the harmony amongst religions” paper, which may freely be used by schools, organisations and individuals in ways they see useful.

Principal speakers:

Dr Harriet Crabtree (Director of Interfaith UK)

Dr Paul Filmore (Chairman of Scientific and Medical Network)

Eda Molla (Coordinator Religions for Peace Interfaith Youth Network UK)

Nicole Travnicek (Brahma Kumaris)

For further information please go to Eventbrite



Community Green Grants Launched

Grants are being offered to community groups and regional organisations to help them connect people to nature, thanks to new funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The Community Green Grants will fund projects that increase people’s access to nature, especially in deprived communities, by improving green spaces or enhancing the local environment in other ways, such as planting trees.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, launched the fund at an event hosted by the Canal & River Trust, which has been working with local groups such as the Community Connect Foundation to make the canalside in Smethwick more attractive to residents and visitors.

For further please see Community Green Grants


Funding General

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

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




Please let us know of any news you may like to include in our next newsletter in April 2022.

Please email info@tiatrust.org