Inter Faith Week highlights ways in which people around the county are working for inter faith understanding and cooperation, encourages new initiatives, and shines a light on the major contribution that faith communities make to society through volunteering and their social action programmes. In our ever more diverse society this could not be more important.
Events will be taking place across Essex to mark the Week, involving many people and organisations: faith communities, inter faith organisations, public agencies and local authorities, youth organisations, schools, higher and further education institutions, chaplaincies, sports clubs, businesses, charities and many more. Registered activities are listed at www.interfaithweek.org/map and include a quiz and curry night, exhibitions, debates, talks, open days, community walks and workshops.
The Week is a fantastic opportunity for people of all faiths and beliefs to mix and learn; visit places of worship; get past stereotypes and misunderstandings and increase religious literacy; celebrate; dialogue; and volunteer together to help your local community.
It's a time to come together, to ask questions, to talk and listen through a range of activities: discussions, sport, volunteering, cultural events and much more. The Week also offers a high-profile platform to speak out against hate crime and prejudice and to highlight the powerful message that we 'stand together' as people of all faiths and none, united in our commitment to a just and harmonious society, rooted in values that we share.
Our county’s journey towards greater understanding between faith groups and public services was given greater impetus with the creation of the Essex Faith Covenant in October 2017. The steering group that leads this important initiative is going from strength to strength, and now includes representatives from several faith communities, six local authorities, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue Service and Active Essex. Work is underway to plan an inter faith conference for 2019 as an opportunity to bring the community together, recognise the importance of faith groups, understand need, and offer specialised support to our communities.