IFF ANNUAL REPORT 2017-18
Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum (IFF) continues to work as a forum where members from all major faiths can work together to raise awareness promoting better understanding between people of faith or no faith within our community. This work we believe continues to be of critical importance to our increasingly multi-cultural and multi-faith society.
What we all see in the media about culture clash, mistrust and suspicion amongst people from different backgrounds, I believe is born out of ignorance of the “other” and sows the seeds of fear and hatred. We all know that ignorance only breeds ignorance and it is therefore very important to have a meaningful dialogue and to encourage people to be open about their way of life while also respecting other people’s way of life.
As a current Chair of the Interfaith Forum, I would like to give you a resume of what we have been able to do over the past 12 months.
Firstly, I would like to thank all the members of Interfaith Forum, particularly Derek Estill who has devoted a lot of his time to set up and organise various talks and events and with the help of Sadiq Patel who again has been a very good administrator ensuring that all events, talks are conducted smoothly and as planned. I would also like to thank the Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) who have been very kind to allow Sadiq to help us in his voluntary capacity and to continue to support us in so many ways.
The following are the bullet points of our work during the past year.
- Marketed our services at the Blackburn College student enrolment day.
- A panel of six members each from a different faith taking part in questions and answers for the children of both Primary and Secondary schools in Blackburn & Darwen.
- Participating in the Remembrance Day parade at the Corporation Park Cenotaph.
- Holocaust Memorial Remembrance in Partnership with BwD Borough Council.
- Held a Faith and the Environment lecture/ discussion in Blackburn College. This has led on to a group of students talking up this faith-based challenge by taking on an environmental project in the borough.
- Work has been done to establish a North Blackburn Faith Leaders Forum between three local churches and a mosque.
- Delivered a workshop to encourage interfaith dialogue and activities in Darwen.
- Annual Remembrance Day for local people, a new project in partnership with BwD Borough Council and the Blackburn Cathedral.
- Worked closely with the national interfaith body, Inter Faith UK, to support interfaith work with young people nationally and facilitated a speech and workshops at the Inter Faith National Meeting 2018.
- Working with Lancashire Forum of Faiths and the Lancashire Council of Mosques
Again, my sincere thanks to all who have supported the work of the Interfaith Forum and hope this continues in the future.