Faith groups praised as parliamentary delegation visits Birmingham

By on 15/02/2013 in News
Cllr John Cotton

Cllr John Cotton

On 18 February 2013 members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society including Stephen Timms MP, Jim Dobbin MP, Baroness Kathleen Richardson and Lord Sheikh will visit Birmingham. They will explore how faith -based initiatives are promoting wellbeing and providing services in the city.

The delegation will be led by Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). It will visit local faith centres including Birmingham Central Mosque and Central Synagogue, and meet faith leaders and city council members to discuss the impact of faith on the city, and the city's growing number of faith initiatives.

APPG members will meet representatives from faith-based organisations, and explore the groups' experiences and their innovative contributions. Organisations will also be invited to identify barriers they face.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion and Equalities, Cllr John Cotton, who will be meeting the APPG, said: “Faith communities play a vital role in tackling poverty and disadvantage across Birmingham.

“The Council is working ever more closely with faith communities as part of our drive to deal with inequality and disadvantage and I look forward to showcasing that work. The very fact that the All Party group is visiting Birmingham reflects the incredible work already being carried out by our faith communities.”

An APPG spokesman added: “Over the last twelve months, the APPG has held a number of roundtable events in Parliament. We have met a wide range faith based organisations who have told us about their work in a range of different areas: welfare to work, children and young people, health and well-being and international development.

“The visit next week will build on what we have heard at our roundtables. We are visiting a city where faith communities are making a major impact. The delegation is keen to hear how we can help faith groups remove any barriers they encounter so that their full potential in delivering public services can be reached.”

“Birmingham is a city of particular religious diversity. Faith groups - maintaining their own distinct ethos - are renowned for working together to promote positive change and provide community services. While media commentary focuses on secularisation and the alleged decline of faith in Britain, Birmingham is a showcase for the growing movement of faith based social activism.”

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Note to editor:

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society was established in 2012 to explore the practical contribution that faith makes to society through the work of faith based organisations, identify best practice and promote understanding of the groups providing innovative solutions around the country. It aims to draw attention to the way faith-based initiatives are working effectively to serve the most vulnerable members of their communities.

A growing movement of faith based social activism is making itself felt in the UK in a huge range of projects - youth work, employment support, food banks, debt counselling - and overseas with fair trade, banks for the un-bankable and health initiatives on a large scale.

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the group, said 'The all party group wants to hear from innovative faith based organisations at work in local communities. They often develop solutions to society's key problems, but can go unrecognised in Whitehall. We want to see that change. And we will look at whether regulatory changes would enable them better to realise and sustain their potential.'

Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director of FaithAction, the secretariat for the group, says 'We are delighted to support the all party group… We hope that though this group, we can raise awareness of the fantastic work of faith based organisations that we at FaithAction witness on a daily basis'

FaithAction, the secretariat to the APPG on Faith and Society and a strategic partner of the Department of Health, works to support Faith based and Community organisations as they access the most marginalised communities in the UK. FaithAction offers training, resources and

information to its members, and works with central and local government to raise the voice of Faith based organisations.

For further information on FaithAction, the All Party Parliamentary Group or the parliamentary delegation to Birmingham, please contact Hannah Walker at:

Hannah.walker@faithaction.net

0845 094 6350

(m) 07792 998 136

Or visit www.faithaction.net

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. That Woman says:

    Any Christians, or other faiths, involved in this? There’s already a disproportionate number of Muslims on the council.

    • geoffc says:

      This was a multi-faith event. Faith leaders from across the city work together on a regular basis.

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