Our Work

 

At the heart of the Leicester Council of Faiths work are our diverse faith communities.  We serve them in a number of ways, through public activities, which include charity days, food festivals, roundtable discussions and  interfaith meetings.  We are committed to working with faith communitites in Leicester and Leicestershire to continue to live, learn and work together today and in the future.

Here are some examples of our work:

 

One United Leicestershire

One United Leicestershire

In 2020 Leicester Council of Faiths held a Unity declaration launch event.

Read more

Leicester Council of Faiths

NHS Community Ambassadors Project

Partnership project between the NHS and Leicester Council of Faiths

Read more

Leicester Council of Faiths

Faiths Covid-19 Support WhatsApp Group

Also in 2020 COVID-19- Coronavirus hit the UK

Read more

Leicestershire County Cricket Club Memorial Garden opening   

May 2022

Leicester Council of Faith Board Members were honoured

to be there to support the opening of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club Memorial Garden, which has been set up for the Running Foxes fans to have the chance to remember lost family members and friends.

Our Chairman Fayyaz Suleman, our Treasurer Narendra Waghela, our Secretary Yasmin Surti and our Assistant Secretary Minou Cortazzi attended the official opening of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club Memorial Garden along with other Multi faith representatives, MP’s, and members of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club board.

The Uptonsteel County Ground has set up the Memorial Garden as Members and supporters of Leicestershire County Cricket Club have often voiced their hopes for these sorts of spaces to be available around the ground.  It is located to the right as people enter through the Curzon Road gates, running half of the length of the car park towards the Foxes Den. 

The new space of reflection features benches, planted areas and a 900mm path through the middle of the space, making it accessible for all.  There is also a new Celebration of Life tree that will provide a space for supporters to place plaques of lost ones in remembrance.

Anniversary Service for County Council Chairman

May 2022

Board members from LCOF attended and participated

in a service of thanksgiving for the Chairman of the County Council Mr Dan Harrison, for his year in office.

They were joined by representatives from many other faiths from within Leicestershire and each read a section from the Golden Rule.

The service was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and the Bishop of Leicester Mr Martyn Snow gave the address on the theme of leadership and service.

LCOF Mental Health and Wellbeing event

May 2022

LCOF Held a Mental Health and Wellbeing event on Thursday 5th May.

This was be an opportunity for Faith groups to discuss with Colleagues from County Council and Public Health what their communities feel are the key needs and issues in relation to Health and Wellbeing and to also discuss the impact on physical and mental Health following Covid. 

This meeting was attended by Managers from County Council and Public Heath who heard directly the main barriers, needs and demands on services for Faith Groups where Health and Wellbeing are concerned, these included things that are working well as well as things that are not.

Praying for Peace

April 2022

Following news of violence in Israel/Palestine and attack on the Al Aqsa mosque,

Leicester Council of Faiths issued the attached statement asking for the sanctity of all Places of Worship to be respected.  Leicester Council of Faiths continue to foster and encourage dialogue amongst Leicestershire’s diverse religious communities, so that conflict overseas does not impact on our strong local relationships of friendship and mutual respect.

Our Statement

Members of LCOF were honoured to join the Oadby and Wigston Muslim Association

Interfaith iftar

April 2022

Members of LCOF were honoured

to join the Oadby and Wigston Muslim Association at their Interfaith iftar – breaking of the fast, evening of 12th April 2022

It was a wonderful evening where we were joined by old and new friends to share food and learn from each other after what has been a challenging few years.

The take home message was that Ramadan is not just about restricting food and water but about humanity and humility and filling the month with prayer, kindness and service.

Thank you to OWMA for the kind invitation and hospitality.

Pilgrim Cross interfaith visits

April 2022.

Leicester Council of Faiths recently received a request from Sacred Heart Church

who were hosting 25 visitor from a church in Kettering as part of the Pilgrim Cross (formerly known as Student Cross) over the weekend of the 8-10th April 2022.

Pilgrim Cross (Midland Leg) are part of a larger charity who walk in groups  annually from various locations around the country to Walsingham during Holy Week, resting each evening in a different church hall. This has happened bar the last two years since 1948.

 

Unfortunately this year their stopover in Stamford had fallen through – so they were planning to stay at Sacred Heart from Friday evening to Sunday morning.  This gave them an entire Saturday in Leicester and they have approached us to see if they could visit some other places of faith on that day while they were in Leicester.  They are looking to visit a Gurdwara, a Mosque and a Hindu temple to find out about elements of prayer and pilgrimage.

As they were to be walking between each venue, we asked faith leaders from nearby Shree Hindu Temple St Barnabas Road, Masjid at-Taqwa Mosque Harewaood St and Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara on East Park Rd, if they could visit them.

It was a day enjoyed by all and the Scouts at Masjid at-Taqwa also got to meet the visitors, which went towards one of their badges.

Pilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of FaithsPilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of FaithsPilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of FaithsPilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of FaithsPilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of FaithsPilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of Faiths

Pilgrim Cross interfaith visits Leicester Council of Faiths

Leicester Council of Faiths statement

March 2022

Following the tragic and shocking news that Simon Cole ex Chief Constable was been found deceased at his home 30th March 2022 Leicester Council of Faiths has released a statement of condolences on behalf of its members.

Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Fayyaz

Chair, Leicester Council of Faiths

Our statement

Young People and post Covid challenges Event

March 2022

Leicester Council of Faiths hosted an online 'Young People and post Covid challenges' event on 8th March via Zoom.

This was an opportunity for representatives from the NHS, County Council and Public Health to hear from young people about their concerns and challenges re Covid and their responses to the new guidance re ‘living with Covid’ to help us understand how we can best support them moving forward. 

Leicester Council of Faiths are very proud to have held similar meetings in the past and are pleased to say that information shared at these has been taken on board by the representatives and used to influence future decisions, so it was a great opportunity for young individuals to have their voices heard.

Chief Constable Mr Simon Cole Retires

March 2022

Members of the Leicester Council of Faiths were delighted

to attend a celebration event yesterday organised by The Sikh Welfare and Cultural Society (SWCS) in association with Brahma Kurmaris, Harmony House and the wider diverse community of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR), to honour Mr Simon Cole QPM, Chief Constable of Leicestershire, who is retiring this month after 12 years of distinguished Police Service

Simon spoke at our last AGM and has participated in several LCOF events in the past.

We wish him the very best of luck for his future endeavours.

Holocaust Memorial Day

January 2022

Leicester Council of Faiths Board Members were

honoured to receive an invite from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

As in previous years the invite was received from Olivia Marks-Woodman OBE the CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Day to attend this year.

Once again, forced by the Pandemic the event was held virtually.  The event started at 6.45 pm with Youth Photography Exhibition, with the main event starting at 7 p.m. and finishing at 8.00 p.m ending with “lighting” of a candle provided by the Trust.

The host opened the event with a welcoming speech followed by short speeches by the Prime minister, the Secretary of State for the Dept for Levelling up, Housing & Communities, the Leader of the Opposition, the First Minister of Scotland, The first Minister of Wales and many other dignitaries.

The event was also shared by the experiences of the Holocaust Survivors and their families then and the more recent ones  from Rwanda, Sudan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur.

Narendra Waghela said of the event  “As always this was a very moving event, it does make one wonder if human beings will ever respect, accept and tolerate the people as what they are, and learn from past mistakes.”  He also observed that the online format perhaps enables more people to join as it is virtual.

Interfaith week

November 2021

This Interfaith week we held a hybrid meeting

with the theme Policing Challenges and the role of Faith Communities.  Members heard from the Police and Crime  Commissioner Mr Rupert Matthews, and Chief Constable Simon Cole.

This was also an Election year congratulations to all board members who were elected as follows:

Chair Fayyaz Suleman Muslim Faith

Vice chair Father John Lally – Roman Catholic faith

Secretary Yasmin Surti Muslim Faith

Asst Secretary Minou Cortazzi Bahai faith

Treasurer Narendra Waghela Hindu faith

Piyush Madhani Jain faith

Leon Charikar Jewish faith

Harminder Singh Jagdev Sikh faith

Sulakhan Singh Dard Sikh Faith

Father Paskal Clement Anglican Faith

Bharti Acharya Hindu Faith

Bushra Ali Muslim Faith

Shital Adatia Hindu faith

Board advisor Cllr Ashiedu Joel

Remembrance Sunday

November 2021

Remembrance Sunday

Leicester Council of Faiths attended the Remembrance day service at Victoria Park yesterday (Sunday 14th November 2021) and the Chair laid a wreath on behalf of the faith communities of Leicester and Leicestershire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogYBu4P0Ouk

DMU

September 2021

Fayyaz Suleman Chair LCOF presented

in a COVID-19 Vaccination and Misinformation Panel online session to support vaccine uptake and to highlight faith communities and leaders in responding positively to COVID-19.

Fayyaz also participated in the inaugural lecture of the new Pro-Vice chancellor Katie Normington.

Board Members met with Katie to welcome her to the city which was well received.

Young Peoples meeting – Consultation

July 2021

We held a meeting for young people and mental health

We were excited to welcome 30 participants.

It was a frank and honest conversation and NHS colleagues were really pleased with all the feedback received and have expressed an interest in doing something similar again in the future, which is fantastic for our young people.

Many of the young people expressed an interest in taking this group further and LCOF is keen to support this.

Open event – Mental Health and Community Recovery

June 2021

Mental Health and Community Recovery LCOF held a Mental Health 'Community Recovery' meeting

37 attendees heard from several experts in Mental Health and about the future proposals from LLR CCG’s to improve these services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Likewise these experts heard personal opinions and experiences from several different faith communities. Everyone agreed it was a very open and honest conversation.

Israeli-Gaza conflict

May 2021

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

following the Israeli-Gaza conflict which killed over 200 Palestinians and 12 Israelis and caused tensions locally

Our Statement

Further to the Statement on the Al Aqsa Mosque Attack, there were hostilities between Israel and Gaza, in which over 220 people were killed, mainly civilians including Children in Gaza (over 60) and Israel (2). There was a lot of anger and tension in the UK and we allowed faith leaders/groups to express their concerns of the human cost of the attacks and to call for resolution of the conflict and solidarity here in Leicestershire. We also supported calls for prayer for a long-term solution to the conflict and to maintain the unity here in Leicestershire by opposing any promotion of hatred against any faith community.

Israeli Police attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

May 2021

Leicester Council of Faiths released a Press and Public statement

following the Israeli Police attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque storming in Jerusalem which injured hundreds of people

Our Statement

The Leicester Council of Faiths was saddened to hear the news from Jerusalem of the injuries sustained by over 200 Palestinian worshippers and over 20 Israeli police during the protests and confrontation which occurred on the evening of Friday 7th May within the compound of the Al Aqsa Mosque. 

The Leicester Council of Faiths is saddened to hear the news from Jerusalem of the injuries sustained by over 200 Palestinian worshippers and over 20 Israeli police during the protests and confrontation which occurred on Friday 7th May within the compound of the Al Aqsa Mosque. We are concerned about the excessive force used and use of metal-coated rubber bullets by the police which can cause severe injury.

This is a period of heightened tension with the potential eviction of some Palestinians from part of the city.

In a region that is holy to the three Abrahamic faiths, any unrest has the potential to cause further division and hatred. We pray that peace prevails in this volatile region. We urge all people in the region to exercise restraint and to work towards unity and mutual co-existence. As faith communities, we re-iterate our joint commitment to peace and unity, and pray to Almighty God that His mercy descends on the region for the betterment of all.

Mount Meron stampede in Israel which killed scores of people

April 2021

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

following the Mount Meron stampede in Israel which killed scores of people

Our Statement

Faith leaders shared condolences to the Jewish Community at the stampede at Mount Meron in Israel who were celebrating a religious festival. We pray that the families find strength and patience during this difficult time.

Passing of HRH Prince Philip

April 2021

Public statement released to express our sadness

for the news regarding the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

As Faith leaders were all grateful for his service to our nation. He was a true example of dedication and service and will be missed.

Our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and Royal family.

Together in Remembrance event – One year On

March 2021

Together in Remembrance event – One year On. Over 80 participants,

including the Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire Mr Mike Kapur, the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Bishop Martyn Snow, Leicester City MP’s, the Chief Constable and Faith Leaders attended LCOF Remembrance vigil held online.

Prayers and comments were said by faith leaders and key dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire Mr Mike Kapur.

International Women’s day

March 2021

International Women’s Day 2021,

the Leicester Council of Faiths re-iterated its commitment to give women more recognition for the wonderful work they do to benefit themselves, their families, and their communities. Women are the corner stone of society and we are proud that we have wonderful women of all faiths and backgrounds in Leicester and Leicestershire that are making a huge difference for all of society locally, regionally and worldwide.

In light of this, we are pleased to announce that the Leicester Council of faiths has recognised one of our long-standing board members Miss Smita Shah as a Honorary Life Member, to make her the first woman to hold this title.

Young People Online Event – Coping with COVID-19

March 2021

Leicester Council of Faiths network session 'coping with

Covid’ held for Young People where many young people shared their views to others.

Fayyaz Suleman Chair of LCOF said “It was wonderful to meet young people from faith communities sharing their experiences of lockdown, vaccines and ideas for projects. Thanks to all”

Faith Leaders Vaccination Project

March 2021

LCOF promoted uptake of the vaccines

by getting over 100 faith leaders, clergy and volunteers from across all ages to get vaccinated and promote the benefits of it in their communities. This helped reduce hesitancy and contributed to the safety of all.

Support for Police

February 2021

We were asked by the Leicestershire Police Chief Constable’s Office

to disseminate a Home Office survey to the faith groups across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.

Following the horrendous attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, the then Home Secretary committed to a package of measures, including a new faith security training scheme, to support the continuing work on the places of worship protective security scheme. In order to better understand and explore views from faith communities, the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office launched a market research survey with Plus4.

Annual Holocaust Memorial Day

January 2021

This year Leicester Council of Faiths,

together with the City Council & the University’s Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, welcomed Leicestershire County Council as a new sponsors of the City’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration, held on the 27th January each year. Normally, this annual event is held in the University’s Fraser Noble Hall, but this wasn’t possible 2021 for obvious reasons. Instead this was held as a virtual commemoration.

AGM 2020 – COVID-19 and Faith Communities response

November 2020

Also in November we held our AGM,

it was our first held online and had over 45 participants.

Dr. Ivan Browne, Director of Public Health England, spoke about present challenges and Andy Williams, Chief Executive, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups and Andrew Furlong, Medical Director, University Hospitals of Leicester, who spoke about the proposed changes to the Leicester hospitals, both were very insightful presentations and raised lots of comments and questions.

Remembrance Day

November 2020

Remembrance day 2020

was pre recorded to ensure social distancing and was shown on the City Councils website, but as always members of the Leicester Council of Faiths attended and participated in the laying of wreaths in remembrance of the heroes of world war, with Chair Fayyaz Suleman leading the faith leaders in the ceremony.

Remembrance day 2021 was attended by the Chair and faith leaders. The Chair laid a wreath on behalf of the LCOF and faith communities generally which were not represented.

National Interfaith Week

November 2020

LCOF held an online open meeting

with the theme Using My Faith to Cope with COVID-19
Over 30 people participated and we were honoured to hear from speakers from 7 different faiths.

Fr John Lally said “Really uplifting meeting. Tremendous sense of unity. It felt like a new moment. Keep up the good work!”

Praful Thakrar said “It was a very knowledgeable meeting. Nice to know how different faiths have taken COVID19 in their faith.”

Narendra Waghela said “A unique event with positive vibes. And also unifies all.”

Gun Attacks in Vienna (Austria)

October 2020

Leicester Council of Faiths released a Press and Public statement

following the Gun Attacks in Vienna (Austria)

Our Statement

We saw terrorist attacks in Vienna (Austria) and Kabul (Afghanistan) end of 2020 and the LCOF issued a statement in response. For all these attacks the innocent pay the price and all communities are victims of it. The terrorist attacks aim to sow division and hatred among people of different faiths and backgrounds.

Fayyaz Suleman, Chairman said “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims. Leaders from across the faith communities have condemned this attack and are praying for the victims and their loved ones. Whether this is politically or religiously motivated, there is no justification for these attacks. We hope that the perpetrators are punished for their crimes.”

As brothers and sisters in humanity we all have a duty to be true to the common human values of peace and love promoted by all faiths. It is these common values that will endure and will help build a more tolerant world where beliefs that different faith groups hold dear to, are respected so as not to cause hurt or promote hatred. A world where there is greater mutual understanding and unity especially at this difficult time with the coronavirus still claiming many lives globally. Let us pray and work together in friendship for a better, safer and more peaceful world.

Terrorist Attack in Nice (France)

October 2020

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

following the Terrorist Attack in Nice (France)

Our Statement

Faith leaders in the city have condemned the terrorist attack at a church in Nice, France, which has killed 3 and wounded several others. The Leicester Council of Faiths, a body that brings together representatives of faith communities, met earlier today and issued this condemnation. 
 
The terrorist attacks aim to sow division and hatred among people of different faiths and backgrounds. 
 
Fayyaz Suleman, Chairman said “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims. Leaders from across the faith communities have condemned this attack and are praying for the victims and their loved ones. Whether this is politically or religiously motivated, there is no justification for this attack. We hope that the perpetrators are punished for their crimes.”
 
As brothers and sisters in humanity we all have a duty to be true to the common human values of peace and love promoted by all faiths. It is these common values that will endure and will help build a more tolerant world where beliefs that different faith groups hold dear to, are respected so as not to cause hurt or promote hatred. A world where there is greater mutual understanding and unity especially at this difficult time with the coronavirus still claiming many lives globally. 
 
Let us pray and work together in friendship for a better, safer and more peaceful world.
 
Fayyaz Suleman 
Chairman 
Leicester Council of Faiths 
07956 119044

NHS Community Ambassadors Project

October 2020

Following the success of an earlier partnership project,

between the NHS and Leicester Council of Faiths, the NHS once again chose LCOF to work with them to promote several important initiatives, within Leicester and Leicestershire:

  • Acute and Maternity changes to Leicester Hospitals
  • Step up to Great Mental health consultation
  • Flu Vaccination
  • Covid-19 Vaccination and safety

Read more

Tier 5 Visas

September 2020

Prior to June 2019, places of worship could

apply for either a Minister of religion (tier 2) or Religious Worker (Tier 5) visa. Then the rules were changed which required all Religious Workers to be treated as Ministers of Religion.

This meant that applications for Tier 5 have been rejected and places of worship mainly from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and some Churches have been deprived from being able to sponsor Religious workers at Tier 5.

The LCOF campaigned via the local MPs, led by Jon Ashworth MP to lobby the Home Office to provide clarity and raise these issues.

Small Grant Scheme

Aug 2020

The Leicester City Council listened to LCOF and

faith groups in recognising the value of the faiths sector and places of worship during the recovery stage. We welcomed the announcement of a small grant scheme to give eligible groups grants of up to £5,000 for adapting their premises and undertaking COVID-19 recovery projects.

United Together Against COVID

July 2020

COVID-19- Coronavirus caused a lot of anxiety

and fear among people. This was the time that we put the Unity Declaration into practise and showed our common humanity and worked together to support vulnerable members of our society. The Leicester Council of Faiths collaborated with the Leicester and Leicestershire authorities to support faith communities/leader’s engagement during the early days of the pandemic and beyond.

LCOF was in communication with the Police & Crime Commissioner Lord Bach and Chief Constable Simon Cole.

LCOF participated in the phone conference with the Local Resilience Forum tasked with providing a coordinated response to the pandemic and plan the recovery phase.

LCOF setup a Whatsapp Group of over 50 faith representatives or leaders of faith centres/places of worship in Leicester and Leicestershire.

LCOF has been sharing the government guidance on places of worship regularly and suggested options for services whilst adhering to the guidance.

The group has also allowed faith leaders to share examples of support being provided and examples of how they are dealing with services for their communities, such as worship, supporting the vulnerable and funerals.

LCOF put together a list of issues for councils and authorities to respond to or deal with or report on so that faith communities could be assured that their needs were being taken into account.

Fayyaz Suleman also met with NHS England and the Cabinet Office about the faith communities response to COVID-19.

Letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock

28th July 2020

The Leicester Council of Faiths played its part

in putting pressure for removing the lockdown on Leicester and Oadby & Wigston in July by writing to the Health Secretary highlighting the work done by faith and community groups to control the spread of the virus and the need to remove the lockdown. We shared the details of our successful project with the NHS as example of how everyone is playing their part in reducing the spread. We were pleased that we were able to represent the views of Leicestershire’s faith communities and play our part to remove/ease the lockdown.

Statement

Leicester NHS Messaging Success

July 2020

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

The Leicester Council of Faiths established partnership working early in July in response to the increase in the number of coronavirus cases. We planned and delivered a messaging project for people to follow guidelines in 15 different languages with over 30 groups and faith centres participating. These messages were mainly in video format and reached a direct audience of over 26,000 who were connected to the groups as members, worshippers or supporters. Apart from messages in English, the messages were produced in 14 other languages, including Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Kutchi, Somali, Bengali, Polish, Shona, Yoruba, Portugese and Pigdin English. This was hailed as a huge success in such a short timeframe. Prof Azhar Farooqi, clinical chair of NHS Leicester City CCG and a local GP, said: “During the extended Leicester lockdown it has been more important than ever that we reach out inclusively and engage with all of our many diverse communities across Leicester. Faith has had an important role to play in that, not least because of unique position of many religious leaders at their heart of their local communities. We have been delighted to work with the Leicester Council of Faiths on this project, which has helped supplement the community outreach activity of the NHS and its local partners during this crucial period.”

Faith and Community Leaders Urge Safety, Prayer and Unity

1st July 2020

Leicester Council of Faiths released a Press and Public statement

following negative coverage of the reasons for the new lockdown, which caused rumours and false statements being circulated on social media.

Statement

Reading Terrorist Attack

20th June 2020

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

following a knife attack in Reading.

Statement

Public Health England. NHSEI and LCOF Private Clinic Collaboration

19th June 2020

Public Health England (PHE) East Midlands lead

a multi-agency response to concerns raised about an alternative therapy clinic, run privately from a residential property on Knighton Lane East, in Leicester, which is thought to have operated between 2013 and 2019.

Although issues raised did not relate to the provision of NHS services, health agencies were concerned about the health and wellbeing of people who used the clinic. For this reason, PHE lead a programme to contact around 130 people whose details were known. The Leicester Council of Faiths supported this effort, by advising on the approach to engagement with faith and ethnic communities, best way to reach the patients being affected, development of a leaflet to be sent to all residential properties in the Knighton Lane East area, as well as producing a supporting video in English, Gujarati and Urdu to help get the message into the local communities and encourage uptake of the screening and health support being provided to the patients. This work helped engage with the communities and maintain cohesion among the communities.

 

 

Attack on Derby Sikh Gurdwara

25th May 2020

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

following an attack on the Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara in Derby.

Statement

Letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

4th May 2020

The Chairman of Leicester Council of Faiths wrote

to both the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and The Chancellor representing places of worship and to call for the Government to provide support for those excluded from current schemes.

Letter to the Prime Minister

Letter to the Chancellor

One United Leicestershire Declaration

4th March 2020

Following concerns raised by local residents of the fallout

from the negative and divisive campaigning during the election and of incidents of hate crime in the city, some of which had manifested in schools with Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents reported. As well as incidents in Pakistan against Sikh people and in India from the protests, have all caused anxiety among local communities.

Leicester Council of Faith felt there was a view that a collective Unity declaration by faith centres and civic and political leaders would be a good basis to underline our commitment to keeping things harmonious and cohesive in Leicester.

To this end, the board of the LCOF met and adopted a ‘ONE UNITED LEICESTERSHIRE’ declaration, supported and signed up to by over 80 signatories from Faith and Public leaders.

North Memorial Homes

Ongoing

The LCOF continues to support the governance

of the North Memorial Homes. Tony Nelson, the representative of the LCOF, currently chairs the board of trustees for this important charity that supports ex-service personnel with disability pensions.

Annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event

January 2020

As one of the lead partners and founding partner,

the LCOF supported the HMD event with over 100 guests from the civic, faith and non-faith community of Leicester and Leicestershire. Word of thanks was also given to Tony Nelson for Chairing the HMD Committee and making the annual event successful.

Annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event

Annual Interfaith Food Festival + Climate Change and Faith Communities

20th November 2019

Leicester Council of Faiths combined their AGM

with their annual Interfaith Food Festival and an open meeting on Climate Change. With over 50 members attending from across the faith communities and centres of Leicester, we had a very successful evening with so many bringing delicious food and making friends. We also had many contributions from participants on Climate change.
Many of you requested a copy of the slides of the presentations on Climate Change and Faith Communities presented by Martin Gage and Dr Lucy Michaels.

The slides can be found by clicking on the link

 

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

10th October 2019

Held at Sacred Heart Church Hall (Mere Road, Leicester).

We held this meeting to make amendments to our constitution to add a faith organisation membership category following requests for this and review by the board over the last year or so. Several clauses were amended to allow faith organisations operating locally to apply. There are conditions for membership to this category, before the faith organisation can be admitted as a member. The conditions will include that the faith organisation is either a member of the national interfaith network or an organisation whose national representative body is a member of the National interfaith network, and the admission of the organisation will not be against the interests of the Leicester Council of Faiths as determined by the board when considering the application. This will ensure that our membership of faith organisations will be within the framework for membership of the National Interfaith Network. We continue with our current categories of membership of individuals. The other changes made to the constitution is that we will have a minimum number of persons elected or appointed at the AGM from each faith on the board, to avoid 1 or 2 faith representatives overpowering the board. This will be more representative.

 

Synagogue Attack in Germany

9th October 2019

The Leicester council of faiths released a public statement

condemning the cowardly act of terror committed by a far-right terrorist in Germany outside the Synagogue in Halle and calls for greater action to deal with the far-right radicalisation and terrorism.

Statement

Inter-faith Scriptural Reasoning on the Cain and Abel story (Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives)

13th June 2019

Leicester Council of Faiths supported and co-chaired

the Methodist Church’s Scriptural Reasoning Inter-faith event that was held on the 13th of June 2019 at Bishop Street Methodist Church, Leicester.

Scriptural Reasoning is a tool for inter-faith dialogue whereby people of different faiths come together to read and reflect on their scriptures.  Unlike some forms of inter-faith engagement, it is not about seeking agreement but rather, exploring the texts and their possible interpretations across faith boundaries, and learning to ‘disagree better’. The result is often a deeper understanding of others’ and one’s own scriptures, as well as the development of strong bonds across faith communities. 

The event drew out many examples of common lessons for the adherents of the 3 Abrahamic faiths and relevance to todays world of diverse faiths and communities. The panel was excellent and thank you to Dr Angela Jagger, Rumaysa Sidat and Uri Gordon, and the Methodist Church for making the event a success.

Terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka

25th April 2019

The LCOF Chair Fayyaz Suleman also attended the Sunday Mass Service

and spoke at the Catholic Church Our Lady of Good Counsel frequented by many Asian Christians, including from Sri Lanka. The congregation was re-assured that we are with them and they should not fear in Leicester. A prayer was also made for the victims of the tragedy.

Terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka

21st April 2019

Leicester Council of Faiths released a Public statement

from Faith leaders in the city, condemning the terrorist attacks at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed over 150 people and injured hundreds more.  Thank you to all of you who attended the Interfaith Vigil held at the Cathedral, led the Rt Rev Bishop Martyn Snow to remember and pray for the victims of the Terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. We would like to thank the Cathedral and the Leicester Anglican Diocese for organising this event.

Statement

Young People and Faith

11th April 2019

Leicester Council of Faiths held an event on the subject of Young People and Faith

on Thursday the 11th of April at Madani High School, Evington Valley Road.  It was truly inspirational with Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jain speakers as young as 13 being very articulate about the issues facing young people about identity, practicing your faith, motivation for studying and relying on faith for overcoming personal challenges. We also had young people from youth organisations and committees speaking and contributing to the event attended by over 50 people.

Human Value Day

6th April 2019

Following on from the success of this event in 2018

Leicester council of Faiths once again supported Sathya Sai International Organisation (UK) on their Human Values Walk and Concert and encouraged Leicester’s faith communities to come along, bring a banner and join in.

Christchurch Mosque Attacks

15th March 2019

Leicester Council of Faiths released a Public statement

condemning the Mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15th March 2019 and invited people to join us for a prayer vigil and minute silence together with the Federation of Muslim Organisations, on Sunday 17th March at Masjid Al Falah Mosque, Evington.  Several hundred people attended and faith, civil and political leaders conveyed their condolences and offered prayers for the victims and their loved ones.  Many leaders, centres and community groups offered their sympathies, prayers and support, and many faith centres held a dedicated place for prayer and meditation. The Leicester Mercury, BBC, ITV and other media outlets covered the event and you may search to view the report. A full recording made by some of the attendees of the event can be seen on youtube by searching “Leicester Community comes together New Zealand”.

Statement

Terrorist attack in Kashmir

17th February 2019

Leicester Council of Faiths released a Public statement

condemning the terrorist attack in Kashmir on 14th February 2019 and invited people to join us for prayers at Shree Sanatan Mandir the following evening.

Statement

Holocaust Memorial day commemorative event

27th January 2019

An event that we have proudly been partners of for many years,

along with the Leicester City Council Leicester University’s Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, is the Holocaust Memorial day commemorative event.

The Leicester City’s 2019 commemorative event, took place at the Fraser Noble Hall, University Road, Leicester.  The national theme for HMD 2019 was “Torn from Home”, which not only provided an opportunity for us all to remember the victims of the Holocaust & subsequent genocides, but also gave us the chance to celebrate our differences & diversity.

Interfaith Food Festival

15th November 2018

Leicester Council of Faiths held a fun and exciting Interfaith Food Festival,

at Sacred Heart Church Hall, Mere Road.  An opportunity to experience food from different cultures and faith communities and we were not disappointed.  There was a an amazing turn out, with everything from a vegetable curry, to a Victoria sandwich cake.  Definitely something for everyone.

Remembrance Sunday Service

11th November 2018

Remembrance Sunday Service, Victoria Park, Leicester

Please see the video of the Remembrance

Mental Health & Faith  

30th October 2018

In October 2018 we held an event at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Rushey Mead

on the very important subject of Mental Health.  Following on from World Mental Health Day and the growing recognition of the problems faced by millions of people and how spirituality and faith helps at difficult times.

Many practitioners, such as Chaplains, do a wonderful job in supporting people suffering from Mental Health issues. Equally at this time, there was a lack of awareness of what Mental Health really is and how we all can play a part.

As well as hearing from a variety of specialists in this field, including a General Practitioner and several Chaplains, we also offered the opportunity for members of the audience to share their own experiences or to convey their views about how they have used faith to support people with Mental Health issues.

Women in My Faith

9th July 2018

Held at Neve Shalom Synagogue,

The Leicester Council of Faiths organised a unique event titled ‘Women in my Faith’ with presentations from keynote speakers from the various diverse faith communities of Leicestershire, including Christianity, Baha’I and Jewish.
At this evening event we had the opportunity to hear from inspiring members of these faith communities and learn about the status and impact of Women in Faith. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session with the keynote speakers. 

Human Values Day

21st April 2018

With the support of the Leicester Council of Faiths

Sathya Sai International Organisation (UK), invited you to a series of special events in celebration of ‘Human Values Day’ which took place in Leicester City Centre on Saturday 21st April 2018.

The events consisted of:
Walk With Values – A walk from the King Richard III Visitor Centre (LE1 5DB) to Humberstone Gate. Many people brought banners or flags with a focus on Human Values which represented their faith, to pledge their commitment to practice at least one human value in our daily life.
Human Values Concert – At Humberstone Gate. There were various groups and artists performing songs related to the Human Values on a dedicated stage.
Lunch – At the Salvation Army Building, Kildare St, Leicester LE1 3FY.  Everyone was invited for lunch and an opportunity to meet with the other faith groups supporting the event.

Unity of Faiths Symposium – At the Salvation Army Building, Kildare St, Leicester LE1 3FY. Faith leaders presented their thoughts on the Human Values from the perspective of their faith.

This was a wonderful occasion to foster unity within our community and raise awareness of human values and its practice in our daily lives which will impact the communities around us in a positive way.

Remembrance Sunday

12th November 2017

Leicester Council of Faiths (chair) leads Leicester’s faith leaders

in laying a poppy wreath in memory of all the heroes who lost their lives during WW1, WW2, Falklands, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraqi wars.