Signing the Barnet faith covenant
Barnet Council and faith partner Barnet Multi-Faith Forum (BMFF) have renewed the Barnet Covenant for Engagement between Faith Communities and Local Authorities.
Barnet was the first London Borough to adopt the All Parliamentary Party Covenant for Engagement between Faith Communities and Local Authorities in 2015. This week, the covenant was signed again at a short ceremony in Hendon Town Hall.
The event marked the beginning of Inter Faith Week 2021 and was a public renewal of the council’s partnership with the borough’s diverse faith communities. The re-signing of the covenant follows the publication of Barnet’s Community Participation Strategy earlier in the year. The strategy reaffirms the council’s commitment to involving community organisations in the design and delivery of services, and faith groups are a particularly vital partner in this.
The council co-signed the covenant with longstanding faith partner, the Barnet Multi-Faith Forum (BMFF) who actively represents all the major faith groups in Barnet providing faith communities with a voice in the borough, celebrating cultural diversity and promoting dialogue between different groups. They will continue to work with the council on plans to implement the commitments in the covenant. These include designing strategies to involve more faith groups in consultation and to ensure members of all religions and cultures are included equally.
Cllr Reuben Thompstone, Chairman of Community Leadership and Libraries Committee said, “Through the difficult days of the Covid-19 pandemic, our faith leaders and religious organisations stepped up to help support our most vulnerable residents. They provided a vital link to residents, using their trusted role in the community to pass on messages of safety, and encouraging people to be vaccinated. I am very proud to add my signature to the Barnet Faith Covenant, and to help launch the next chapter in this story”.
Esmond Rosen, President of Barnet Multi Faith Forum commented, “Since 2015 Forum members have established excellent relationships with council members and officers which were only strengthened during the pandemic, and I am delighted that the council has decided to renew the covenant. It is a mutual commitment between the council and the Barnet Multi Faith Forum (BMFF) to work together in harmony while respecting our mutual freedom, integrity, and difference to strengthen our vision of enhancing the lives of all Barnet’s residents. BMFF are honoured to represent Barnet’s faith community in this renewal and celebration of our partnership with the council.”
Image: Signing the Barnet Faith Covenant were (left to right) Councillor Reuben Thompstone, Chairman of the Community Leadership and Libraries Committee; The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Alison Cornelius; Esmond Rosen, President of the Barnet Multifaith Forum (BMFF) and Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director of Faith Action (centre rear). They were accompanied by the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Barnet, Martin Russell and representatives from the BMFF Executive Committee and Barnet Together.
The Faith Covenants were devised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society. More information can be found here: The Faith Covenant - APPG on Faith and Society
Inter Faith Week is an annual event to encourage positive relations between faiths: Inter Faith Week
Barnet’s Inter Faith Week celebrations include:
- Wednesday 17 November: Film Premiere - Stranger/Sister - Inter Faith Week
- Thursday 18 November: InterFaith Tree Planting with Middlesex University | Barnet Multi Faith Forum
- Sunday 21 November: Tree planting ceremony at UNITAS Youth Zone – Inter Faith Week | Barnet Multi Faith Forum