Barnet’s faith and community leaders unite in message of community cohesion


Barnet Council, Barnet Multi-Faith Forum and Middlesex University have joined together with various faith and community representatives from across the borough to create a unique video message of encouragement and hope for the community.

A screenshot of the multi-faith video

A screenshot of the multi-faith video

Following a very busy period of religious festivals where families and communities throughout Barnet have sacrificed coming together to observe religious customs and celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The video provides encouragement and motivation to Barnet’s faith communities, fellow residents and leaders to continue working together to stay safe during this time.

Faith and community leaders share the difficulty of being unable to come together physically during the coronavirus pandemic, the power of community that has been thriving despite being unable to gather for worship and support, and the importance of continuing to stay safe and support each other through this period – together.

Due to social distancing measures, each participant filmed their message remotely and BA Film student Jakub Holub at Middlesex University edited the final product together – resulting in a message of hope, community and safety.

Esmond Rosen and Trevor Alexander, Co-Chairs of the Barnet Multi-Faith Forum, said:

 ‘This exciting video project captured the positive spirit, unity and immense contribution faith groups in Barnet are making to the safety and wellbeing of the community during the Covid 19 pandemic. For the first time in memory, places of worship have been closed, weddings, funeral ceremonies, celebrations and key religious services and acts have been cancelled or suspended.

But we have found innovative ways to observe and celebrate our festivals and customs, using technology to serve the religious needs of our communities. In addition, we have worked alongside other community groups to provide for the vulnerable and hungry in the wider community, based on our shared values and duties to love and protect others. The video reflects the spirit of community and the diverse experiences we have shared during this time.’

Notes to Editors 

Watch the video here:

Featured in the video are faith and community leaders crossing multiple faith backgrounds, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Baha’i and Hindu: Asmina Remtulla (Admin Secretary, Barnet Multi-Faith Forum), Deacon Anthony Clark (St Edward the Confessor Church), Roya Azordegan (Executive Member, Barnet Multi-Faith Forum), Rev Ben Twumasi (Treasurer & Executive Member of Barnet Multi-Faith Forum, and Reverend of Barnet & Queensbury Methodist Church), Rabbi Pinchas Hackenboch (Woodside Park Synagogue), Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk (Finchley Progressive Synagogue), Rabbi Miriam Berger (Finchley Reform Synagogue), Shaykh Mohammad Yazdani (Chairman of London Fatwa Council), Ravinder Singh (Basics of Sikhi), Ali Madani (London Faiths Forum), Julie Pal (CEO of Community Barnet), Esmond Rosen (Co-Chair of Barnet Multi-Faith Forum), Nic Beech (Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University) and Duncan Hanton (Church Minister at Trinity Church, Barnet).

Barnet Council is working with the Barnet Together partnership, and a task force of charities, faith, voluntary and business groups to support vulnerable residents during the Covid-19 crisis. A network of local support to help our communities remain resilient during the COVID-19 crisis is available on the Community Help Hub.

Barnet Multi-Faith Forum is a partnership of volunteers who represent the diverse faith communities and organisations across Barnet.

Middlesex University’s faculty and students have supported Barnet’s community response to the Covid-19 crisis.