Barking and Dagenham celebrates tolerance and diversity for inter-faith week

Inter Faith Week will involve open days at churches and mosques, talks by religious leaders and stor

Inter Faith Week will involve open days at churches and mosques, talks by religious leaders and stories workshops for people to learn about different religions. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham is celebrating inter-faith week.

The Faith and Belief Forum, the Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum and the council have co-ordinated events across the week from November 10 to 16 to strengthen relationships between faith communities.

Inter-faith week is a national programme focusing on understanding and co-operation between beliefs and aims to increase awareness about them.

This year Barking and Dagenham Council and faith leaders in the area have agreed to launch a faith policy statement outlining their ambitions and ways to working together to strengthen the role faith plays in the community.

"This borough is all about community, it is all about coming together and celebrating both our diversity and what we have in common, this is why inter-faith week is so important to us as a council," said Mark Tyson, the council's director of policy and participation.

"Celebrating and building on the contribution members of different faith and non-faith communities make to their neighbourhoods and wider society is central to these aims."

On Tuesday, November 12, the council will be holding a flag raising event outside Barking Town Hall at 11am. Faith leaders, schools, council staff and residents are all invited to attend.

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A Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum event based on the theme of faith, diversity and harmony will be held in the Council Chambers at the town hall on Wednesday, November 13 from 5pm.

As well as speeches from faith leaders, awards will also be given to the winners of the inter-faith week creative competition. The winners will be invited to read out their poetry and essays, and invited to share their experiences of living in the area. Works will be put on display at the town hall for the entire week.

A number of faith organisations across Barking and Dagenham will be opening their doors to visitors. These include St Margaret's Church, the Al Madina Mosque, Singh Sabha London East (Barking Gurdwara) and the Harmony Christian Centre and Jain Derasar in Dagenham.