Want to donate to the BHFA?

The BHFA operates as a charity and we rely upon the generosity of our funders to meet our objectives; supporting faith groups who deliver social welfare projects such as food banks, homeless shelters, mental health services and combatting prejudice and religious hatred.

If you would like to donate to the BHFA, we would greatly appreciate your support. Every pound will be spent on furthering our charitable aims and objectives.

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Funding training success

funding workshop

The BHFA is pleased to report the Communities Fund Grant Workshop for Faith Organisations was a roaring success, with very positive feedback from participants. Attendees were particularly pleased with the quality of the trainers, who they felt explained the complexities of applying for Council funding well and were much better informed and confident in applying after the training.

Applying for funding from the Council has been difficult, if not impossible, in the past. The council would automatically reject funding applications from faith groups that cited a belief in God in their constitution, so many faith groups stopped applying. Since the 2012 Equalities Act came into force it is illegal for public bodies to discriminate on the basis of faith or religion.

Last year the BHFA supported a funding application from One Church but they were rejected by the Council because their constitution cited a belief in God. The BHFA took up the case with the Council’s equalities department and we’re pleased to report that they agreed that this was a breach of the Equalities Act. The Council have therefore retraining relevant staff and applications from faith groups will no longer be rejected on the basis that the applicant holds religious beliefs.

In addition, the Council’s Equalities department organised and delivered this training workshop in September, led by the superb Sarah Tighe-Ford and Michelle Pooley, in order to help faith groups apply for funding. The BHFA and Community Works were pleased to jointly promote this training and we’re very happy with this positive and proactive approach the Council equalities department has shown towards our local faith community.

Message from our new Chair of Trustees

A message from the new Chair of trustees, Rik Child.

AGM

I’m pleased to report that at last night’s AGM of the BHFA I was elected to the office of chair of the board of trustees with a firm majority. I am honoured to have won the backing of members from a wide variety of faith traditions, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups and happy to have spoken to so many of you. I would like to thank all those members who placed their faith in my vision of what the BHFA could become.

NEXT FEW WEEKS

Over the next few weeks I’ll be working with fellow trustees and staff in organising the BHFA to ensure it fulfils its aims and objectives.

To this end:

  1. I have asked Lev, our Project coordinator to establish a regular membership newsletter to go out every month to our members. This is to keep members better informed over the progress of the BHFA and to encourage greater membership engagement and foster unity.
  2. I am about to reach out to several faith leaders and invite them to join the board of trustees to inject new energy and determination to accomplish our vision. More soon.
  3. I think we should have a vice-chair who represents each of the main faith traditions in our city. This is to ensure that a senior voice from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist groups are heard at an executive level. Obviously, we want to engage other groups too as trustees.
  4. I have organised a meeting with the CEO of Community Works to discuss how to take the Faith Partnership forwards which is our core income stream at present.

With the social and economic uncertainty of Brexit looming, cuts to local authority budgets continuing and the disturbing rise in religious hate crime, it has never been more important for faith groups to unite in delivering social welfare services, ensuring that any gaps in our social safety net are filled and stand together in resisting religious hate crime.

I will do everything I can to ensure the BHFA plays an active role in bring faith groups together in this important work.

Yours faithfully,

Rik Child, Brighthelm

Chair, Brighton and Hove Faith in Action

Multi-Faith Mental Health Awareness training

In partnership with Mind in Brighton and Hove, the BHFA’s Mental Health Faith Partnership has successfully delivered two multi-faith training sessions in Mental Health Awareness.

Feedback from the training session was excellent, with all participants improving their knowledge and skills over mental health awareness.

Some comments were:

“A great discussion between various people, i.e. exploring the issues well”

“Clear explanations / wealth of information on so many aspects of Mental Health”

“A well worthwhile morning. Great to have spiritual input.”

“Very helpful and very pleasantly communicated. Very useful to have all the paperwork to take away. This means you can concentrate in the session.”

“Well presented. Concise and informed with provision to access further information.”

“It was very good to meet with members of various faith groups. Thank you!”

“Thank you for such an affirming and helpful course.”

“THANK YOU. Very beneficial and I learnt a lot.

Annual Interfaith service and Celebrating Faith event video

Here’s an awesome short video put together by our friends over at the Interfaith Contact Group. It shows some fab clips from the annual Interfaith service and the Celebrating Faith event last November.

I’m proud to say this is how we do things in Brighton! Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Bahai and all others not just peacefully coexisting, but celebrating their faith with one another.

Really pleased to hear from Mahmut that there has been no hate crime increase in Brighton since Brexit, despite a sharp rise nationally. I think this goes to show how lovely and liberal we are here by the sea.

Celebrating Faith 2016

stall holders

Celebrating Faith 2016 

15 November 11am-3pm

St. Peters Church,

Brighton 


 

We are pleased to announce that following the success of last year’s Celebrating Faith event during international interfaith week, we are holding the event again and it’s going to be bigger and better than before.

Like last year, the focus of the event is on the important social welfare and community building projects faith groups run, be they food banks, homeless services, debt advice, youth groups, lunch clubs for the elderly or hiring out halls and building space for the local community. The scale of networking available at this event is unavailable at any other time of year, and many found it incredibly useful for discovering other faith groups who are running similar or complimentary projects to their own.

We’ll be at an awesome venue this year, St Peters Church, right in the heart of the city, where we will have much more freedom than the Brighton Centre. We’ve also listened carefully to the feedback from last year and have made the following changes:

– A much bigger focus on networking and conversation – the market place will be open all day so you will have the time to speak to anyone you would like to.

– No more workshops – these didn’t really work last time and most of you said you’d prefer to network so we’ve removed them from the agenda altogether.

– A tighter focus on faith – although most of the stalls were manned by faith groups, almost half weren’t and many were surprised to see secular groups that had very little or no connection to faith groups in attendance. This year a higher percentage of stalls will got to faith groups and secular groups who wish to attend will need to demonstrate a solid connection with the work of faith groups.

– A meaningful lunch – the food last year was a bit of a letdown with many missing it entirely. This year we’re asking faith groups to bring food that is commonly eaten in their faith tradition to share and we will carve out the space to eat a communal meal where we sit and eat together, continuing our conversations over lunch. The Real Junk Food Project will also make a significant contribute to the lunch to ensure there is enough food for everyone.

– The interfaith choir will have a better slot – instead of the choir at the end of the day, we’re placing it right after lunch so it can have a proper hearing. The choir are truly wonderful and we’re really lucky to have them back again.

As before, it’s free to attend and free to have a stall slot, so if your faith group would like to book a slot all you have to do is send us an email or use this booking form and you’re in! We’ll sort out all the details with you.

We’ll update this page with further information as we get closer to the date, but please don’t leave it too late to book a slot as we expect we will fill up to capacity quickly given how popular last year’s event was.