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What's Happening
Faith 2017- Near Neighbours
Dear God...
“Hate leads to fights, Fights lead to war, War leads to beautiful world no more”
Kieran Hunt
Project In Progress
Local Inter Faith Guide

Our project is to publish a third edition of the Local Interfaith Guide to support the development and reinvigorate local interfaith groups by giving practical support, case studies and links to useful resources. The guide will enable those particularly wanting to establish groups to draw on best practice based on the experience of others. 
Project In Progress
This project is in the planning stages. This project aims to enable pupils from vastly different social, economic and cultural backgrounds to encounter each other, interact and communicate.

Pupils will examine their own ideas and expectations of community; identity; diversity and belonging. Four key questions will form the basis of the project - Who am I? Who are we? Where do we live? How do we all live well together? Through examining similarities and differences, pupils will reflect together on how we can change negative attitudes and challenge community stereotypes.

By working on shared art work, meeting people of faith and developing ideas for other teachers to use, a toolkit will be developed.
Project In Progress
RISING Global Peace Forum

The Forum is a collaborative venture between Coventry University, Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council that gathers peacebuilders, policymakers and academics from around the world to explore and promote stratergies for resolving conflict and sustaining peaceful societies.
Project In Progress
Tales of Wonder, Wisdom and Humour

Religious Education in many schools is not seen as a priority and some non-muslim parents feel concerned when it has anything to do with Islam. Using multi-faith storytelling, with professional award-winning Khayaal Theatre, we hope to build bridges in the primary schools and generate a better understanding of not just Islamic but of other faiths and cultures too, highlighting mutual links and crossover between all traditions. Means of storytelling does not confront orthodoxy of religion; it rather seeks to inform participants in a culturally acceptable manner.
Project In Progress
Greenbelt Festivals

The Grave of Dreams is an exhibition of paintings by the teenage Gazan artist, Malak Mattar. The exhibition was staged in the Tapestry Suite at Boughton House, near Kettering, as part of The Greenbelt Arts, Faith and Justice Festival - as part of building greater inter-cultural and inter-religious understanding and appreciation.
Project In Progress
This community-based collaborative project brings together participants from a range of ages, cultures, religions and experiences to help develop religious and cultural literacy in the region. Based in primary and secondary schools across Lincolnshire, the aim of the work is to challenge misconceptions and provide a safe space for encounter and positive engagement.

Participants will work with playwrights, actors, technical and digital teams, subject experts and crucially, each other, to produce a series of performances exploring social and moral issues of living well together. REConnecting Lincolnshire provides and exciting opportunity to discover the richness of identity in modern Britain.
Project In Progress
Christianity - Big Questions

Our project aims to reach out to many different audiences via social media, websites, home viewing, faith groups, with a series of short films challenging the viewers to think about Christianity in contemporary society. 

What are the big questions which the Christian faith needs to ask itself?  What are the big questions in society in which Christianity seeks to address? How might our viewers be challenged to rethink their perceptions of Christianity and which might be the future for a progressive faith?
Project In Progress
Bible Engagement in multi-faith Schools

This project enables thousands of primary school children, in multi-faith cities across England and Wales, to engage with Bible Stories in a sensitive, educationally acceptable style.  In partnership with Birmingham City Mission, the Bible Society seeks to engage inter-faith dialogue between the Christian church and primary schools where children are from other faiths and none.

The project is building bridges between different faiths and cultures between communities. Different Christian church denominations come together to deliver Bible stories as part of collective workship in multi-faith primary schools, giving children and foundational understanding of our society's Christian heritage, enabling them to compare and contrast.
Project In Progress
Developing Deeper Discussion

The aim of this project is first to provide pocket guides to relationships between Christians and other faith communities (Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and Buddist). Second, we will use these guides to facilitate deeper discussion between Christians and other faith communities.
Project In Progress
Celebrating Diversity

Our project is seeing to share Newham Sacre's (Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education) good practice over to Waltham Forest Sacre. This will happen in three ways; we will run year 5 Inter-faith one-day conferences with 18 Waltham Forest Primary Schools; we will share and help Waltham Forest build their own version of Student Sacre; and we will run training for both Sacre's in order to help members have greater knowledge of their role as a Sacre as well as sharing best practice. 
Project In Progress
We encourage people to learn Engish so they are able to communicate with people like teachers and doctors and can visit places such as libraries and other public places. Anyone can access our group and trained tutors will provide support as they learn. All our staff have undertaken training and personal checks (DBS).
Project In Progress
Building Bridges Between Communities

Building Bridges Between Communities aims to bring people from different backgrounds together for interactive discussions and sharing of experiences.  The project will bring self-help groups and community organisations together to work and share resources.
Project In Progress
Reforming Christianity: Online Resources

Recognising diversity within religions and not just between religions is an important area of learning in RE in schools. It is difficult for teachers to represent the diversity within Christianity, particularly if they are non-specialists, and the traditions and beliefs of the Free Churches are often neglected. 

We are developing online resources, starting with a unit on the Reformation. Other units will explore dissent, conscience, the role of women, and challenging injustice. The resources are being written by RE Today Services, and this high-quality material will be available free of charge. 
Project In Progress
FACES (Faiths Against Child Exploitation)

FACES (Faiths Against Child Exploitation) is a growing interfaith project in Luton that is committed to challenging Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). We are aware of cases around the country where faith, both Christian and Muslim, has been projected negatively in discussions about CSE.

The working group came together to consider how we, as faith communities, could work together to be part of the solution. FACES has delivered training material for faith leaders to raise awareness around CSE. Further resources are being developed for different contexts that will empower and equip members of the community to recognise the signs and stand against CSE.
 
 
 
Project In Progress
You're not on Your Own!

Fired Up Theatre and St Augustine's CE First School wish to highlight the voices of children at school. Voices that project confidence, skills and creativity in order to make them stronger in their faith whilst living in isolated and expansive rural areas.

Their voices echo the thoughts of many other people in the surrounding communities of East Staffordshire.
 
 
 
Project In Progress
Resilient Me, Resilient You

People talk about ‘British values’, but what does this mean to children and young people? This project will enable pupils in two lower secondary schools to explore identity and what it means to be British, to share their ideas and then to work with upper primary pupils to develop aspects of values transition in a mixed local community. 

Working on iPads, pupils will respond to concepts such as identity and identity-in-difference, respect for self and others and the Golden Rule, using the agreed syllabus for RE and SMSC as stimuli. They will produce e-Books on these themes which will then be shared with and used by primary schools to stimulate transitional work in the community.
 
 
Project In Progress
Peace and Reconciliation Toolkit and Resources for the Classroom

Coventry Cathedral are designing a ready-to-use curriculum for teachers to use in RE lessons which will equip students with skills to be peace buildes in school, community and the wider world, through deepening knowledge and understanding of Christianity.  This resource will enable teachers to fulfill the statutory requirement for teaching RE in schools and be suitable for non-specialists.
Project In Progress
Small Footsteps

Small Footsteps aims to inspire specifically young people from different faith backgrounds (and none) to value the environment which is at risk through climate change. We believe that the best way of doing this is for faith groups to work together in ways that demonstrate deep shared values faiths have for the environment.

Small Footsteps 2017 was a five day multi-faith summer school for young people aged 11-14. Young people were introduced to the envoronment through practical activities related to food and food waste, recycling, water, trees, energy, the ecological cycle of life and finally how these all relate to the dangers of climate change. Woven into these practical activities are the connections with the environment and natural world made by different faiths.
Project In Progress
Spirited Arts ‘Art in Heaven’ is an annual art competition for primary and secondary school pupils, hosted by NATRE. In its 15th year this competition has attracted over 320,000 participants (averaging 20,000 per year!) since 2004, with 2,000 entries being sent in to NATRE each year for judging.

Hundreds of UK and overseas schools get involved. Information and themes for the 2018 competition are now available via this project page.
Project In Progress
Communities Learning Together

Trustees, volunteers and the wider community will take part in a three-year learning programme, organised by Faith In Our Community, to address the big skills gap in the deprived communities where we work.  The programme will consist of events, workshops and networking meetings to develop the knowledge and skills of local people, so they will be better informed and able to run more effective organisations.

 
Project In Progress
Exploring Religious Diversity: What does it mean to follow a faith in Britain today?

This project brings year 7 pupils together from a rural secondary school, with Y5 and 6 pupils from 6 feeder primary schools in the Settle area of North Yorkshire to experience and explore religious diversity through four workshops, led by people from a range of different faiths.

Members of SACRE were involved in the planning and delivery of the day. As part of the day, pupils were trained as 'Diversity Champions', empowered to organise and run diversity themed events in their own schools. The 'Exploring Diversity' day took place in Nov 2017.
Project In Progress
The Platform Project

The Platform Project is a 12-month Creative Arts programme provided for young people between the ages of 5-25, giving them access to professional opportunities and training in music, dance, drama and media, whilst gaining an accredited arts award qualification.

The young people will be involved in projects designed to create an atmosphere of positive influence throughout the community.  We want to see young people embracing art in creative ways giving them a voice to express themselves. The young people will become stewards of their own gifts and help those in need within the community. Lastly, they will create professional high-quality entertainment which is affordable and accessible to everyone.
Project In Progress
Teaching about Religious Diversity in Inclusive Schools: Developing Collaborative Practice between Research and Teachers.

Our project aims to investigate how RE teachers can make use of research to improve pedagogy. The focus is on research from the University of Warwick, especially the Council of Europe publication Signposts (Jackson 2014).

In partnership with a large secondary school in South Yorkshire we will look at how research data can be used as a basis for innovative teaching and create a case study including some practical stratergies and reports. This will, in turn, generate further data on pupils' perspectives on RE. Lesson observations and interviews with pupils will be important parts of our study. 
Project In Progress
Vibing an Interfaith Prayer Space at Greenbelt Festival 2017

Building on our Interfaith Programming at the 2017 festival we are establishing a brand new chapel / prayer venue for those of all faiths and none to use over the weekend.  The grant from Westhill was to enable us to 'vibe' this space beautifully in a way that encourages a feeling of Divine Connection.
Project In Progress
The Faith Encounter Project trains people of different faiths to deliver educational guided tours of their own places of worship with skill and sensitivity through our Faith Guiding Courses. We currently run a 12 week course annually as well as day courses customised to organisations specifications. 

We support teachers to effectively plan visits to various places of worship, provide speakers for in-school programmes to postrer positive interfaith understanding among pupils. The project also provides training to various organisations within the West Midlands region and beyond equiping their staff and volunteers with relevant interfaith understanding.
Project In Progress
Diversity in Collective Worship

This project will produce 14 video clips, with additonal support and guidence material, for primary schools to support collective worship, focusing on non-christian acts of worship.  The project will involve members from SACRE, Inter-Faith Forums, specialist creative media college staff and students and a range of primary schools to pilot and give feedback on the materials developed.

There will be a launch event in the summer term 2018.

The project will provide all Shropshire primary schools with a tailored resource to address an area of weakness and concern they have clearly expressed to SACRE. It will also build further bridges between SACRE, Inter-Faith Forums, schools and children to develop an awareness and deeper understanding of different religions, world views and culttures.
Project In Progress
Women of Faith

The Women of Faith project aims to give women the confidence they need to develop as leaders on a range of fields. The women are drawn from different faith communities and also includes those of no faith. They will be encouraged to build supportive relationships and continie these relationships beyond the scope of the programme by acting as peer-mentors for one another.
Project In Progress
Birmingham Conversations

The Birmingham Conversations brings together people of different faiths to explore issues that are often contentious or controversial. The Conversations create a safe space where issues can be discussed without expectation of consensus but rather consecutive dialogue.  The current Conversations looks at "How we can live at peace in a word of conflict" and will produce resources for others to use, including young leaders.
Project In Progress
The Progressive Christianity Network approached Westhill for a grant to cover the cost of the forthcoming UK speaking engagements of the well-known Canadian post-theist, Revd Gretta Vosper.

Gretta Vosper
Currently a Minister of the United Church of Canada and based in Toronto, Gretta Vosper is the author of ‘With or Without God’ and ‘Amen’. Vosper says she does not believe in God as a supernatural, interventionist, divine being and her work bridges progressive Christianity and atheism in a unique (and for some people controversial) exploration beyond the boundaries of Christian thought.
Gretta Vosper has accepted an invitation to come to the UK to speak at local meetings of the PCN in Leeds on 7th and 8th October and to deliver lectures as part of the Radical Christian Faith lecture programme, organised at Carrs Lane church, Birmingham on 13th and 14th October.

PCN and Radical Christianity Lectures
The inclusive, thoughtful and outward-looking positioning of PCN, the Radical Christian Faith lectures and Gretta Vosper are consistent with Westhill’s values and remit to encourage serious Christian reflection and dialogue. This is not to say, however, that Westhill endorses everything that Gretta Vosper says but rather that Westhill is keen to encourage thought on and discussion about the issues that she raises.
Project In Progress
Explore:Engage:Reflect

Under the theme of Explore:Engage:Reflect the interactive project will contribute to the embedding of the new Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus in Religious Education. Year 6 and year 7 pupils from a range of Staffordshire schools, with teachers, will gain an insight into living with, and within, religious diversity through separate encounters with Christian and Muslim presenters and associates artefacts and materials.

Pupils will use ipads to document creatively their experiences and record their reactions. The resulting e-books will be uploaded to form a 'virtual classroom' which will act as a legacy resource for Staffordhire schools and stimulate further embedding events.
Project In Progress
Faith School Linking

Our Faith Schools Linking programme enables young people from different faith schools to meet and learn about the faith and belief identities of other young people different to themselves.

We will recruit and support faith schools in the West Midlands to deliever three links in year 1 and five links in year 2 of the programme.
Project In Progress
Working with Together for The Common Good and faith communities, we aim to creatively engage with students from partner primary schools, secondary schools and local residents to generate learning expeirences that will promote interfaith dialogue based around FAITH in North Liverpool.

We will bring together some of the leading thinkers on the common good from across the Christian demoninatios, Jewish and Muslim traditions. The project will focus on three main strands: Education into diversity amoung young people; Community Benefit; and Religious Education and Collective Worship. We will be developing a multi-faith RE project called "Near Neighbours" based on the Church Urban Fund initiatve.
Project In Progress
Belief will always be with us! Our media exerts an enormous infludence over our perceptions of spititual beliefs and religious communities. Yet the evidence for religious literacy - a reliable knowledge of these varying beliefs and practices - amongst media professional is astoundingly low. 

Lapido Media tackles this by championing religious literacy, challenging and equipping journalists to go the extra mile in understanding belief systems before they report the news of the day.  Our web refresh project allows us to communicate effectively with our journalist auduences. These are the writes, broadcasters and producers willing to learn about the kaliedescope of faith and belief to improve the quality of their journalism.
Project In Progress
Understanding Islam. Understanding Hiduism.

The Understanding Christianity project (www.understandingchristianity.org.uk) has been launched into over 2,750 Primary and Secondary schools, inspiring engaging RE, raising standards and enthusing teachers and pupils alike to look afresh at Christianity in RE.

RE Today (www.retoday.org.uk) are seeking to build on this success by exploring the possibilities for “Understanding Islam” and “Understanding Hinduism”. Westhill Trust kindly funded initial “proof of concept” work for both of these projects.
Project In Progress
Our project seeks to provide some resources for primary and secondary schools so that pupils can consider how people can be bullied for their beliefs.

We hope to make some films and classroom lesson plans to support teachers to deal with this topic.
Project In Progress
Theos, in partnership with the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, are proposing a project that will conduct and disseminate new research and analysis about the place of faith and belief on university campuses. It will propose a positive vision of the ways in which religious belief and commitment should be understood and fostered on campus and, by implication, in the public square into which students pass. This is a topic of significant importance.

The place of religion and belief on campus is becoming increasingly contested, with debates over the limits of free speech, religious provision, proselytism and religious freedom all prompting media attention over the past few months. However, despite these issues there has been little quality research into the place of religion in universities and how faith groups ought to relate to and live alongside student unions and university administrations.

We are proposing to remedy that situation. A national quantitative overview will attempt to be the first to actually map each of the faith and belief societies currently operating in British universities. It will then seek to answer the fundamental question of how faith and belief societies help foster more socially cohesive and peaceful campuses.
Project In Progress
Citizens UK is a membership community enabling people of different backgrounds to train, listen, ally and act together for the common good. The 'Democracy in Action' project will establish specific common good agenda priorities through a process of outreach, training, workshops and public action.

It will then hold three Annual Assemblies (a large event help in public) attended by hundreds of people where decision makers are invited to make clear pledges to act of these priorities. The goal of the project is to increase people's ability to participate in public life to affect change that matters to them without being party political.
Project In Progress
Interfaith Matters works with clergy and community leaders in diverse and deprived neighbourhoods. Members of forums meet up to five times each year to improve inter-religious relations and organise local activities for public benefit.

In addition to regular dialogue, clergy visit schools to demonstrate the convivial and collaborative interfaith relations they have developed. In other neighbourhoods members work with councils to ensure services meet local needs. For example, in Hackney and Haringey clergy are working on a plan to provide affordable housing. All of Interfaith Matters activities are faith motivated but not faith biased.
Project In Progress
In order to safeguard what is best about Religious Education and improve it further, there is a pressing need to resolve some key issues through a review leading to a possible reform of RE. This entails a process of gathering evidence and making proposals through an independent commission.

The key issues in RE currently include: The paucity of teacher training; Lack of CPD opportunities, particulalry in the primary sector; The lack of specialist teachers in the secondary sector; RE's confused idententity and anomolous legan status.  On the positive side, the number of students studying GCSE and A evel are growing steadily and most pupils, parents and employers see the value of RE/RS in a diverse society.
Project In Progress
The Restart Chaplian Project provide spiritual and pastoral support to homeless prison leavers. Many men and women leaving prison face prospects of homelessness, with no family or friends to support them. On top of this, the support they recieved from trained prison chaplains is lost when they walk through the prison gates. This often leads to increased chance of being led astray. Feeling desperate and alone, the risk of returning to a life of crime and poverty is highly increased.

The Restart Chaplain Project offers these people the support and companionship they need to piece their life back together. We achieved this via spiritual and pastoral care, showing individuals the way of the gospel and facilitating their connection with faith and the church community.