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What's Happening
Gateshead Deanery
Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Diocese of Lincoln

REConnecting Lincolnshire

The Lincoln Diocesan Board of Education works with over 140 Church of England schools and academies in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. We also support high quality Religious Education in all schools and academies in the region.

We are committed to ensuring that children and young people are provided with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to live well together and, to that end, we work with a range of representatives of religions and non-religious worldviews to develop religious literacy in the area.

REConnecting Lincolnshire has arisen as a direct result of a growing number of concerns raised by local schools regarding Islamophobia amongst young people, their families and the wider community.

We continue to be advised of Islamophobic incidents, objections from parents/guardians regarding the teaching of Islam in school (a syllabus requirement) and increased tensions voiced through social media platforms.

Within our South Lincolnshire schools and communities there have also been reported incidents of prejudice and discrimination regarding eastern European immigrants.
In addition to worrying concerns raised by our schools there has been a wider growth in religious and race related incidents following the EU referendum.

Hate crime in Lincolnshire has increased by 26.3% (figures published by Lincolnshire Police 2017) and nationally, religious hate crime increased by 350% from 2011/12 to 2016/17 (Home Office Hate Crime England and Wales report 16/17).

Figures also show that there was a clear spike in race and religious hatred after 2017 EU referendum.

Our aim is to work alongside children and young people to provide them with the tools they need to transform the local understanding of the rich diversity of religion and worldviews in the UK in order that all can live well together.

This project is a second phase of work; the initial phase was carried out in 2015/16 and led to a significant increase in religious literacy within the communities in focus.

This next phase of work will include the successful strategies from the first phase – community theatre, artistic and creative skills development, subject knowledge training for teachers, facilitated encounter with diverse members of different religious and cultural groups, - with a more ambitious geographic scope.

In the first phase, we worked alongside three schools; in this phase, we will target up to sixteen schools. In the first phase, we worked with primary schools; in this phase, we will work in collaborative partnerships of primary and secondary schools to increase the reach of the project.
Currently, we have confirmed funding from a range of partners, including Westhill. We are awaiting the outcome of a few more funding bids in order to confirm the scale of the work. We are ready to begin working with schools and local communities in November 2018 and all plans are in place for this to happen.  

We are always seeking partnerships that will benefit the children and young people in this region: in a largely monocultural area of the country, it can be challenging to provide them with the encounter, aspiration and life experience that will help them prepare for life in modern Britain.

If anyone would be willing to share their own experience or could suggest appropriate collaborative partners, we would love to hear from you! We are always grateful for people’s best wishes and prayers as we work with local communities and we could not do this work at all without the generosity of groups such as Westhill.
We look forward to sharing our successes and reflections in due course. (REConnecting Lincolnshire Phase 1)

@RECofELincoln (Gillian Georgiou, Diocesan RE Adviser, REConnecting Lincolnshire Project Lead)