Category Archives: Migration

Religion and the Public Sphere

Somewhat belatedly, Faith and Place network members may be interested in the Religion and the Public Sphere blog from the London School of Economics. As part of the Pentecostalism in Britain series, network co-leader, Dr Andrew Rogers, and network member, Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, have both published pieces on this blog in recent months.

Take a look at “How are black majority churches growing in the UK?” which includes discussion of the network and policy briefing. See also “Pentecostalism in Britain today” which profiles the diversity that exists in British Pentecostalism today.

Wales policy briefing published

HUM070616AR (Policy Briefing) WELSH cover   HUM070616AR (Welsh Eng Policy Briefing) cover

The Faith and Place network is delighted to announce the publication of our Wales policy briefing this month. You can download an electronic version in English or Welsh here.  Dual language print versions are being sent out to local planning authorities and religious organisations in Wales over the next few weeks. The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, had this to say about the July 2016 Wales policy briefing:

Bydd y canllaw hwn yn cael ei groesawu’n fawr, a’i werthfawrogi’n arbennig gan grwpiau ffydd nad ydynt yn ddigon ffodus i gael cefnogaeth adrannau eiddo sefydliadol, yn ogystal â chynllunwyr sy’n ceisio cael dealltwriaeth well o’r anghenion a’r posibiliadau o fewn eu cymunedau.

This guide is very welcome, and will be particularly appreciated by faith groups who are not fortunate enough to be backed up by organisational property departments, and by planners seeking a better understanding of the needs and possibilities within their communities.

For the full message from the Archbishop, click here.

 

Faith and Place in Sweden

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The network leaders, Andrew and Richard, visited Sweden at the end of February 2016 to examine how Faith and Place issues are configured in some Swedish contexts. Hosted by network member, Dr Anne Kubai of Uppsala University, we visited churches and mosques in Uppsala and Stockholm, with Anne providing rich contextual detail en route.

We spent time with the pastor of a historic Pentecostal church in Uppsala (Pingstkyrkan) with its own premises and restaurant next door, then headed off to a large ecumenical church in Stockholm (Immanuelskyrkan) which was partnered with a hotel, also next door. Sunday saw us at a Turkish mosque in an outer suburb of Stockholm for most of the day, receiving a very warm welcome, where we witnessed prayers, talked with members and interviewed the imam. Interspersed with our time at the mosque was a visit to an African majority church nearby that shared its premises with many other congregations. Interviewing Pastor Sam of Hallundakyrkan helped us to see how issues for some migrant groups in Stockholm at least were not so different from other European urban centres. We took away pictures, impressions, observations and interviews that we will be reflecting on further in our writing about faith and place, both the resonances and dissonances across the UK and Europe.

Policy briefing launched

HUM021015AR (Policy Briefing) Cover

The Faith and Place network policy briefing was launched at the House of Commons on Thursday 15th October 2015. The evening was opened Stephen Timms MP reflecting on faith and place, followed by the network leaders giving an overview of the briefing recommendations. Responding to the briefing were Mustafa Field MBE (Faiths Forum for London) and Rev Katei Kirby (Ruach City Church). A panel was convened to discuss ways in which the recommendations will be taken forward. Video of the evening will soon be available on the website video tab. Click on the image above to download a copy of the briefing.

Archbishop and DCLG Minister endorse briefing

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Faith and Place network’s policy briefing, launched on Thursday 15th October at the House of Commons, has already been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; the Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis MP; Mustafa Field MBE of Faiths Forum for London and Dr R David Muir of the National Church Leaders’ Forum.

For full details of the endorsements click here or for details of the launch click here.

Faith and Place in the Netherlands

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The network leaders, Andrew and Richard, recently visited Amsterdam and the Hague to get a sense of how faith, place and planning issues play out in the Netherlands. Meticulously organised by Dutch network member, Rev Dr Rens Schalkwijk, we met faith group leaders, policitians, architects, academics and spent Sunday at church. It also felt like we had cycled round the whole city!

Ruud Schurmann from Task Force Future Church (translation) explained to us his organisation’s work in preserving historic church buildings, and the parliamentarian, Cynthia Ortega-Martijn, explained some of the political realities for faith groups in Dutch cities. We gained a strong impression of many issues being similar to those faced by faith groups in the UK. We visited network member, Pastor Felix Asare, of Victory Outreach Church in the Hague, who spoke to us movingly of the church’s community outreach programme in drug rehabilitation. Pastor Emmanuel Koney met with us, pointing out there were over 300 ‘migrant’ churches in Amsterdam. He told us the story of the Kandelaar in Amsterdam South East, a purpose-built multi-hall centre for the use of up to 15 faith groups, as well as the trials and travails he had experienced in making this initiative happen. One of their projects with the police department was a ‘Reporting a crime without worries’ card for illegal aliens.

Sunday morning saw Richard and I heading for Escape – the largest nightclub in Amsterdam – right in the centre of town on Rembrandtplein. This is where Hillsongs Amsterdam meet, running four services a Sunday, so as to include all their members in worship. As for many churches who rent premises, whether small or large, setting up and setting down takes many hours of volunteer effort (especially as it was operating as a nightclub into the early hours of the morning). We headed south-east in the afternoon, and joined the Ghanaian majority Pentecost Revival Church, to see the Kandelaar for ourselves first-hand. Called on to speak to the church as a double act, we explained the purpose of the network and our visit, and were very warmly received.

There was time to visit VU University to meet with network member, Professor Hijme Stoffels and colleagues. This proved a very useful opportunity for making connections with their work in urban theology and human geography. A quick tour of faith based business and community initiatives concluded our visit, with Andrew then having to run at top speed through Schipol with all luggage, in order to be the last one on the ‘plane.

Critical Themes for Explorations event

Following on from the first network event, Perspectives, and the subsequent report (see previous post), Andrew and Richard have identified four critical themes to be explored in more depth at the upcoming Explorations event on the 19th March 2015 in Birmingham. These themes are set out below or you can download them here. Continue reading Critical Themes for Explorations event