in Uncategorized October 8, 2016

Strengthening Faith Institutions

Stronger and active communities are a vital part of a well-integrated and cohesive nation. Like many local institutions, it’s a priority for faith institutions to strengthen community cohesion in our country, improve integration between people from different backgrounds, and share public services, neighbourhoods, and social networks.

Faith institutions have a unique role in building community cohesion; they provide moral leadership, they influence sizeable congregations, handle large budgets, educate children, and operate large premises.

Well-run collaborative faith institutions can support their communities and neighbourhoods to strengthen civic responsibility, through formal and informal volunteering, social action, care and support for the marginalised, and where necessary, campaigns for change.

However, for many faith institutions, limited guidance is available in how to demonstrate robust financial, organisational management and practical leadership. This can hinder institutions’ ability to engage the community via the running of services, by making use of their assets such as buildings for community activities or by supporting their members to make their voices heard on issues that matter to them. Without support and a clear strategy not only do they fail their own congregants and neighbourhoods, but it can also be harder for the institutions to challenge intolerance or extremism. Weak faith institutions are not fully able to build sustainable and effective partnerships with local authorities and agencies to protect and support the vulnerable in their communities.

In order to meet these challenges the Strengthening Faith Institution Programme will create robust health diagnostic tools for faith institution to assess their strengths and weaknesses to increase their capability to build integration and address local issues.

An important component of the programme for 16/17 is the training and development of 20 Community Empowerment Consultants who will lead on the assessment of 60 faith institutions, the preparation of action plans and the facilitation of learning and development opportunities for institutions and the people administering them.

The project will develop an online resource that will provide faith institutions web-based learning resources that will include guidelines, case-studies, templates, and training materials, information on upcoming events and workshops, and a guide to powers available to faith institutions to combat extremism.

As an on-going element of the project we provide bespoke training and events to support the engagement of women and young people and help establish stronger links with the wider community, corporations and government.

in Uncategorized October 8, 2016