Faith in Lewisham

Document Sample
Faith in Lewisham Powered By Docstoc
					                      Faith in Lewisham
                        A review and evaluation of
                    partnership work between the LB of
                     Lewisham and local faith groups

                                  May 2007




Richard Farnell
with Sally Ramsay

Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration
The Futures Institute
Coventry University
Coventry CV1 2TL

Tel: 024 7679 5796
Email: r.farnell@coventry.ac.uk
1
Contents & Summary


                                                                                 Page

Acknowledgements                                                                    2
Summary                                                                             3


1. Introduction                                                                     5
2. The Story so far                                                                 7
3. The Story interpreted                                                           10
4. Where are we now?                                                               15
5. Towards a difference mindset                                                    20
6. Towards practical action                                                        24


Appendix: Interviewees and Focus Group Members                                     27




Acknowledgements
This study was commissioned by the London Borough of Lewisham and would not have
been possible without the willing co-operation of many people both within the local
authority and the many faith groups in the Borough. A good cross section has contributed
to the work, but it has not been possible to talk to all potential stakeholders, for which
apologies are due.

Studies of this kind require the involvement of people who are prepared to talk, in
confidence, about their perspectives. Thank you to those who were prepared to give their
time in this way. It is hoped that their voices come through clearly in the paper that follows.
They bear no responsibility for the interpretation of their views and the ways forward that
are suggested.




                                                                                             2
Summary
1.   This paper provides a review and evaluation of the relationship between faith
     communities and the London Borough of Lewisham since 1999. It suggests ways
     forward for the future of these relationships in the light of local experience and the
     major shifts in local government policy and practice.

2.   The review concludes that, in comparison with the activities of many other local
     authorities, good progress has been made in developing long term relationships
     with faith communities.

3.   Participants in the study affirm the approach taken in the late 1990’s and the early
     2000’s. The appointment of a Faith and Social Action Officer, a series of ‘Having
     Faith in Lewisham’ conferences and the initial work on a ‘Faith in Lewisham
     Network’ are acknowledged as appropriate developments. The approach was in line
     with national recommendations at the time.

4.   But times are different now and new mindsets and new approaches are needed.
     Just about all stakeholders are agreed on this.

5.   Local government is changing.
      • Service users should have the opportunity to be involved in the design, delivery
        and assessing of services.
      • The Mayor has a commission to think through what it means to ‘empower
        communities and neighbourhoods’.
      • The Local Government White Paper makes much of the important role that
        ought to be played by the voluntary and community sectors in the development
        of policies, plans and activities.
      • Issues of community cohesion are firmly on the agenda at national and local
        levels.
      • These developments suggest new ways of working with faith groups which
        emphasise ‘action not talk’.

6.   Why should the Council engage with faith communities?
      • There are significant numbers of people within the Borough who choose to
         identify and organise themselves as people of faith.
      • They are customers of services provided by the local authority.
      • Some of them partner the Borough in the delivery of services for local people.
      • They contribute, or should be able to contribute, as citizens to the local
         decision making that affects them.
     This is an engagement with people as customers, partners and citizens.
     Recognising these different roles is important for clarity but even more so to
     enable the Borough to develop the right practical approaches.

7.   What opportunities are available for encouraging the engagement of faith
     communities with the Council and, indeed, other statutory and non-statutory
     partners? A short but significant list includes:-
      • the work of the Local Strategic Partnership
      • the review of the Sustainable Communities Strategy
      • the preparation and delivery of the Local Area Agreements



                                                                                         3
      •   the processes for creating and monitoring the Local Development Framework
      •   the development of neighbourhood management and
      •   the approach to community cohesion that is right for Lewisham.

8.   Faith groups need to be ‘on the radar’ of all the Directorates in the Borough.
     There will be little progress if relationship building is through too small a number of
     contacts and networks. The question in relation to each service should be how can
     we achieve our aims more fully through understanding and working with
     people of faith who are
        •   our customers,
        •   our partners and
        •   our citizens?

9.   It is suggested that a group of senior officers from all directorates be invited to
     prepare a strategy on engagement with faith communities which focuses on
     practical action with these customers, partners and citizens.




                                                                                           4
1.    Introduction
1.1   This paper provides a review and evaluation of the partnership that has been grown
      since 1999 between the various faith communities and the local authority in
      Lewisham. It develops recommendations about the future of these relationships in
      the light of local experience and the major shifts in policy and practice in local
      government.

1.2   The task is complicated. There are many faith groups in Lewisham, with different
      expressions of their faith, different origins and different attitudes to public
      authorities. The local authority is also a complicated agency with its political
      leadership, its many policies and varied services. It is an agency where change is
      endemic. It has a responsibility for the widest range of social, economic and
      environmental interests of its residents. It has to prepare Community Strategies
      [CS], Local Area Agreements [LAA] and lead on the Local Strategic Partnership
      [LSP].

1.3   This review and evaluation is a collaborative venture, one which has encouraged
      participants to be reflective and self critical. Confidentiality is respected.

1.4   The research process is qualitative. In addition to documents provided by the local
      authority, internal and published, semi-structured interviews and group discussions
      are the main sources of information. A substantial part of this report re-presents the
      views and opinions of those contacted. Its main judgements derive from the voices
      of the interviewees, the 33 people who agreed to discuss the relationships between
      the local authority and local faith groups in the Borough. [See Appendix for a list of
      participants]

1.5   One third of those interviewed are from the local authority and its various
      directorates, including the Mayor and two executive directors. Half of the
      interviewees are from faith groups, people with leadership roles in most cases. The
      remaining voices are from a range of voluntary sector agencies in the Borough, who
      work closely with the local authority.

1.6   Whilst all the faith leaders interviewed are keen to express their views about
      relationships with the local authority some have had very close involvement with the
      development of the Faith in Lewisham Network over the years. Others have had
      little or no contact with the Network. Of the 17 faith leaders interviewed three are
      from the Lewisham and Kent Islamic Centre, the others from a wide variety of
      Christian groups.

1.7   At the 2001 Census the 250,000 residents of Lewisham indicated their religious
      affiliation, as follows:

             Christian              61.25%    Sikh                    0.17%
             Buddhist                1.09%    Other religions         0.46%
             Hindu                   1.69%    No religion            20.40%
             Jewish                  0.28%    Religion not stated    10.05%
             Muslim                  4.62%
             [Crown Copyright]



                                                                                          5
      Most religious organisations and places of worship are Christian. The extent of the
      Christian character of Lewisham is indicated by the database of faith contacts built
      up over the years by the Council. Of the 158 current contacts on the database only
      5 are of faiths other then Christian. There are, of course, many expressions of the
      Christian faith and care should be taken to avoid an assumption that their
      approaches to faith and their views of public authorities are uniform.

1.8    This report is organised in four main sections. First, the focus is on the
      development of relationships between the local authority and the faith communities
      since 1999. The story is simply told and the reflections of interviewees presented.
      Second, this is complemented by an interpretation of events in Lewisham when
      compared with activity elsewhere in the country and in the light of advice and
      recommendation emerging from the Local Government Association and central
      government over the last five or six years. Third, the main stakeholders have
      opinions about the current situation in Lewisham; these are explained. Finally, the
      developing agenda for local government is introduced, in particular the increasing
      significance given to local communities as both consumers of services and
      participants in citizenship. These developments are placed alongside recent
      national research on ‘working with communities’ and the opportunities and issues
      that working in partnership with faith communities presents. On this basis, a call is
      made for a change of mind set both within the local authority and in the faith
      communities. Suggestions for practical action are then outlined.




                                                                                         6
2.     The Story so far
2.1     Back in November 1986 the London Borough of Lewisham hosted a conference
       following the publication of the Archbishops’ Commission report, ‘Faith in the City’. It
       aimed to explore the issues confronting the Borough and leaflets on such topics as
       poverty, law and order, and housing were published. But during the early 1990’s
       relationships between the local authority and the faith groups in Lewisham
       deteriorated. Despite the existence of the Borough Deans, a formal relationship with
       the Church of England initially and then other Christian denominations, issues of
       sexuality became points of conflict which were widely reported in the local media.
       Nevertheless, indications of change and improved relationships were apparent from
       1999 onwards.

2.2    The first ‘Having Faith in Lewisham’ conference took place in March 1999 1 with
       over 120 delegates attending. Through the use of workshops participants were able
       to share information about the social action projects in which they were engaged.
       Ideas for networking and communication were suggested and a follow up
       conference held the following year. It was at this time that a Faith and Social Action
       Officer was appointed within the Council to facilitate these developments.

2.3    Following the conference, a fund to support the social action initiatives of faith
       groups was agreed in early 2001. Since then £50,000 or thereabouts has been
       allocated on an annual basis to provide small grants ‘for seed money to assist in
       developing projects’ 2 . Those groups in receipt of grant funding were seen as
       sharing ‘the same general goals as the LB of Lewisham in terms of community
       development’. The most recent allocation of the Faith in Lewisham Fund 3 talks
       about enabling faith groups to extend provision or develop new services in relation
       to community cohesion and social inclusion.

2.4    In March 2002 a consultancy report on ‘Faith Groups and Black and Minority Ethnic
       Community Access to Services’ 4 made a number of key recommendations:
         • To develop an umbrella faith organisation to enable faith groups to facilitate
            partnerships both with one another and statutory bodies.
         • To raise the profile of faith groups, supporting them to manage and expand their
            services and enabling them to monitor and evaluate the work they undertake to
            identify best practice.
         • To initiate a number of pilot projects, based on the findings of this research.
         • To carry out further research, in the form of a complete audit of all faith groups
            in Lewisham – to assess the services they provide, resources and impact on the
            community.
       The recommendation to create an umbrella faith organisation in Lewisham was in
       line with advice from the Local Government Association and others to use existing,
       or help facilitate new, inter-faith organisations.

1
  LB of Lewisham [21 April 1999] Report on the ‘Having Faith in Lewisham’ Conference, 27 March 1999.
[Unpublished]
2
  LB of Lewisham [2001] Thoughts on a Faith Group Grants Fund. [Unpublished]
3
  LB of Lewisham [2007] Community Sector – Faith in Lewisham Fund 2006-07. Delegated Authority of the
Executive Director of Community Services, 21 January 2007
4
  Ejimofo, B. [2002] Faith Groups & Black and Minority Ethnic Community Access to Services.
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund


                                                                                                        7
2.5   The third ‘Having Faith in Lewisham’ conference brought over 150 people together in
      June 2003 to assess progress and build on activity since the last conference in
      2000 5 . Chaired by Steve Bullock, the Mayor, the conference attracted 50% of its
      participants from black and minority ethnic groups, with the majority coming from the
      Christian Churches and some from the Muslim communities. The report of the
       conference acknowledges disappointment that there were so few Borough officers
       present for the Saturday event. The conference had a number of recommendations:
           • Alternative opportunities should be identified to engage with statutory
               services around the involvement of faith groups in the design and delivery of
               services.
           • Further events should take place during the next 12 months around the
               theme of each conference workshop with a view to exploring the issues and
               ideas identified.
           • The Faith in Lewisham Network should be used as a vehicle for supporting
               faith groups in the development of expertise around key regeneration themes.
       The conference wanted to ensure that faith groups were included as mainstream
       service providers and were given support in accessing mainstream resources. The
       conference provided the opportunity for introducing the ‘Faith in Lewisham Network’
       and its website [www.faithinlewisham.org.uk].

2.6   The 2003 conference provided the impetus for considerable activity in a number of
      areas. First, the Network was developed through the creation of a constitution and
      details of aims, membership, management and code of conduct 6 . As suggested at
      the conference, the Network was:
           • To aid and facilitate effective networking amongst Lewisham’s faith groups,
              through the website, newsletter and periodic events.
           • To promote the role of faith groups in influencing the design and delivery of
              community services, through developing greater expertise and engaging with
              other service providers.
           • To support and encourage the development of faith based community
              initiatives. Through training, sharing expertise and promoting models of best
              practice.
       A newsletter 7 announced the launch of the Network in March 2004 and included
       articles on activities with young people and the start of the Street Pastors initiative.

2.7    Second, the conference education workshop reinforced the concerns about the
       needs of children and young people, raised in the consultation exercise of 2002.
       Neighbourhood Renewal Funding was used to pilot some faith based projects
       designed to raise educational attainment levels. These were reported in the
       newsletter, ‘Faith in Education’ 8 . The work undertaken by the Jump project, Oasis,
       Micah community projects and XLP youth and community project were presented
       and followed by a plea that ‘it would be negligent to ignore the valuable contribution’
       that faith groups can make.


5
  LB of Lewisham [2003] Having Faith in Lewisham 2003, Conference Report. Lewisham Community Sector
Unit
6
  LB of Lewisham [2004] Faith in Lewisham Network, Leaflet and Constitution
7
  LB of Lewisham [2004] Having Faith in Lewisham Newsletter
8
  LB of Lewisham [2004] Faith in Education Newsletter


                                                                                                      8
      Where do things stand now?

2.8   Since the activity in 2003-2004 what has happened? The Faith and Social Action
      Officer has provided continuing one to one support for faith groups developing
      community projects. At the more strategic level, progress has been made on ‘child
      protection’ and in ‘major incident preparation’, but the Faith in Lewisham Network
      has not developed as was hoped. A number of committed members continue to
      meet occasionally, but the website was last updated in 2005. The ecumenical
      Borough Deans continue to meet with the Mayor on a quarterly basis. An attempt is
      currently underway to bring new life to this group.

2.9   The initiative for this review and evaluation springs from the view that the processes
      have stalled somewhat and that there is a need for a new sense of purpose and
      direction. The next section of the report provides an interpretation of this story, first,
      in relation to general advice to local authorities and local faith groups and, second,
      through the eyes of the interviewees in this study.




                                                                                              9
3.      The Story interpreted
3.1     Government’s growing concern to engage faith communities in regeneration and in
        broader aspects of service delivery have their origin in the 1990’s 9 . In 2002 the
        Local Government Association published ‘Faith and Community’ 10 in association
        with the Government’s Inner Cities Religious Council, the Active Community Unit of
        the Home Office and The Inter Faith Network of the UK. This document provided a
        rationale for the involvement of local authorities with local faith communities and
        gave practical advice about the types of activity that would facilitate the
        relationships. ‘Faith in Lewisham’ is quoted as a model of good practice in the
        publication.

3.2     The table below gives a summary of the ‘next steps to practical progress’ identified
        by the LGA, together with summary information about activity in Lewisham.

LGA recommendations 2002                           Activity in Lewisham 1999-2005

Map faith leaders and places of worship            Database created
Allocate officer responsibility and define a
                                                   Faith and Social Action Officer appointed in 1999
contact point in the authority
Create an internal champion                        Faith and Social Action Officer

Define a remit for a cabinet member                The elected Mayor

Make full use of existing activity                 Recognised in part
                                                   Examples include:
Focus on issues of particular significance
                                                   Faith in Education [2003], London Bombings [2005]
                                                   Regular pattern of meetings for Borough Deans and
Encourage small informal meetings
                                                   others
Encourage learning, both ways                      Commitment to learn through conferences
                                                   Improved diversity between the 1999 and 2003
Be inclusive
                                                   conferences
Use a range of consultation exercises              Undertaken in part

Form a steering group                              Faith in Lewisham Network launched in 2004
                                                   ‘Having Faith in Lewisham’ Conferences, 1999,
Hold conferences
                                                   2000 & 2003
Faith representatives on Local Strategic           No formal representation but Mayor’s Adviser for
Partnership                                        Faith attends
Contract faith groups to provide public            Financial support for projects initiated by Faith
services                                           Groups, such as ‘Street Pastors’
                                                   Faith in Lewisham Fund, 2001-2007, providing
                                                   £50,000 each year
                                                   www.faithinlewisham.org.uk established in 2003


9
  Farnell, R. et al [2003] ‘Faith in Urban Regeneration? Engaging faith communities in urban regeneration.
Bristol, Policy Press
10
   Local Government Association [2002] Faith and Community. London, LGA


                                                                                                             10
       The initiatives taken by the LB of Lewisham during the first five years of the current
       decade are in line with the LGA recommendations. The decision to set up a specific
       fund for faith groups and to establish a website suggests considerable commitment
       on behalf of the authority.

3.3    Many other local authorities have been journeying the same road to develop their
       relationships with faith communities. In those authorities with a wider range of
       religions, inter faith organisations often provide a basis for developing these
       approaches. Some have existed for many years, for example, in 2006 the Leicester
       Council of Faiths celebrated twenty years of work to improve understanding
       between faith communities.

3.4    Some authorities decided to engage consultants to develop their work with faith
       communities. In 2000 Camden published its report ‘Building Bridges through Faith
       Communities’ 11 . This was followed by a major investment to create a directory of
       faith communities using wards to organise the information 12 . Surveys of faith based
       activity have been undertaken in a number of places. In 2004 the Faiths
       Regeneration Officer in Leicester published a study of faith social activity 13 and in
       Islington the Faiths Forum published its Survey of Faith Based Organisations in the
       Borough 14 . Lewisham’s approach centred on the conference series rather than a
       major study. No full mapping of faith based social activity has been completed, but
       a data base has been created and attempts made to establish the Network.

3.5    Probably the most significant development in Lewisham was the appointment of the
       Faith and Social Action Officer in 1999. Other authorities such as Blackburn with
       Darwin and Kensington and Chelsea also indicate the importance of having
       someone there who can be a point of contact, who can be the organiser and
       facilitator of activity and networks and who can act as a champion within the local
       authority. On reflection, it is clear that in order to get things started posts like this
       have proved their worth. There is a question, though, about too great a reliance on
       one person to achieve the desired level of change. In some authorities there has
       been a move to multiply these posts in different parts of the organisation, as in the
       London Borough of Southwark.

3.6    On balance it is fair to say that, in the light of advice from government and in
       comparison with the activities of other local authorities, LB of Lewisham has made
       good progress in developing its relationships with faith communities. But what do
       those who have been locally involved think about it?

3.7    Whilst it is possible to organise answers to this question in a number of ways the
       approach taken here is to focus on the three main sets of stakeholders in these
       relationships:
          • Faith group leaders
          • LB of Lewisham officers and members
          • Voluntary sector workers


11
   Office of Public Management [2000] Building Bridges through Faith Communities. London Borough of
Camden
12
   LB of Camden [undated] Neighbours: A Directory of Faith Communities in Camden
13
   Ravat, R. [2004] Embracing the Present, Planning the Future. Leicester Faiths Regeneration Project
14
   Islington Faiths Forum [2004] Survey of Faith based Organisation in the LB of Islington


                                                                                                        11
       The views and opinions of these people are presented in turn.

Faith Group Leaders

3.8    These leaders were asked to reflect on their experience of the local authority over
       the last few years. Although some have been heavily involved in the initiatives
       indicated above, others have remained at some distance. Nevertheless, the
       message coming from them has a degree of consistency and can be captured as a
       series of phases from the 1990’s onwards.

3.9    For a number of these people there was
              “No meaningful contact with the council before Andy’s appointment [Faith
              and Social Action Officer]. It was really frustrating and there was a high
              degree of suspicion of the churches.”
       A history of rejection was voiced by some leaders, with not a little animosity from
       some local authority employees. Others continue to see suspicion, especially when
       it comes to the mainstream Christian denominations. Despite this there is now a
       more positive view of the Council by faith leaders.
              “Since coming to Lewisham, I’ve been very impressed with the last ten years.
              There is little wastage and the streets are clean. They make every effort to
              make it a more exciting Borough.”

3.10   The ‘Having Faith in Lewisham’ conferences and the attempt to establish a Network
       created a real impetus to get involved. People were prepared to attend and
       contribute to the conferences and the workshops and the existence of the small
       ‘Faith in Lewisham Fund’ was welcomed.

3.11   However, the almost unanimous view now is rather different.
               “The enthusiasm has died down and there is some uncertainty about the
               Faith Officer post. The impetus has been lost because things haven’t been
               carried through.”
               “There is a lot of rhetoric but substance is the key.”
               “I don’t want to spend life going from meeting to meeting.”
       The perceived lack of progress in recent years is partly created by a lack of
       attention from the faith groups as well as the Council.
               “The big events were great but since then it’s just drifted away.”
               “The Faith in Lewisham Network: not many people come on a regular basis.”
               “I wasn’t aware the Network was still live.”
               “We launched the Network, we had got sort of a constitution, but where do
               we go from here? Waiting for Andy to say we will go this way! If the network
               is going to work it can’t rely on one person to drive it.”
       In summary, these stakeholders conclude that the ideas were good but they
       floundered because there was a lack of clarity about who was responsible for
       making them happen. At least one person comments that he was not disappointed
       because
               “he didn’t have high expectations, really. It’s a happy borough with lots of
               tolerance for different religion.”
       These leaders have a sense that the time is now right for the next phase and that
       there is a need for a new strategy for the development of the relationships between
       the Borough and local faith groups.


                                                                                        12
Voluntary Sector Workers

3.12   Those voluntary sector workers who have been in post for a number of years echo
       the sentiments of the faith leaders. They acknowledge the very successful
       conferences which ‘blazed a trail and were great and spectacular’, but which never
       really got going because a critical mass of people was needed.
               “What was needed within the Council was an understanding of what it takes
               to sustain a forum beyond just employing a worker. It needed political will on
               the one side and plenty volunteers on the other.”
       There is also a sense that many faith groups are not particularly interested in the
       various networks of the voluntary and community sectors and so make little use of
       their resources and networks. Neither do they contribute from their strengths and
       experience.


LB of Lewisham Officers

3.13   The reflections of those interviewees working for the Borough tend to resolve
       around their views of the situation now rather than having a clear and common view
       about past activities. Nevertheless, those who do pass judgement on the
       ‘conference’ and ‘network’ initiatives have the view that:
              “They felt good, but haven’t heard much about it since. Perhaps there is a
              need to reinvigorate or do something new.”
              “The Faith in Lewisham Network isn’t really working – we want a neutral
              body to bring people together.”
              “There are disappointments and communication barriers; the website needs
              refreshing.”
       On these matters there is something of a current vacuum and something should be
       done.

3.14   A number of related concerns are articulated by officers.
        • Interviewees are aware that the large majority of faith groups in the Borough are
          Christian. There is a desire to make sure that people of other faiths are not
          ignored or forgotten just because they do not have a recognised religious
          organisation with a name and an office base. Comment is made, for example,
          about the Turkish and Somalian residents of the Borough, many of whom are
          Muslims, and not all of whom attend the Islamic Centre.

        •   Not all the Christian churches find an effective relationship with the local
            authority easy to achieve. Some churches have been established very recently
            and some have changed names as they have developed.

        •   African, sometimes French speaking, churches might be more isolated, not
            necessarily out of choice.

        •   The recent migration of eastern Europeans to the UK means that there are
            many who find their religious home in Roman Catholicism.




                                                                                          13
        •   There is a view on the part of some that the ecumenical Borough Deans model
            is not as relevant as it once was, but that there is still a need for more formal
            structures with the main Christian denominations especially the Anglican,
            Methodist and Catholic churches. Many of these churches have a high
            proportion of people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

3.15   In summary, all those involved in the interviews hold the view that the initiatives
       during the first five years for the decade were valuable and worthwhile but that there
       has been little progress over the last two years. Now is the time for a new look at
       the aims of relationship building between faith groups and the Borough. Now is the
       time to consider whether new ways of working, new processes and innovative
       strategies are called for. In the next section of the report the interviews are used to
       construct a sketch of the current situation and to outline the aspirations of the main
       stakeholders.




                                                                                           14
4.    Where are we now?
4.1   Having explored the story so far, how do participants see the current situation as a
      foundation on which to build?

4.2   There is a clear view that ‘faith is on the agenda’ in Lewisham and that the
      approach of the last seven years has correctly focused on the development of good
      personal relationships between people of faith and local authority personnel. This is
      regarded by some interviewees as different from the approach taken by other local
      authorities.

4.3   There is a belief that there are particular strengths upon which it is possible to build
      in the next phase of activity. These include those personal relationships mentioned
      above, the fact that the Mayor and other councillors are committed to this agenda
      and finally, that there are so many active faith groups in the Borough.
      Acknowledging this activity and the contribution it makes to the well-being of
      Lewisham residents calls for more support and, where appropriate, working
      together in partnership.

4.4   Nevertheless, those at the centre of this process are disappointed that this ‘faith
      engagement’ has had little impact on the development of policy within the Borough
      or on the major strategic decisions of the Council. It is suggested that there
      continues to be a lack of understanding of the variety and diversity of faith
      communities in Lewisham, especially at middle and senior management levels. The
      potential policy making influence of the Faith and Social Action Officer, graded at
      fourth tier or below, is also limited, especially in relation to Directorates other than
      Community Services. There is general agreement on the challenges facing the
      Borough and the faith groups if it is desired to further develop this engagement.
             “The work has reached a plateau and this review needs to help in finding the
             next level.”

4.5   Finding this next level involves recognising some fundamental matters. A unified
      faith ‘sector’ does not exist in Lewisham or elsewhere for that matter. Inherent
      diversity should be expected. Second, some people of faith do not wish to be
      involved with the local authority. They have their own agendas and wish to focus
      exclusively on those. Third, others have had involvement in the past and are now
      no longer interested or have moved on to other things.

4.6   Finally, the tensions that are inherent between some faith groups, within as well as
      between religions, have to be recognised. This might not be a major component of
      community cohesion issues, but it does raise awareness of the potential for conflict
      within communities where faith is one dimension of the perceived difference
      between people.

4.7   Respondents were interested in expressing views about the opportunities that the
      present situation contains.
            “The door is more open than some might think.”
      Current policy developments from central government in relation to Sustainable
      Community Strategies, Local Area Agreements and ‘double devolution’ mesh with
      the Mayor’s Commission on Community and Neighbourhood Empowerment, the


                                                                                           15
       authority’s commitment to extending neighbourhood management and its aim to
       promote cohesive communities. Questions are being asked and there is a view that
       engaging faith communities is at least one part of the answer! There is,
       nevertheless, the realisation that if anything is to be achieved in this area then there
       will need to be significant commitment to it by the Mayor, members and senior
       officers.

4.8    The three sets of stakeholders bring different views of the world to their
       deliberations. They have differing perspectives and priorities which are articulated
       below.

Faith leader perspectives

4.9    The interviews and focus group discussions provide a wealth of material from which
       to analyse the views of faith leaders. Whilst they do not agree about everything,
       there is substantial unanimity around their self-perceptions, their views of each
       other, of the Council and the issues they face in the wider community. Some have
       positive suggestions to make about the way forward for Lewisham.

4.10   First, how do these people of faith see themselves and the groups they lead? Their
       responses may be summarised as follows:
         • We are unsung heroes. Our initiatives and volunteering are not really
            recognised.
         • We know what is happening on the ground and we enable many people to face
            the future with hope.
         • We are not just churches or mosques. We are community groups and social
            enterprises. We have a business approach to our activities. We employ staff.
            We have assets and significant turnovers. We are substantially self-funded.
         • We provide education, training and encouragement in citizenship.
         • We realise the importance of mutual support within our own networks, both
            practically and in prayer.
         • People get converted to Christianity or Islam. This has a positive effect on the
            community at large.

4.11   Second, how do they see those who share a religious perspective on life but from
       other traditions? The following quotes indicate different, and sometimes conflicting,
       attitudes and perspectives:-
        • We recognise that we don’t all have the same agenda and that we are not able
            to co-operate with everyone.
        • The idea that we fall out with each other is not really true; for most others we
            have a real respect.
        • For some of us working closely with people of other faiths is difficult; we believe
            different things and express our faith differently; we can’t both be right!
        • Some of us have particular views which complicate our relationship with others
            over interpretations of human rights.
        • For many growing vibrant churches evangelism is a priority; this is why we exist.
        • Some large churches have decided to work on their own; they don’t want to be
            diverted from their own agenda and so they put all their energies into pursuing
            it.



                                                                                            16
4.12   Third, what views of the Council are held by these faith leaders? What do they think
       that the Council think of them?
        • Everyone is so busy. How can we find the energy to engage?
        • There is an expectation that we will devote our time and resources without
           expecting to be paid expenses or compensated.
        • For some of us contact with the local authority over issues of health and safety
           are not helpful. The regulations are onerous.
        • Yes, we are recognised but that doesn’t mean we are respected and valued.
        • After the London bombings was the authority’s motive really about providing us
           with protection or was it more to do with control?

4.13   Fourth, how do these leaders see the wider community and its needs and their
       place in responding to those needs?
        • We are concerned about young people and the potential for violence and drug
           abuse. We want to do more to help.
        • Many of the initiatives to work with people in the most difficult circumstances are
           motivated by the churches. We have programmes with those who are not seen
           or heard.
        • Significant care and support is provided to develop people’s spiritual and
           emotional well-being. We are willingly supporting the council’s budget for social
           care. We are often the first point of call for those who are struggling; we provide
           signposts to mainstream services.
        • There is a great need for meeting space for churches, community groups and
           especially young people. Little is readily available in the Borough and
           sometimes the planning restrictions are a hindrance.
        • There are times when speedy dialogue is needed between faith groups and the
           public authorities. Some simple structures for dialogue need to be in place so
           that we can cope positively with ‘predictable surprises’.

4.14   Finally, in the light of the array of comments made by faith leaders there is a
       willingness on the part of most to further the relationships with the Borough, as
       follows:
        • We believe that our faith affects everything we do and so has a relevance to
            every area of policy in the Borough.
        • We have some power to help you, the Borough, achieve your aims. Let’s talk.
            We can contribute to your Local Area Agreement targets, in some areas at
            least.
        • We need to develop a strategy for faith engagement, together.
        • Some of us are employed by the Borough. We are part time in our faith
            leadership role. Can we help broker relationships?

Voluntary sector perspectives

4.15   Those working within the voluntary and community sectors also have interesting
       comments to make about faith groups and their relationships with the local
       authority. They comment that:
        • Whilst there are some people of faith involved in the Lewisham Community
           Network and in the activities of the Lewisham Volunteer Centre, their numbers
           bear little relationship to the community activity and volunteering that faith



                                                                                           17
            groups actually provide. Many faith groups are reluctant to formalise their
            volunteering activity.
        •   Umbrella voluntary organisations in the Borough have no strategy for faith
            group involvement. Faith groups are recognised but usually as a means of
            accessing ethnic minorities.
        •   Voluntary sector workers argue for some form of ‘faith forum or panel’, where
            common agendas can be debated, principles defined and action formulated,
            within processes where some form of accountability is recognised. Whilst the
            local authority might have a role in establishing such a body they argue for
            ‘clear blue water’ between it and the local authority.
                       “Only such independence can provide a good basis for
                       interdependence.”
        •   Officers in all Directorates need to understand the diversity of faith groups within
            the Borough, their activities and their beliefs. Some form of training, maybe
            using people of faith that are already employed by the Council, should be
            considered.

Council officer perspectives

4.16   Interviews within the local authority reveal many, sometimes contradictory,
       viewpoints. Some are more sympathetic, some less sympathetic to faith groups.
       These are organised below into three sets of comments; on engaging with faith
       groups, on issues facing the council and on opportunities for progressing
       engagement.

4.17   First, what do council officers think of engagement with faith groups?
        • There is some confusion about this engagement and what it is all about.
        • There is a lack of in depth understanding of which faith groups operate in the
           Borough and in what social action they engage.
        • For some officers there is scepticism about faith groups.
                   “Many don’t actually contribute very much wider community benefit.”
                   “You’ve got to be careful working with religious people.”
        • There is potential for some to make political mischief out of the Borough’s
           support for faith groups.
        • On the other hand, the independence of such groups is not just recognised but
           it is valued. There is a sense that faith groups don’t need empowering because
           empowerment comes largely from knowing who you are and what you want to
           achieve.
        • For many interviewees faith groups make an invaluable contribution to
           community life and well-being and should be encouraged. As the Mayor
           comments:
                   “I love it when faith groups come and see me because they don’t whinge
                   and complain.”

4.18   Second, what are the issues facing the local authority as it reflects on engagement
       with faith groups?
        • We have probably missed opportunities for engagement and not done as much
           collaboratively as we might have done, for example, in using faith groups to
           communicate our message about environmental sustainability or our policy to
           encourage adoption rather than the fostering of children.


                                                                                             18
        •   If faith groups offer to be involved we must respond appropriately and positively.
        •   Some parts of the Council only come into contact with faith groups when there
            are issues of health and safety or planning involved. These issues can lead to
            frustration and anxiety. We need to have thought through strategies for such
            eventualities.
        •   The Faith in Lewisham Fund has been operating annually since 2001. Whilst
            the use of funds has been monitored there has been no full evaluation of
            outcomes for local communities. This is to be remedied.
        •   The policy over funding faith groups makes it clear that grants are not for the
            promotion of religion or for supporting worship activities. Yet those having to
            make decisions realise that, for most faiths, meaning and message are integral
            to all faith motivated activity. Gospel choirs are a case in point. Some officers
            ask for more guidance. Others accept that judgement will always be needed.

4.19   Finally, what opportunities for progressing the issues of faith engagement were
       suggested by Borough employees?
        • Some want to see a forum or a network so that communication with all faith
           leaders might be possible, as needed. Net workers are needed to facilitate such
           arrangements.
        • Others long for a situation where faith groups are fully integrated into the
           voluntary and community sectors, making use of their structures, process and
           personnel.
        • The guiding principle should be a move towards working together in areas
           where values are shared, can be seen to be so and where common outcomes
           can be defined.
        • On these bases there should be opportunities for developing engagement
           around a number of current initiatives, as follows:
                 − The planning of service delivery across the Borough.
                 − The development of neighbourhood management in the next few years.
                 − The moves towards the preparation of the Sustainable Community
                   Strategy, the Local Area Agreements and the evolution of the Local
                   Strategic Partnership.
                 − The work on developing the assets of local community groups to
                   provide for sustainability, as being promoted by Government. The
                   Borough has many community centres and schools used by faith
                   groups at weekends. Many others have their own premises.
                 − The Borough is keen to develop its policies on community cohesion and
                   to involve faith groups in the process.
                 − Finally, an opportunity will be lost if the Mayor’s Commission on
                   Empowering Communities and Neighbourhoods misses the input of the
                   Borough’s faith groups.

4.20   The interviews and focus groups have provided valuable evidence enabling a
       clearer view of the issues. The perspectives that the major stakeholders bring have
       been explored. An awareness of attitudes to past attempts at faith community
       engagement has been outlined. Contemporary developments in local government
       and national research on ‘working with faith communities’ contribute to suggestions
       for taking the agenda forward.




                                                                                           19
5. Towards a different mindset
5.1       Participants and observers have affirmed the approach taken by the LB of
          Lewisham in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s. The appointment of a Faith and
          Social Action Officer, a series of ‘Having Faith in Lewisham’ conferences and the
          initial work on a ‘Faith in Lewisham Network’ are acknowledged as relevant
          developments for that time and were in line with national recommendations about
          how to progress relationships between local authorities and faith communities.
          Everyone is agreed that times are different now and that new mindsets are
          required. Just about all stakeholders interviewed felt this. New approaches are
          needed.

5.2       A move to a different mindset requires recognition of the changing context within
          which local government is operating. Government has indicated its intensions for
          change in the Local Government White Paper, 2006 15 . This provides a framework
          for questions to be asked about the purposes of working with faith communities.

5.3       In 2003, Gabriel Chanan 16 commented that,
                  There is no doubt about the seriousness of the government’s vision
                  regarding community involvement. What causes it to disappear from view
                  intermittently is a lack of clarity about what it is, and consequently a lack of
                  distinct objectives, funding and measurement.
          His attempt to bring clarity to this helps in defining an answer why local authorities
          should relate to faith communities. He lists the following ‘meanings’ of community
          involvement:
            • The involvement of individuals in community activity, including informal activity
               and friendships.
            • The involvement in community enterprise, commercial activity with social goals.
            • The involvement of community and voluntary organisations in delivering public
               services.
            • The involvement of local residents in governance.
          If he were writing today he would probably have added the dimensions of customer
          service and the desire for community cohesion.

     5.4 Why should the LB of Lewisham engage with faith communities? First, there are
         significant numbers of people within the Borough who choose to identify themselves
         as people of faith. Second, they are consumers of services provided by the local
         authority. Third, some of them partner the borough in the delivery of services for
         local people. Finally, they contribute, or should be able to contribute, to the local
         decision making that affects them. The engagement with faith groups is an
         engagement with customers, partners and citizens. Recognising these different
         types of relationship is important for the sake of clarity but even more so to enable
         the Borough to develop the right practical approaches.


15
   Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) [2006] Strong and Prosperous Communities.
The Local Government White Paper. Cm 6939. London, HMSO
16
   Chanan, G. [2003] Searching for Solid Foundation, Community Involvement and Urban Policy. London,
ODPM


                                                                                                  20
     5.5 These three inter-related models of engagement are foundational to the discussion
         in the Local Government White Paper with its emphasis on devolution to local
         authorities and, hence, to local communities. Councils must
                show that they are ready to make a fundamental change in attitudes and
                culture, engaging with citizens and working with partners in new ways. 17
         New mindsets are being called for by all stakeholders including central government.
         The argument of this paper is that one aspect of this new mindset involves
         creating space for faith groups in the thinking, the policymaking and the
         practice of local government.

5.6      Recent research 18 funded by the Home Office sets out to uncover the often implicit
         rationales for faith group involvement. Three primary rationales are advanced. First,
         a normative rationale stresses the motivations of faith groups where theology,
         community values and local presence are emphasised. The second rationale
         relates to the resources that faith groups bring to the table; resources of people,
         networks and buildings. This rationale indicates the capacity of faith groups to
         contribute and is often the first to be recognised by local authorities. The third
         rationale identified focuses on governance and the role that might be played in
         wider networks and partnerships.

5.7      This model of faith group involvement identifies three dimensions that the local
         authority might find useful as it seeks to develop a new mindset about its
         relationships with faiths. Appreciating the motivations that often empower such
         groups, the resources that they may be able to contribute and their potential
         willingness to engage in governance could be helpful as consideration is given to
         working through the implications of the White paper. Three areas of specific
         engagement spring to mind.

           •   The Local Strategic Partnership in Lewisham is now quite well established.
               Government are determined that this way of working should be affirmed and
               strengthened. To what extent are the voices of the various and divergent faith
               groups heard in that important arena? The Home Office has recently funded
               research on ‘faith representatives’ involved in local partnerships 19 which
               recommends the support of such representatives and the creation of a national
               network.

           •   The Sustainable Community Strategy has to be updated in the near future with
               full consultation and the agreement of the Local Strategic Partnership. How will
               the concerns and the contributions of faith groups be recognised in this planning
               process? Such groups may have views about policy in relation to children &
               young people, health & older people, safer communities and issues of economic
               development and environment.

           •   The Borough has been through one cycle of preparing Local Area Agreements
               [LAA] but will be engaging in a new round over the next twelve months. As

17
   DCLG [2006] Volume I, page 5.
18
   Lowndes, V. and Chapman, R. [2005] Faith, Hope and Clarity. Developing a Model of Faith Group
Involvement in Civil Renewal. Leicester, De Montfort University
19
   Berkeley, N.P. et al [2006] Faithful Representation: Faith Representatives on Local Pubic Partnerships.
London, Church Urban Fund


                                                                                                             21
           targets are debated and accepted what opportunities will there be for
           contributions from faith groups? For targets in some areas it could well be that
           faith groups are well placed to partner in work towards their achievement. The
           recent peer review of the LAA raised questions about the lack of targets specific
           to Lewisham. The particular character of faith groups and their concerns could
           be one way of developing this desire for something unique for Lewisham.

5.8    It is neither practical nor relevant to list all the aspects of the White Paper that might
       have relevance to this work with faith communities, but there are some matters that
       might prove productive in this discussion.

5.9    First, government is determined that service users will have the opportunity to be
       involved in the design, delivery and assessing of services 20 . Local intelligence is
       needed for this to happen. How might faith groups contribute appropriately to these
       processes? Given incentives and encouragement the various networks of faith
       could provide a welcome vehicle for developing these relationships.

5.10   Second, the commitment to empower citizens and communities is written into the
       White Paper 21 . Two aspects of this seem particularly relevant to faith groups. The
       first is a strengthened commitment to neighbourhood management. Many, but not
       all, faith groups have strong connections to the neighbourhood where they gather to
       worship. There are opportunities for involvement using experience of such work as
       gained in Bellingham, for example. A second aspect of this commitment to
       empowerment concerns government’s determination to encourage the managing
       and ownership of assets by local community organisations as a means of promoting
       sustainability and developing the effectiveness of local community initiative. The
       government review is due for publication in May 2007 and should have immediate
       relevance to Lewisham’s situation. Many faith groups own and/or let premises for
       their worship and social activity. More would like to be in a position to do so.

5.11   Third, the White Paper makes much of the important role that ought to be played by
       the voluntary and community sectors in the development of policies, plans and
       activities 22 . It’s a role that needs developing.
               Engagement between the local voluntary and community bodies and Local
               Strategic Partnerships is inconsistent at best and weak at worst.
       The assumption is that the local council for voluntary service and the community
       empowerment network will be the vehicles for involvement and yet major players in
       the Borough, the faith groups, have little involvement with these umbrella groups.
       This presents a problem, organisationally, which links back into questions of
       representation for faith bodies on the LSP.

5.12   Finally, issues of community cohesion have never been far from the government’s
       agenda over the last few years. The White Paper 23 comments that
              Interfaith work can also keep channels of communication open. Faith leaders
              have a vital role to play, as shown by the joint condemnation of extremism in
              Leicester and other towns following 7 July. Relationships with established

20
   DCLG [2006] Volume I, page 32
21
   DCLG [2006] Volume I, page 26
22
   DCLG [2006] Volume II, page 55
23
   DCLG [2006] Volume I, pages 151-165


                                                                                              22
                faith communities can also help newer faith groups develop the communal
                structures that they need to thrive.
        It is expected that the final report of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion,
        due in June 2007, will make recommendations concerning faith.

5.13    Two recently published studies, one funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 24
        and the other by the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural
        Affairs 25 , explore the contribution of faith groups to cohesion, division and
        community vibrancy using the ideas of social capital. Both studies discuss the
        potential and the actual contribution that faith groups make to community cohesion
        through
         • their diverse networks,
         • their use of buildings,
         • the associational space that is created when people get together to organise
            and
         • their participation in local governance.
        These studies give some encouragement to look for practical insights that the faith
        groups of Lewisham could contribute to the task of creating a strategy for
        community cohesion in the Borough. The studies also flag up the issues of ‘gender
        and generation’ that sometimes limit the contribution of some faith communities.

5.14    Community cohesion as a policy dimension has a variety of aspects. Some of these
        are ‘everyday’ in their nature. When talking about involvement in ‘Having Faith in
        Lewisham’ one person of faith commented that
               “We just wanted to show we were part of the community. They don’t need to
               be afraid of us; we are normal not scary people.”
        Others are a response to events such as the London bombings. Lewisham Council
        is one of the priority local authorities eligible for funding from the ‘Preventing Violent
        Extremism Pathfinder Fund 2007/2008. 26 This fund and the policies on which it is
        based are directed towards ‘winning hearts and minds’ in Muslim communities, to
        support local activity and ‘strengthen the role of faith institutions and leaders’ 27

5.15    A Lewisham agenda has been set for 2007 which involves a commitment to think
        through what it means to ‘empower communities and neighbourhoods’. The Mayor’s
        Commission is well underway. The discussion in this paper suggests that the
        Commission should give careful consideration to listening to the voices of the faith
        groups in the Borough.




24
   Furbey, R. et al. [2006] Faith as Social Capital, Connecting or Dividing? Bristol, Policy Press
25
   Farnell, R. et al. [2006] Faith in Rural Communities, Contributions of Social Capital to Community
Vibrancy. Stoneleigh, Acora Press
26
   DCLG [2007] Preventing violent extremism pathfinder fund 2007/2008. www.communities.gov.uk
27
   DCLG [2007] Preventing violent extremism – Winning hearts and minds. www.communities.gov.uk


                                                                                                        23
6. Towards practical action

6.1   Practical action needs to be built on a mindset that has moved on from that
      employed in the early years of the decade. Whilst it might be useful in some
      situations to have a network of all the faith groups in the Borough, supported by the
      Council, this should not be a first priority. Maintaining a good data base of faith
      organisations and leaders will always be valuable, but it needs to be updated with a
      clear sense of purpose.

6.2   Similarly the existing ‘Faith in Lewisham’ website might prove useful but only as it is
      re-invigorated with new aims and objectives. Whilst it would be helpful to have a
      clear mapping of all the faith based social activity in the Borough and to have an
      evaluation of the outcomes created through the spending of the Faith Fund and
      through the role of the Faith and Social Action Officer in Community Services, these
      actions would not of themselves take forward the new mindset which is introduced
      in the previous section.

6.3   The context within which the authority operates has changed. The issues
      faced by the Borough are changing and new approaches to local governance and
      customer service are creating new energy and creativity within the Council.
      Certainly, that is the aspiration. This calls for new ways of working with faith
      groups built on positive experience emphasising ‘action not talk’.

6.4   For a number of years there has been debate about whether there is such a thing
      as the ‘faith sector’, or indeed whether there should be one. It has been observed
      that whilst there are groupings within the faiths, exemplified by their joint activity,
      there is often considerable difference between groups in theologies and actions. In
      terms of their social and community activity it may well be that some faith groups
      relate more closely to other voluntary and community organisations rather than
      sister faith organisations. Questions are then raised about the extent to which faith
      groups relate in the voluntary and community sectors in Lewisham. Perhaps there is
      a challenge to Voluntary Action Lewisham and the Lewisham Community Network
      to develop explicit strategies towards faith groups in the Borough.

6.5   Faith groups need to be ‘on the radar’ of all the Directorates in the Borough,
      not just Community Services and Children and Young People. There will be little
      progress by focusing relationships with faith groups through a small number of
      contacts and links. The question in relation to each service should be how can
      we achieve our aims more fully through understanding and working with
      people of faith? We should do this because they are
      • our customers,
      • our partners and
      • our citizens.

6.6   Practical action needs to be generated through policy making and service delivery
      mechanisms available to the Borough and through issues that arise as ‘events
      happen’ and as concern for particular sections of the community in need are
      articulated. The following list provides some examples of the areas where such
      thinking could be relevant.


                                                                                          24
1. Are the members of the Local Strategic Partnership content that they hear the
    views of the broad range of the community and should there be specific
    representation of faith groups?
2. In the process for the review of the Sustainable Community Strategy to what
    extent are the views of all sections of the community, including faith groups, to
    be gathered and used?
3. How much will the preparation of the Local Area Agreement provide
    opportunities for discussions with faith groups about their willingness and ability
    to support meeting the various targets set nationally and locally? There is
    considerable scope to build on existing partnerships with faith groups already
    working to improve situations for those in need. The ‘faith profile’ of Lewisham is
    one of its unique features; how might that influence the agreed local targets?
4. The Borough is committed to improving the quality of its services and their
    delivery, whether concerned with street cleaning, social care or planning control.
    Where appropriate, to what extent does the collection of intelligence about
    customer needs and customer satisfaction take account of the faith
    dimension?
5. The Borough has a statutory responsibility for the preparation and maintenance
    of a Local Development Framework. Policies that impact on faith groups
    include ‘changes of use’ to land and buildings and the provision of car parking.
    The design of churches, temples and mosques can also be the cause of some
    debate with the Planning Authority. To what extent are policies in place in
    relation to matters such as these?
6. The Council has been developing its approach to ‘neighbourhood
    management’ over the last few years. In some places the faith groups who
    meet in the locality have played an important role in this initiative. To what extent
    are the lessons being learnt for application in other parts of the Borough?
7. Will there be an opportunity for the Mayor’s Commission on Neighbourhood
    and Community Empowerment to discuss the issues raised by this report
    about the role that faith communities play in Lewisham?
8. The Quirk Review of community management and ownership of public assets is
    due to report in May 2007. It is conceivable that its recommendations will be
    considered carefully in Lewisham. Faith groups have assets and they also make
    use of community centres and facilities owned by the local authority. No quick
    conclusions should be drawn but how might the needs of faith groups and, more
    importantly, the desire on the part of many to work together with the Council and
    other organisations be worked out in this arena?
9. Community cohesion is defined in various ways, but in Lewisham, how are
    policies and practice being developed and what role do faith groups play in this
    process? These are wider issues than preventing violent extremism, important
    though that is. To what extent are the Borough’s Muslim groups part of the
    policy developments announced recently?
10. The deaths of young people in parts of London and issues about drugs, gangs
    and violence are a concern for many in Lewisham, not least many churches.
    Where aims and aspirations are the same how much more might be done
    between statutory agencies and the faith groups?
11. Are there opportunities to build on areas of successful partnership working
    between faith organisations, the Borough and other agencies, such as the
    ‘major incident preparation’ undertaken in 2005-6?


                                                                                      25
      12. Recent migration from European accession countries is having an impact on
          the Borough’s service delivery and on its ability to keep informed and up to date
          about residents’ needs. Many migrants attend Roman Catholic Churches. Are
          there opportunities for greater co-operation in these matters?
      13. Finally, many people of faith are employed by the Borough. To what extent
          may those who wish be able to broker relationships with the faith communities
          they know? To what extent may they provide the understanding, the contacts
          and the motivation for making ‘faith’ a normal consideration in the activities
          of the Council?

6.7   This list of possible areas for practical action can only be illustrative. It is suggested
      that a group of senior officers from all directorates be invited to prepare a strategy
      on engagement with faith communities which focuses on practical action with
      these customers, partners and citizens.




                                                                                             26
Appendix

Interviewees and Focus Group members
[October 2006 –March 2007]

Paul Adlington         Church Leader, The Bear, Deptford
Yusuf Assiddiq         Lewisham and Kent Islamic Centre
Shakeel Begg           Imam, Lewisham and Kent Islamic Centre
Aileen Buckton         Executive Director, Community Services, LB of Lewisham
Steve Bullock          Mayor, LB of Lewisham
Paul Butler            St Paul’s, Deptford & Mayor’s Faith Adviser
Liz Dart               Head of Arts and Entertainments, LB of Lewisham
Nigel Desborough       Borough Dean & Church Leader, Forest Hill Community Church
Jaafar El Murad        General Secretary, Lewisham and Kent Islamic Centre
Michelle Francis-      Development Worker, Race Equality Action Lewisham
Brown
David French           Borough Dean & Senior Pastor, Christ the Rock Ministries
Brigitte Gobbe         Chief Executive, Crisis Recovery
Lennox Hamilton        Church Leader, Greater Faith Ministries
Christine Hardman      Anglican Archdeacon of Lewisham & Borough Dean
Matt Hebditch          Borough Dean, & Catford Community Church Leader
Sandra Jones           Head of Community Sector Unit, LB of Lewisham
John Kavanagh          Roman Catholic Dean of Lewisham & Borough Dean
Alison Licorish        Faith and Social Action Officer, LB of Lewisham
Miriam Long            Health and Social Care Trainer, Voluntary Action Lewisham
Flory Lumeka           Church Leader, Worldwide Evangelistic Mission
Mezz Muezzin           Community Health Trainer, LB of Lewisham
Sunday Okenwa          Church Leader, Forest Hill
Tim Powell             Youth Worker, XLP
Trevor Pybus           Neighbourhood Management Co-ordinator, LB of Lewisham
Rosemary Ramsay        Church Leader, Mount Zion United Church
Matthew Scott          Assistant Director, Lewisham Community Network
Kevin Sheehan          Head of Strategy, LB of Lewisham
Malcolm Smith          Executive Director, Regeneration, LB of Lewisham
Andy Thomas            Neighbourhood Development Manager, LB of Lewisham
Tony Unthank           Police Sergeant, Metropolitan Police & LB of Lewisham
Dennis Wade            Borough Dean & Church Leader Micah Ministries, New Cross
                       Community Development Manager, Hexagon Housing
Victoria Whittle       Association
Tracy Williams         Development Worker, Lewisham Volunteer Centre



In summary, discussion through interviews and focus groups provided information and
opinion from:
London Borough of Lewisham [11]
Voluntary organisations in LB of Lewisham [5]
Faith group leaders [17]




                                                                                      27

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags: Faith, Lewisham
Stats:
views:157
posted:3/15/2010
language:English
pages:28
Description: Faith in Lewisham