Our doors are open! Inter Faith Week 2016

Our doors are open! Inter Faith Week 2016

screenshot-27On the UN International Day of Peace this year LBFN launched #LondonIsOpen for religion. We are promoting this message over Inter Faith Week as a means to harness and share our collective energies across London, both in individual faith communities and inter-faith activities. It would be absolutely wonderful if you would join us.

screenshot-80With endorsement from Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, as part of his #LondonIsOpen campaign and the United Nations Association, we have made a short 2 minute video to share the message that London is Open for faith, cultural and religious difference.

Here is a link to our film: https://youtu.be/bExx8ZzfAnw

screenshot-47Please share it across your social media platforms, and also as part of any events that you are doing. Participating screenings include religious buildings across London, from Wimbledon to Neasden, inter-faith events and the United Nations Association film festival, www.wethepeoples.org.uk.

screenshot-35We are sharing our events, building ties and promoting our activities during Inter Faith Week. We hope this short film will be a catalyst for conversation amongst us, as well as a strong signal to Londoners, including those who may be surprised by this message.

screenshot-52The epigraph to a conference paper Rosalind Parker (who made the film) wrote in 2011 on aesthetics and British Muslim identity in the wake of terrorist attacks and widespread Islamophobia is quoted below. We regret to say it still feels pertinent in the current climate.

screenshot-45Never has it been more important to open up the rivers of words, ideas, knowledge and beauty that have criss-crossed for centuries between the notional East and West . . . As the skies darken, some hope the arts can make the hard lines dissolve.  Alibhai-Brown (2006)

screenshot-56Please do join us, and feel free to contact rosalindparker00@gmail.com or Catriona Robertson on convener@lbfn.org for any other information or discussion.

Film Premiere 21 September #LondonIsOpen Places of Worship

Film Premiere 21 September #LondonIsOpen Places of Worship

londonisopen-21-septJoin the London Peace Network, artists, film-makers and religious leaders at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square for the premiere of a new short film, followed by a peace breakfast to mark the UN International Day of Peace.

Register here by 20 September to join us on Wednesday 21 September 8am – 9am.  Download the flyer.

The film shows London places of worship open and welcoming and is the first in a series of short films and events.

The film will be shown at Southwark Cathedral on 1 October in the presence of the Mayor of London, who initiated the #LondonIsOpen campaign.

We look forward to seeing you!

Lord Bates completes Walk for Truce from Buenos Aires to Rio

Lord Bates completes Walk for Truce from Buenos Aires to Rio

Our Patron, Lord Bates, has completed his Walk for Peace.  With the support of Lady Xuelin, he has walked 3,000 km from Buenos Aires to Rio, arriving in time for the opening of Rio2016.

The Walks for Peace raise awareness of the Olympic Truce, a UN-mandated break in war and conflict from 7 days before the Olympic Games until 7 days after the Paralympic Games.  Lord and Lady Bates have also raised £250,000 in sponsorship for UNICEF.

Read Lord Bates’ blog.  Here is an excerpt from his last post:

“I think that’s it for this year except to say that our walk was of course to draw attention to the Olympic truce through which signatories seek to set aside differences and work for reconciliation for the period seven days before the Olympic Games until seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Games. The Rio Olympic truce was signed by 180 countries at the United Nations General Assembly in October last year. Looking at our tv screens and events in Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Thailand, North Korea and France we might wonder what that means in reality.

It is a fair point but just because some people choose not to live up to their international obligations or rise above their tribal differences is not a reason to lower the bar but rather to encourage those who fall short to reach higher. That the world is a better place for the Olympics & Paralympics and the truce that transcends them. That peace and reconciliation was not just part of the ancient Olympic Games of 3000 years ago, it was their entire purpose and point. That ultimately peace is possible it just requires much more courage than war on the part of participants to achieve it. The type of courage, desire, single-minded purpose and ambition we witness everyday through the lives of our Olympians and Paralympians.”

Congratulations – and on behalf of the London Peace Network, thank you for keeping the Olympic Truce ideal alive!

Refugees & Migrants: what is the current crisis telling us?

Refugees & Migrants: what is the current crisis telling us?


Syrian Breakfast (photo: Daniel Ersdale)

Join us for a Syrian Breakfast to mark the UN International Day of Peace 2015 at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte St, London W1T 4PW (5 mins walk from Goodge St tube)

Monday 21 September 8.15am – 9.30am

We’ll be welcoming speakers from different walks of life: Phil Champain, Director of 3FF (formerly of International Alert), Dr Maha Azzam, policy expert on the Middle East, Dr Omer Hamdoon (Muslim Council of Britain) & Steve Miller (Faith-based Regeneration Network). There will be a chance for everyone to add their own thoughts and reflections.

London Peace Network in association with the Christian Muslim Forum, East London Mosque & the Faith-based Regeneration Network.

Peace Iftar 30 June

Peace IftarEnjoy an evening of friendship and food with people from different traditions at our special Peace Iftar on Tuesday 30 June at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte St, London W1T 4PW. Download the flyer here.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has begun and we have a great line-up of guest speakers to share their thoughts on peace before breaking the fast together at around 9.30pm:

  • Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra
  • Bishop Paul Hendricks
  • Aliya Azam MBE
  • Imam Ajmal Masroor
  • Steve Miller
  • Navleen Kaur
  • Abdullah Faliq
  • Akeela Ahmed
  • Catriona Robertson

Read a description of the Ramadan fast in Britain here.

If you would like to join us – particularly if you have not experienced the breaking of the fast before – please let us know in advance by emailing catriona@christianmuslimforum.org.  We need to know who is coming to ensure there is enough food!  #peaceiftar  #peacecafé



Peace Pilgrimage starts out!

Peace Pilgrimage starts out!

RTP Invite

To mark the Dalai Lama’s visit to the UK, his work for peace and his 80th birthday, Road to Peace Films are setting out today on a 200 mile peace walk from London to Glastonbury.  Present-day troubadours, they’ll be making music, telling stories and showing their films as they go on their way.  They will be offered board and lodging by well-wishers.  Check the map and see if you are on the Peace Pilgrimage route!  Bethan Lloyd is the person to contact bethan@roadtopeacefilms.com.

Can theatre & creative arts transform conflict?

Can theatre & creative arts transform conflict?

A scene from Dara by Shahid Nadeem, adapted by Tanya Ronder and directed by Nadia Fall at the National Theatre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

A scene from Dara by Shahid Nadeem, adapted by Tanya Ronder and directed by Nadia Fall at the National Theatre.  Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Wednesday 1 April at Rich Mix, 35–47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA, the latest in International Alert’s Peace Talks, The Art of Building Peace.

Conflict resolution around the world desperately needs imagination. The transformative power of performance and other arts is enormous. Art can capture imaginations and breathe life into the heart of peacebuilding. Technocrats and economists may well disagree but theatre, film, photography and painting has much to offer the world of peacebuilding and conflict.

Join our panel at the Rich Mix, a community arts hub in east London, to discuss how art can engage and motivate people in ways that the left brain alone cannot.

This event is inspired by Dara, a play by Pakistani director Shahid Nadeem originally performed by Ajoka Theatre, and currently showing at the National Theatre in London. Dara is a bewitching tale of Indian history that offers a dramatic perspective on how 17th century Moghul politics impacts on today’s conflicts.

Speakers include

  • Anwar Akhtar, Director of The Samosa, a culture and politics site with a focus on Britain and South Asia. Anwar is a production consultant on Dara and is a former director of the Rich Mix.
  • Ruth Daniel, Co-Director of In Place of War, University of Manchester, which supports artists living in sites of war to create social change through creativity.
  • Shahid Nadeem, Award-winning Pakistani writer, theatre and TV director, and human rights activist. He is the author of Dara and Director of Ajoka Theatre, Pakistan
  • Dan Smith (Chair), Secretary General, International Alert

Shahid Nadeem appears in our film “Pakistan: the Pride and the Promise” shot in Pakistan as part of the Olympic Truce, building links between religious and civil society organisations in Pakistan and diasporic groups in the UK.

Dara runs until 4 April at the National Theatre, Southbank, London SE1.

The meaning of Jerusalem – Peace Café

The meaning of Jerusalem – Peace Café

Peace Cafe 1A rich discussion on what Jerusalem means to us from our different traditions – at the first Peace Café.  Not the easiest of topics – but we learned from each other’s stories, experiences and from our shared and diverse histories.

People brought delicious food from across the continents: Bangladeshi biscuits, a fragrant rose water dish from Mauritius, rice and dal from India, dates from North Africa, trifle from England, pizza from Italy and hummus from Israel.  It was a feast!

Join us next time on 12 January 6-8pm – bring a dish to share or bring ingredients to cook as we gather together.

Jewish, Muslim, Quaker & Christian peace builders on Premier Christian Radio

Jewish, Muslim, Quaker & Christian peace builders on Premier Christian Radio

The Inspirational Breakfast team at Premier Christian Radio.

“Inspirational Breakfast” team at Premier Christian Radio

Listen up!

“I am a peace activist!”  Julian Bond of the Christian Muslim Forum kicked us off this morning at 7.30am – listen here at 30 minutes into the broadcast.

London Peace Network members from Jewish, Muslim, Quaker and Christian traditions are each broadcasting a Thought of the Day on Premier Christian Radio on (find them on 222.06 DAB) this week.

Steve Miller, Chris Bryant (Premier Radio), Julian Bond, Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Bessie White in the recording studio.

Steve Miller, Chris Bryant (Premier Radio), Julian Bond, Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Bessie White in the recording studio.

You’ll hear Steve Miller, Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Bessie White at 7.30am over the next few days, and Julian will finish the series on Friday morning.

Tune in each morning!

#LondonIsOpen: view the film!

#LondonIsOpen: view the film!

London’s faith centres are open and welcoming!

Inter Faith Week 2016

A new film featuring the opening doors of London’s temples, Islamic centres, gurdwaras, synagogues, meeting houses and churches.

Shot on locations across London by Rosalind Parker & Jack Jeffreys.

London Central Mosque, Regent’s Park
St Andrew’s Church, Wimbledon
Friends House
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
London Buddhist Centre
St Martin-in-the-Fields Church
Southwark Cathedral
Shree Ghanapathy Hindu Temple
Al Khoei Islamic Centre
Holy Trinity Church, Tooting Bec
St John’s Wood Church
Liberal Jewish Synagogue
Baha’i Centre
Central Gurdwara, Holland Park
Brahma Kumaris

Thank you to everyone who contacted us to be included in the film – we’re making plans for 2017, keep in touch.