18 / 03 / 20
Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum
These are unprecedented times. We have all been forced to adapt in new ways by the threat of COVID-19. Offices, social venues and places of worship are closing as we move to develop our online communities. As an organisation dedicated to building good relations between people of different identities, we recognise that the question of how to keep communities connected takes on a different aspect in these days of limited social contact.
It’s more important than ever that we support one another. Look out for the elderly and the most vulnerable. Support those experiencing loss; loss of jobs, loss of contact, loss of established ways of practicing their faiths or beliefs – and loss of loved ones. Kindness and compassion are paramount.
Faith and belief communities are facing challenges as a result of the crisis but are also showing amazing resilience. We’re already seeing how technology is being used in creative ways to enable people to stay connected, help each other out, and have a positive impact on their wider communities.
Like many organisations, the Faith & Belief Forum ‘office’ is now an online space. We had our first online staff meeting yesterday. Our discussion focused on how we can best adapt during this crisis. What can we do to support people of all faiths and beliefs through these uncertain times?
There will be changes to our programme delivery over the coming months. Some sessions and events may have to be postponed, but most will continue online. We will also be developing some new ideas to continue the work of connecting people of different faiths, beliefs and identities in these new circumstances. We remain committed to all those we work with.
We will get through this in the same way that we get through other challenges – by communicating, talking and engaging with each other. This we can still do.
The Faith & Belief Forum offices will be closed from Tuesday 17 March 2020 until further notice. But all our staff will be working remotely. Our programmes continue.
Please keep in touch. We’re committed to doing what we can to support people of all faiths and beliefs through these times. If you want help connecting with people from different communities or have ideas to share about how we can all better support one another, don’t hesitate to reach out. We want to hear from you.
The best way to reach the team over the coming weeks is via email. We’re available Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:30pm on firstname.lastname@example.org.