Southampton Council of Faiths (SCOF) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! The idea began in 1987 with a small informal group of people meeting to discuss various topics. Out of this was born the Southampton Interfaith Link with Di Bernstein (Judaism) and Parvin Damani (Muslim) and the local city vicar Stephen Barton. The war in Yugoslavia initiated the theme “ speak with pride - listen with respect”
In 1995 the idea became more formal with the founding of Southampton Interfaith Link which met three times a year and held discussions and a peace walk.
SCOF was finally inaugurated in May 2001 and aimed to be the ‘official’ voice of the faith communities in the city and had positions for five members from each of seven faiths – Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaism, Muslim and Sikh faiths.
SCOF continued the Peace Walk each year along with various meetings and supporting Statutory, Voluntary, Community organisations in the city e.g., Police, Fire Service, Hospitals, schools, colleges and Universities.
In 2003 the Mayor of the City introduced SCOF as a formal Body in Southampton City Council to provide advice and support to the current and future Mayors of Southampton each year.
Over the years SCOF has been involved in many events including collecting money and clothes for the victims of the Tsunami in 2004 and organising the delivery of the funds direct to the victims. In 2012 they produced a series of films with Meridian TV called “Faith in your City” as a response to the 9/11 disaster. (All of these can be seen online just follow the links on the faith pages.
This year SCOF is planning several events which will be published on the web site – southampton-faiths.org - see here...
Southampton Council of Faiths declaration -
Against a background of violence, poverty, fear and destruction around the world the members of the Southampton Council of Faiths would like to declare their dedication and commitment towards peace and understanding in the city between all of its residents - people of faith and people of no faith. Subscribe to our mailing list for more... click here
ASYLUM SEEKERS AND RWANDA
May 2022 - Statement from SCOF sent to the Home Office and to local MPs
The seven faith communities which make up the Southampton Council of Faiths join in objecting to the proposal of the UK government to send asylum seekers for processing in Rwanda.
The history of socio-economic problems and of human rights abuses in Rwanda make the proposal totally unacceptable.
We believe that all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in the UK should be treated with fairness and respect and in humane conditions, in accordance with UK and international law.
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