Faith Communities meet with Southampton City Council to sign Faith Covenant
The signing of the Faith Covenant took place at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour today by leaders from Faith Communities and Southampton City Council. The covenant was first signed over five years ago, on 2 July 2017. The Southampton Council of Faiths and Southampton City Council signed the ‘All Parliamentary Group on Faith Society’s (APPG)’ ‘Faith Covenant’.
Chair of the Southampton Council of Faiths, David Vane said, ‘The APPG on Faith and Society is convinced that faith groups have a great deal to offer as providers and advocates for the communities in which they serve, and that some of their potential is being unnecessarily overlooked at present. To help tackle the problem, the national group drafted a Covenant which can be adopted by faith groups and local authorities in cities across the UK. We were delighted to recommit ourselves to the Faith Covenant today’
Bishop of Southampton, Debbie Sellin spoke at the relaunch event and praised those signing the covenant, saying ‘There has been genuine partnership at the heart of the work in Southampton, particularly during the pandemic, when people in Southampton from across different backgrounds have worked incredibly well together to bring hope to others and work for the common good of the city.’
Leader of the Council, Councillor Kaur, commented, ‘The establishment of a Stronger Communities Team has provided renewed energy to the partnership, building on the joint work to support communities during the pandemic and planning for recovery. This has meant all parties have been able to work together to start the work to refresh the covenant and begin the work to bring this to the attention of a wider partnership, other faith groups and the public.
Since signing the covenant, places of worship, religious organisations, and people of faith across the city have provided support to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the city in many ways. This has been achieved in several contexts, often through discreet support, provided by individuals without seeking plaudits or attention for the work undertaken in the community.
Other activity has taken place city wide, with places of worship providing systems leadership, pulling together to tackle homelessness, community safety, issues of loneliness and wellbeing, as well as building a local food aid system.’
The event was part of a grant programme, Faith New Deal, funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Speaking at the event, Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director from Faith Action, commented, ‘The coming decade will see the country facing new social needs and tough new challenges. There will be fresh demands on public health, social care, education, employment support and community inclusion. These challenges will require the identification of a new set of resources. We will need to unlock the potential of every part of our society to contribute towards solutions. We believe that one important resource can be realised by supporting faith-based organisations to work with local authorities constructively and effectively, as part of civil society.’
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