What is Lincolnshire Faith Council (LFC):
LFC is a unified interfaith committee for the county of Lincolnshire. The foundations for LFC are already there, a lot of networks are already in place. There is a need for faith councils in the world today - ‘Dialogue, encounter or friendship between people of faiths happens in all kinds of informal ways as they go about their daily life and work. There is also a place for groups established with explicit intention of furthering mutual understanding.’ Andrew Wingate
LFC is a committee made up of representatives from all faiths throughout Lincolnshire. It has an interfaith basis where there is mutual respect for each other and there is no syncretism or proselytization.
LFC will formalise the work already happening, connect all faiths in the county, have formal links with educational and civic institutions and will work across the county and not just individually in separate towns and cities.
LFC aims to promote trust, understanding and cooperation between faith communities across the county. Speaking up with a united view on significant issues and providing reliable information on matters of faith or from a faith perspective to civic authorities, service providers, educational institutions and if required the local media. LFC, through TCfR, helps people of different religious beliefs to live peacefully. Members of the council will encourage tolerance, mutual respect, work for community cohesion and have a world embracing vision.
Cooperation and dialogue between faiths is needed now more than ever – helping faith communities move away from suspicious attitudes of each other, spoiling possible relationships to fostering a mutual respect for each other. Starting with the council members learning from each other, becoming friends and attending each other’s festivals and feeling welcomed and part of the celebrations.
LFC will work with and among faith and ethnic minority communities. Such communities are increasing in cities and towns across Lincolnshire and there is a demand for places of worship, be that from those who have made a permanent home here, migrant workers or students here for a few years. Working at a faith community level as well as at the same time working with faith community leaders. Exploring ways of encouraging people to build cohesive, peaceful communities and this is important in a time when there is so much ignorance, misunderstanding and fear leading to hate crimes.
It is important to have a religious voice of conviction and an increased religious visibility on the streets of Lincolnshire. Through this promoting community cohesion, inter-cultural leadership, school support and interfaith dialogue. New challenges will always arise and LFC will need to be ready for them to
At times of need, trouble, disaster, crisis at home and around the world LFC needs to speak as a united voice – bringing people together at difficult times and showing a common solidarity. At such times religious leaders would meet for public prayer. LFC will have the infrastructure to respond to national and international events and any potential tension that could arise locally could potentially be avoided by religious leaders having a united voice and showing solidarity and speaking for all for peace. Sharing ethical concerns – shared witness – shared response.
If your faith community or institution would like to join in the LFC please get in touch with us and we will send you further information regarding membership requirements.
What is Interfaith:
Interfaith on a basic level is interactions between people of different religions and or faith traditions. Interfaith is so much more than basic interaction. It involves understanding and accepting our unique and significant differences, seeing what there is in common and coming together to work for a mutual understanding. Working together for peace, justice and for a better world with a greater understanding of each other.
Being involved in interfaith activities and interfaith work is not about compromising your own religious beliefs, traditions and practices. It is not a betrayal of your own faith. You are not renouncing or giving anything up. Interfaith is not combining all religious beliefs, traditions and practices into one new ‘interfaith religion’. Being involved in interfaith work and activities is a journey of discovery, making new friends, learning about different faiths and traditions, becoming more open to the practices of others. Witnessing religious practices of others can lead to a greater understanding of your own beliefs. It is an education. The friendships you will make will lead to a strengthening of their own understanding of their own faith and a greater respect for their own traditions.
Interfaith friendships reinforce the belief that regardless of religion or beliefs or traditions every human deserves respect.
Through interfaith work a greater understanding of other religions, beliefs, traditions and practices takes place and it is through this greater understanding and education that stereotypes and misunderstandings of other religious can be dismissed. Crucially this can lead to the reduction (and eventually the eradication) of religiously-motivated violence and hatred.
Interfaith can lead to the reduction in prejudice and exploitation. A reduction and hopefully eradication of religiously-motivated hate crimes.