3FF, the Three Faiths Forum, has changed its name to the Faith & Belief Forum to help the charity engage with a broader range of faiths and beliefs and to communicate its wholly inclusive ethos. The Faith & Belief Forum will continue to deliver numerous learning and training initiatives including school linking, school workshops, arts activities, social action and mentoring schemes; to make a significant contribution to creating positive relations between people of all faiths and beliefs. From 2 May, an updated look and identity will be rolled out across the website and social media pages; the new name comes after a wide ranging consultation process. In a communication sent today Phil Champain, Director, said:
“We remain committed to the vision of our founders, to a connected and supportive society where people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures have strong, productive and lasting relations. Furthermore, we continue to share the sentiments of one of our founders, Sir Sigmund Sternberg, that ‘attitudes cannot be changed by edict, by orders, by laws. They can be changed only by education, by familiarity, by dialogue’.
“The UK is facing fast paced demographic change, rising social and economic inequality and increasing levels of hate crime. Social divisions along faith and cultural lines have been amplified. Through our learning and training activities we create much needed dialogue space and support and develop inclusive leadership. This allows people to see potential in difference and work collaboratively to erode the factors that threaten to divide.”
The charity was founded in 1997 by Sir Sigmund Sternberg, Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi and Revd Dr Marcus Braybrooke to encourage friendship, goodwill and understanding between people of different faiths, originally between Muslims, Christians and Jews. Over the years its work expanded to include people of all faiths and beliefs, both religious and non-religious.
Champain believes there is a need for informed handling of the fast-paced demographic change evident in communities across the UK, with a particular understanding of both religious and non-religious beliefs. “We want to help erode the impact of persistent and interconnected ‘dividers’, which include rising economic inequality, divisions along faith and cultural lines and the separation that is being created as society changes how it engages and connects”, he said.
To gather support for its inclusive vision, the charity is launching a Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion. The Faith & Belief Forum is inviting organisations across the UK to commit to working together in a spirit of partnership, and to promote good relations between people of different faiths and beliefs in communities, workplaces and online. The Charter is a series of principles that support inclusivity and promote the need for a more open and constructive conversation about faith and belief in our communities. The organisations listed below have already announced their early support for the Charter.
The Albion Foundation, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Centre for Good Relations, City Sikhs, Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, Dangoor Education, the Exilarch’s Foundation, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Hindu Forum of GB, Humanists UK, St. Ethelburga’s, the LGBT Consortium, the Muslim Council of Britain, New Horizons in British Islam, the National Association of Teachers of RE, Oasis, the Religious Education Council and the Sir Sigmund Sternberg Charitable Foundation.