Yorkshire and Humber is rich in ethnic, cultural and faith diversity. Faith is a vital and live issue at the heart of our civic society.
For nearly six years the Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum [YHFF] has engaged in ground breaking work to promote better understanding, deeper relationships based on mutual respect and trust, and genuine acceptance of each other as human beings. The work is now curtailed owing to Coalition Government cuts.
YHFF is glad to celebrate things accomplished, and to leave a legacy to cherish.
YHFF was set up for 3 years to bring together a Council of people from nine different faiths in Yorkshire & Humber. This Council was to appoint the Faith Seat Holder on the Yorkshire & Humber Assembly. This has been successfully accomplished.
• YHFF is the only body that has regularly brought together people of different faiths in Yorkshire & Humber to meet with each other
- to advance the contribution of faith communities
- to encourage and educate faith communities to work together
- to challenge discrimination
• YHFF appointed the Faith Seat Holder to the YHA until the Assembly was brought to a close.
• YHFF has outlasted its original remit by three years.
In addition to all this YHFF has:
• established United Faiths [UF], the UK’s first and to date only regional youth interfaith forum. UF will exist beyond March 2011 to continue its work to promote the youth voice and youth leadership
• encouraged the development of City of Sanctuary – now a rapidly spreading national movement – with Sheffield, Bradford and Swansea established as Cities of Sanctuary; and with 20 cities and towns with working groups (including in Yorkshire & Humber: Leeds, Hull, Wakefield, Bradford, Huddersfield and Sheffield). City of Sanctuary is an independent charity and continues its work
• delivered Grace & Generosity our research revealing the economic contribution of faith communities of £300 million per annum in the Yorkshire and Humber region. This remains a valuable resource for all organisations and communities
• delivered with the Churches Regional Commission the religious literacy training programme of Faith Matters for key workers. This is to continue with a Steering Committee and delivery associates under the care of Sajda Shah. The training provides introductions to different faiths, key equalities legislation, examples of good practice and action steps for the future
• supported the growth and development of local interfaith forums including new groups developed in the last 5 years in Sheffield, Kirklees, Wakefield and Grimsby. Their valuable work continues relying heavily on volunteers
• created websites for YHFF and UF with a wealth of downloadable information – and these will remain in place
• facilitated the Yorkshire & Humber Faith Links Group to strengthen relationships between the Government Office and Faith Communities, and to strengthen faith influence and faith literacy in local authorities
• established a whole web of networks and relationships which has promoted good interfaith work and practice. The network has helped to spread interfaith week. The network of relationships will continue
• influenced and contributed to local, regional and national policy. We have helped to put Faith on the agenda in so many ways.
Members of the YHFF Council are a recognised and valued set of faith leaders. They have brought their experience and expertise to many areas and remain a huge resource here.
YHFF thanks all those who have worked with us and supported us.