Holocaust Day Event

This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day Event was hosted by St Mark’s Secondary School, Hounslow on Monday 27th January. The event was led by the Area Dean Reverend Richard Frank and attended by the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, the Leader of Hounslow Council and other members of the Council, local MP Ruth Cadbury, representatives from Hounslow Friends of Faith, the local community and pupils from the school. The theme was Stand Together.

The Guest Speaker was Natalie Cumming who gave an enthralling talk based around her book ‘The Fiddle’, a true story about her family and how a violin helped her family to flee from Bolshevik Russia in the 20th century and her aunt to later survive in Auschwitz and Belsen Nazi concentration camps. Members of the school orchestra played the Nimrod theme and  the school drama department performed a dramatised reading of the poem Tormented Hearts by Misba Sheikh.

Walk of Peace and Friendship 2019

Outside the World Zoroastrian Centre, Feltham

This year’s HFOF Walk of Peace and Friendship was held on Saturday 22nd June with more than forty walkers taking part. The walk visited the World Zoroastrian Centre in Hanworth Road Feltham, the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak in Martindale Road Hounslow, the Islamic Integration Community Centre, Staines Road Hounslow and St Mary’s Church in Bedfont. The Mayor of Hounslow Cllr Tony Louki attended and as always the walkers were given a warm welcome at every venue. 

Faiths celebrate their Commonwealth Heritage

A ‘Big Lunch’ to celebrate the Commonwealth heritage of many residents of the borough is being held on 19th April.  Hounslow Jamia Masjid in Wellington Road South is taking the initiative to mark the meeting of the Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries taking place in London in April 2018.  Events have already taken place and Hounslow Friends of Faith was represented at a reception to mark the occasion which took place at Buckingham Palace in February. Members also attended a reception in March at Hounslow Civic Centre at the invitation of the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson.

General Secretary of the mosque Shafiq Rehman sees the lunch as a great community event, once again celebrating the diversity of Hounslow borough.  He hopes to have people present at the lunch from as many of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth as possible, many of whom will be of different faiths.  Get in touch with Hounslow Friends of Faith if you would like to attend or know someone else who would like an invitation.

Women of Faith celebrate their cultures

People Divya, Trudy, AnneOver 65 women from different faiths enjoyed the diversity of their cultures at a celebration for Inter Faith Week.  Among the activities at Heston Community Centre was mendhi hand painting, rangoli patterns and a demonstration of how to tie a Nigerian head dress.  Somali ladies showed off colourful clothes, drink carriers and performed a traditional dance. Other dances from Gujerat and Israel were also enjoyed.  Information was shared on clothing worn for weddings and other occasions before food from round the world was served.

Thanks to all who contributed to the success of the event and to Elizabeth Azu for a celebratory cake.

Feedback praised the chance to learn something new and requests were made to repeat the event.

Joint work to improve church garden

Volunteers worked together on 19th October to bring a garden in a Hounslow church back to life.  Weeds were removed and pots and tubs replanted.  Litter blown in from the High Street was removed.  The patio at Holy Trinity Church on Hounslow High Street now provides a warm welcome to visitors to the church, including the weekly Olive Branch project for homeless people every Saturday. Support for the project came from Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, Sai Baba, Catholic and Quaker communities and was Hounslow Friends of Faith’s contribution to the annual Sewa Day, the International Day of Volunteering. Vicar Stu Wright thanked all who contributed.  ‘It was a great project involving young and old. Holy Trinity is right at the heart of Hounslow and we’re so grateful for joint support for our work in the community.’

See photos of the event in our Gallery.

Eric Pickles praises Muslims

The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government attended a Big Iftar event in Hounslow this month and used the occasion to praise the contribution Muslims make to British Society.  Iftar is the breaking of the fast each evening during Ramadan when Muslims fast during daylight hours.  The Ismaili Muslim Community in Hounslow opened their doors for good fellowship and good food and to show non Muslims what the holy month is all about. Ramadan is a time when members of the community give generously to charity. The group have been busy packing boxes of items to donate to homeless charities as part of the Share a Smile initiative.  During the evening Mr Pickles lent a hand to complete the last box.

Guests present included representatives of the different strands of Islam and Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Sikh faiths.  Also present were the Yemeni Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Abdulla Ali Al-Rahdi, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the newly appointed Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government and Seema Malhotra, the MP for Feltham and Heston.

Living in Britain, Muslims are encouraged to reach out, to build bridges and to work with colleagues and neighbours around them who are not Muslim, to share their faith and build on their shared values.  The Big Iftar is a national initiative, started a year ago as a way of doing this.

Representatives of HFOF were pleased to accept generous invitations to two other iftar events this Ramadan, the Centre of Spirituality and Cultural Advancement in Feltham and the Darussalam Centre in Heston.

NATIONS – A celebration of Music and Dance

As part of Multicultural Month Saturday 25th October is to be day of music and dance.  It will take place in the Treaty Centre in Hounslow.

Carillion who run Hounslow Library Services are inviting Music and/or Dance groups who would like to take part to get in touch.

In addition, groups representing cultural organisations are welcome to run a stall to share information, make or sell crafts or other merchandise or run workshops.

African Drummers and Brazilian Capoeira Dance are already booked to take part.

To find out more contact Kieran Nagi as soon as possible and before 15th August on 0845 456 2800 or kieran.nagi@carillionservices.co.uk



Funding for Multi-Faith Social Action Projects in England

Together in Service is a £200,000 two-year funding programme to help get local multi-faith projects in England off the ground. The funding comes from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the programme is administered by FaithAction. Grants of between £2,000 and £5,000 are available.The programme’s objectives

  • Celebrate the practical contribution that faith communities make to society through social action.
  • Support faith groups in undertaking new multi-faith volunteering projects at local level.

Constituted bodies, such as registered charities, charitable incorporated organisations, unregistered community groups, clubs, and societies, delivering projects in England are eligible to apply as long as they are part of the Together in Service Fellowship.

FaithAction is keen to support a wide range of activities aimed at improving the quality of life for local people. Through its grant-making, FaithAction aims to:

  • Target community need that is informed by local research and local consultation.
  • Focus support to achieve maximum effectiveness.
  • Enhance community and voluntary activity.
  • Encourage best practice among community and voluntary groups.
  • Give help where it is needed most.

Projects must:

  • Contribute to the overall Together in Service objectives.
  • Involve faith-based groups/people, with preference for multi-faith projects.
  • Engage people from more than one faith community; for example, Buddhists and Muslims, or Christians and Hindus.
  • Take place in England.

Deadline for applications

Deadline for applications in 25th August and 1st December 2014.  Projects must be completed by the end of March 2015.  It would be great if two or more faith groups in the Hounslow area could get together to apply for funds to run a project.  See http://www.togetherinservice.net/ for examples and support available.


Role of Faith in Emergency Planning

Who takes the lead?
If a major incident takes place in the Borough of Hounslow in which there might be risk to life, property or public services, it is the Contingency Planning and Resilience Section of Hounslow Council which takes responsibility for coordinating a response by the emergency services and the local authority. The bodies involved, depending on the incident, include the police, fire service, ambulance service, Health authority, Hounslow Highways, Hounslow Homes and the Red Cross.

Faith communities, with their access to a large membership, buildings and a commitment to assist in times of need, can also help.

A practise exercise
An Emergency Planning Exercise held in March 2014 gave useful insight into how an incident develops, what help might be required and how the different agencies and voluntary groups need to be coordinated in order to offer help effectively. HFOF and representatives of several faith groups took part.
How faith groups can help
Faith communities can help in a number of ways such as

1. passing on information to their members of what has happened and what action they should take
2. passing on information to the coordinators of Emergency Planning of any members of their community who might be at risk, any particular cultural or religious needs that they might have and providing assistance with language if necessary.
3. providing actual services such as food and shelter
4. providing extra volunteers to assist the emergency services e.g. filling and distributing sand bags, handing out blankets.

Getting involved
For this help to be most useful to the Contingency Planning Department, it would be helpful to establish in advance a clear system of information sharing and to know which faith groups are likely to be able to help and in what way. Work is continuing to link up any faith group which may be able to help the Contingency Planning Unit.

If your place of worship can to help, please contact Twm Palmer, Head of Contingency Planning and Resilience, London Borough of Hounslow, W: 020-8583-5165, M: 0795 779 3813, E: Twm.Palmer@Hounslow.gov.uk


Musical Memories Invitation

Alzheimers Society

How can music help people with dementia from diverse communities?

A recent event put on by the Hounslow branch of the Alzheimer’s Society looked at this issue.  For more information contact Caroline on 0300 555 1197/07753311143 (email: caroline.wairia@alzheimers.org.uk) or or Joanna on 020 8580 1057 (email: Joanna.Newton@alzheimers.org.uk).