Council renews support for city’s Faith Covenant

Cllr John Cotton signing the city's renewed Faith Covenant with (l-r) Dr Peter Rookes, Bishop of Aston the Rt Rev Anne Hollinghurst; Sir Stephen Timms MP, Daniel Singleton; and Amrick Singh Ubhi.
Published: Friday, 11th November 2022

Birmingham’s Faith Covenant has been formally signed by Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities and the city’s faith leaders today (November 11).

Sir Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Faith and Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director, Faith Action plus city faith leaders also took part in the signing at the Council House.

Birmingham was the first local authority to respond to a call in 2014 from the APPG on Faith and Society for all local councils to sign a newly developed Faith Covenant.

The council has remained fully committed to the covenant since its launch, but Cllr Cotton wanted to formally note his support for its principles and reaffirm the council’s commitment to working with partners to deliver these refreshed pledges.

Cllr Cotton said: “Birmingham's many faith communities play a vital role: wherever you go in our city you will find people of faith at the forefront of the efforts to tackle poverty, hardship and inequality.

“We saw this most vividly during the pandemic, as communities came together to help each other and reach out to those in need. Yet again, Birmingham showed how to be a welcoming city where people from different communities support one another as neighbours and friends.

“The Faith Covenant’s principles have been refreshed to reflect the vital role faith communities have across the city, to bring people together, support one another, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

“By working together, we can deliver so much more for the people of Birmingham. I'm proud to join with our faith communities today as we renew and restate our partnership through this Faith Covenant"

Dr Peter Rookes, Secretary of Birmingham Council of Faiths, added:It is very appropriate that we should be signing this Faith Covenant at the start of Interfaith Week, coordinated by Birmingham Council of Faiths, during which Birmingham has 25 events taking place between people of different faiths and with people of no faith.

“Four out of five Birmingham people claim a faith affiliation, which is underpinned by the values of love, compassion and integrity. This is why people of faith are in the forefront in serving the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Our faith organisations are thankful for our close relationship with the city council, and proud of being the first city in 2014, of signing a faith covenant.

This laid the foundations for the current covenant which is extended beyond the city council to the police, Crown Prosecution Service, NHS, BVSC and Healthwatch. It marks our commitment to working together to serve the people of Birmingham, particularly the most vulnerable members.”

Following the covenant’s signing, Birmingham poet Raza Hussein performed a new poem to mark the occasion, called How Faith Feels, emphasising the importance of unity, courage and honesty in all communities.

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