Faith and social action
Faith groups play a significant role in our communities, and we are linking up with them to celebrate and build on their contributions to our neighbourhoods and the wider society.
Part our Five-Year Plan is building resilient and self-sustaining communities, and helping communities to do more for themselves. Faith groups and people of many different beliefs already do that in many of our communities and there is a lot of incredibly valuable work going on.
Interfaith Week: 13 - 20 November, 2016
To highlight these contributions across Central Bedfordshire, we are taking part in a week-long celebration of faith and belief from 13 - 20 November 2016, linking in with national Interfaith Week.
The national goals are to strengthen inter-faith relationships by increasing awareness of different faiths and beliefs and to increase understanding between different groups. In Central Bedfordshire, we will be highlighting the social actions that faith groups carry out in communities, such as food banks, credit unions and youth clubs.
Events are also being planned so that people can find out more about different faiths, and to give the opportunity for people from different faiths to mix together and find out more about each others’ beliefs.
How our libraries are celebrating faith and belief
Throughout Interfaith Week (13 - 20 November, 2016) our libraries will have prominent book displays that relate to various faiths and humanist content.
Libraries are community hubs which are regularly used by all ages for clubs, activities and much more. This means the displays will be relevant to a wide range of ages and all parts of our community.
We hope that they will inspire visitors to find out more – either just by borrowing a book or by contacting a local faith group or organisation.
As well as popping into your local branch, you can find out more about what our libraries are doing on social media. Just follow @BedfordshireLibraries on Facebook (link opens in new window) and @bedslibraries on Twitter (link opens in new window).
How St. James' Church, Silsoe, is celebrating faith and belief
St. James' Church, Silsoe, will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 19 November to allow villagers of all ages to see what clubs and societies there are for them to join.
21 local organisations will be taking part in an exhibition in the church so that villagers can find out what is on offer for them. There will be a quiz for children, based on questions about the church, which they can do while their parents talk to representatives of the clubs. Refreshments will be served throughout the day.
Celebrating faith and belief through our credit unions
Whilst social action is at the heart of our local churches’ lives, credit unions play an important part in helping us to support our local communities. They do this through promoting and providing fairer and ethical banking, so that everyone has the opportunity to access responsible savings and credit services - especially those who may not be able to readily use high street banks.
Whether providing space in some of our churches for collection points or volunteers to staff and provide assistance in other locations, many church members save with the credit unions to help support the work. Without the savings of those who may not need to take out loans, we wouldn’t have the funds to assist those who may need help.
In Bedfordshire, we have two credit unions (with about 3,000 members in total across the county):
- Bedford Credit Union (link opens in new window) covers Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire
- Money Matters (link opens in new window) covers the LU post code area
Please contact us for more information.