News from the West Midlands Faith Strategic Partnership Group (FSPG)

The Faith Strategic Partnership Group (FSPG) works closely with the West Midlands Mayor’s office and the West Midlands Combined Authority to represent the large faith communities in our region. We are vehemently committed to working for peace, whilst tackling injustice, inequality, lack of representation by being a voice for the marginalised or seldom heard. 

We call on our local leaders to look beyond the lies and the propaganda and those wishing to divide us, as our hearts are moved by the distress and pain on the ground in so many homes and communities. We are concerned by the impact of global actions on our own communities, our schools, and other places of learning; with anger, grief and intimidation leaving deep scars and fear across the generations. We condemn all violence, hatred, intimidation, and loss of life around the globe at this time and call for restraint in protecting precious human life be that in Palestine, Israel, Ukraine or elsewhere in the world. 

We commit to pursuing peace and we encourage people of faith to be peacemakers. We value the love, support and shared commitment to each other in our different communities during difficult times. As people of faith, we bring support and hope to those who are distressed, traumatised, and disturbed by local challenges and international events. 

Across the faiths we endeavor to build bridges. We encourage faith leaders and faith advocates to do three key things locally as we enter 2024.
•    Dialogue and listen well. Cross the boundaries and knock on the doors to hear the concerns and hopes of other faith communities.
•    Seek understanding. We may not reach agreement, but we can work together locally better if we understand each other’s perspectives and concerns through dialogue.
•    Build together. Our communities need to build together to meet the challenges of the cost of living crisis, the growing challenges of mental health, the many inequalities in our society and the rising health needs. Our communities need to build cohesion – where we work together across faith but guided by our faith.

We are aware that many communities, and particularly our youngsters in schools, have experienced high emotions and challenges. We encourage places of worship, schools and other places of learning, workplaces, and communities to rebuild, restore and treasure the commitment to listening well and building understanding. 

The West Midlands is a community of hope – hope shaped by its superdiverse communities and cultures; hope enhanced by its wide range of ideas and values; hope founded on its rich experience in living and working together. As people of faith, we bless our region and pray for peace and goodwill in 2024. 

As we come to the end of 2023 and the dawn of a New Year, we want you to join us, irrespective of your faith, political, cultural, regional, and geographical affiliations as we pray for, hope for and work for, peace.

Amrick Singh Ubhi                              Steve Botham
Chair, FSPG                                           Vice Chair, FSPG

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