A quick guide to Inter Faith Week

Inter Faith Week, held every November, is an opportunity to highlight different faiths and beliefs in the workplace. In this blog we find out about the Week and share some of the Inter Faith Network’s top tips on how workplaces can get involved.

What is Inter Faith Week?

Inter Faith Week is a time in mid to late November each year in the UK, when the spotlight falls on faith communities and inter faith activity, including engagement between those of religious and non-religious beliefs. This year Inter Faith Week takes place between 14th – 21st November 2021.

How we get on as people of different faiths and beliefs is increasingly important and this special week brings a focus to that. It is a time for:

• strengthening good inter faith relations at all levels

• increasing awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK. Particularly celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society

• increasing understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs

The Week was launched with those aims in 2009 by the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Inter Faith Week provides workplaces with a unique opportunity to engage with equality and diversity and to encourage religious literacy and positive relations in the workplace.

“Inter Faith Week is a time when the spotlight is on the tremendous contribution that faith communities make to society and on work for inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK. Work to build connections between people of different faiths and beliefs is enormously important, and at this time of COVID-19 finding new ways to make connections is vital.”

We are delighted that hundreds of organisations will again be taking part: from faith communities and inter faith initiatives to schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, hospices, national and local government, housing organisations, workplaces, the police and other emergency services, chaplaincies, museums and libraries, and many others.”

The Rt Revd Jonathan Clark and Narendra Waghela, Co-Chairs, the Inter Faith Network for the UK

How can organisations get involved with Inter Faith Week?

As well as employees, most organisations have customers and clients of many faiths and beliefs and Inter Faith Week is an excellent time to highlight your appreciation of diversity.

Here are the Inter Faith Network’s top tips for getting involved in Inter Faith Week:

• Hold a training day on religion and belief in the workplace.

• Invite members of local faith communities to provide an opportunity for your staff to ask questions, and to gain insight into the different religions, customs and cultures of their communities.

• Launch, or start planning for, a staff inter faith network.

• Run a webinar or chat with your offices around the country on religion and belief issues and the importance of good relations.

• Hold a ‘Managing religion or belief requests in the workplace’ session for line managers looking at how employers respond to a religion or belief request from an employee. For example a request for time off work for a religious festival or holiday.

• Organise a food event where members of your staff can experience dishes from different faith groups and learn about their traditions.

• Find out about your local inter faith group and offer sponsorship or in-kind support to their Inter Faith Week event or another project. For example, advice, employee time, advertising, use of IT or printing facilities, or discounts on products and services.

• Hold a discussion about the ways in which religious literacy and dialogue might contribute to and strengthen the realisation of your corporate values.

• Make part of your retail premises available for a faith and belief exhibition.

For more information about Inter Faith Week, visit www.interfaithweek.org

Our ‘Faith at Work’ webinar will take place on 9th November. The webinar will include why it is important to understand your employees’ beliefs and how to improve faith inclusion in your workplace. Find out more and book your place here.