Faith Leaders & Politicians

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Faith leaders from across the UK and beyond have become interested in Birmingham’s disposition-led approach to Religious Education with its emphasis on ‘learning from faith’. Birmingham’s collective work on the Agreed Syllabus has been a catalyst in bringing together faith leaders and faith communities from across the city, in the common task of building the character of young people and of our society. As Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr. Mohinder Singh, www.ncauk.org , the Sikh representative onthe Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, points out,

It’s wonderful that we’ve got a piece of work that brings out the commonalities of all faiths.”

on the construction of the syllabus, Bishop David Urquhart, www.birmingham.anglican.org,told us,

“The changes in the syllabus have been brought about because we brought all the faiths together in a way that’s never been undertaken or achieved in the past and that shows you the amazing extent to which we have shared values.”

The Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, now the Archbishop of Westminster, www.rcdow.org.uk, added,

“One of the features of this RE syllabus is the need to learn about faiths as they are lived, and therefore the contribution that leaders of faiths can make is central to it.”

In the film, RE in Birmingham, leaders of each of the faith communities endorse the syllabus. Faith leaders from beyond the city will get a glimpse of how the syllabus is delivered in schools and into how the dispositions are evident in everyday situations across faith communities.

Rashid, www.centralmosque.org.uk, a Muslim representative on the Faith Leaders Group says,

“Muslim scholars have contributed to the preparation of the syllabus. I have no doubt at all that all Muslim scholars and Muslim leaders will agree with it.”

REVD DR Toby Howarth, now Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs for the Church Of England, www.archbishopofcanterbury.org, emphasises,

“It’s very clear to me that if you don’t know about faiths in this day and age, you can’t understand the world we live in. It’s not just about … negative stuff, but also positive stuff. How can you understand Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa or some of the other heroes of our age if you don’t understand faith? What drives these people is the dispositions and, if you understand that, you’re much better equipped to cope with the world.”

SACRE relies extensively on the Birmingham Faith Leaders' Group in building good interfaith relations and in supporting Religious Education. A manifestation of this religious co-operation may be found in their joint pilgrimage around the City as they celebrated 10 years' worth of work improving community cohesion in the city. See the Faith leaders walk film