2008-2009 Pilot ProjectWhat Are We About?
Faithful Friends began in February 2007. It brings together adults of different faiths to learn from each other and to develop a friendship together.
Building on the success of this project, the Faithful Friends Youth Pilot Project brought together young people from different faiths, aged 15-24, so that they could improve their relationships with each other, and learn to talk freely about their faith and values.
On the whole, young people have a head-start on the rest of us in this arena - since they mix with people of different faiths & cultures all the time in their schools. Newham Student SACRE is a good example of how our Youth in Newham are already encouraged to think about moral issues of common interest.
In some regards Faithful Friends Youth was a natural step on from Student SACRE, in that it did not just facilitate discussion of moral topics, but also encouraged young people to own the ways in which their faith traditions have helped them to form moral values, and inform their decision making. Through talking about this heritage of faith, those involved began to recognise points of similarity and difference with people from faith backgrounds different to their own.
The Final Report of the Pilot Project can be downloaded here as an Abode PDF file.
Where Will It Go In The Future
The long term aim is to develop this successful pilot into an ongoing project - where Young People from different places of worship can meet and get to know each other, and share their opinions of how faith is relevant to their lives in Newham.
The hope is that the project will help us to become confident in our faith, and representing our faith to others - so that for those making the move out of Newham, into very different contexts and cultural settings from here, we have gained confidence in being part of a diverse group, and do not retreat into groups that make us feel comfortable when we leave the relative familiar security of our home borough.
In early 2010 there is less likely to be a developed programme, due to changes in the Youth Team, but it is hoped that a full programme will be developed in Autumn 2010.