Thousands of people of different backgrounds and ages participated in the 15th Inter Faith Week, which ended on Sunday, 19 November 2023. Millions more have encountered its positive messages through social media. The Co-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK, which leads on the Week, said:

“Inter Faith Week has become an increasingly important fixture in the public calendar. Across the last week, hundreds of activities have taken place which have helped to highlight and encourage understanding about different faiths and beliefs; strengthen good inter faith relations and social cooperation for the common good.

With concern about tensions and a rise in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate incidents in the UK, very welcome was the conversation of HM The King with faith leaders and community representatives at an Inter Faith Week reception for him hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. A number of those who held activities to mark the Week have commented on the particular importance of coming together at this time.”

The Revd Canon Hilary Barber and Mr Narendra Waghela

The Week was established by the Inter Faith Network for the UK to: strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels; and increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society; and increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs.

Over 500 activities are already known to have taken place across the last week as part of the Week. Churches, gurdwaras, mandirs, mosques, synagogues, temples, viharas, schools, colleges and universities, sports clubs, council chambers, museums, galleries, libraries, community centres, hospitals, hospices, workplaces, historic monuments, local cafes, outdoor spaces such as woodlands, and online platforms have been the location of an amazing range of activities.

Activities included celebrations; faith trails; cultural activities; dialogues; volunteering to help local communities; Remembrance events; conferences and talks; tree plantings and litter picks; classroom activities; theatre productions and film showings; faith festival events (this year’s Week was at the same time as Diwali); poetry readings; food festivals; sports tournaments; events linked to both Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day; programmes picking up the Week such as Radio 2’s Pause for Thought during the Week; and more. A sample of the activities can be seen here.

The UK’s faith communities support Inter Faith Week. Religious leaders from the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Sikh, Spiritualist, and Zoroastrian communities shared messages for it. Humanists and others of non-religious beliefs also took part in the Week.