ABOUT US

Our Mission 

The Brent Multi-Faith Forum was established in 2003 with the intent of ensuring that the diverse faith communities of Brent are represented and considered.

At the Brent Multi-Faith Forum we look to achieve these goals in three main ways:

ADVOCATE

Endorse representation and active participation of the diverse faith sector in Brent

COLLABORATE

Deliver practical inter-faith and multi-disciplinary engagement and partnership

INFLUENCE

Affect positive change in faith communities, statutory services, policies and strategies

ADVOCATE

We at the Brent Multi-Faith Forum see it as our duty to ensure that everyone can have their voice heard by those who can affect lasting and substantial change. Thus, we act as both an attentive ear and a passionate voice for all in Brent, be it through advocacy of the needs of faith communities or through the needs of vulnerable groups, such as the refugee community.

We believe that the vast wealth of perspectives offered by Brent’s diverse communities is indispensable. In keeping with this, our organisation is guided by a steering group with representatives from across Brent’s 21 faith groups, ensuring that our work is guided by a process which requires active representation of a broad range of perspectives and embraces the value of diversity of thought.  

Our advocacy spans across spiritual and material needs and is primarily targeted at statutory organisations, who we work in partnership with to ensure the best possible outcomes for all of Brent’s communities i.e. faith sensitivity training for police, development of faith literacy within mental health services and essential provision of shelter for sanctuary seekers.

COLLABORATE

A collaborative spirit runs throughout our organisation’s work, informing everything from our internal structure to our many projects which depend on collaboration between faith, voluntary, and statutory organisations in Brent.

It is this collaborative spirit which also allows Brent’s communities to be strengthened and enlightened by the immense value of diversity of perspective and collective action. It is our goal as a forum to facilitate Brent’s vast range of faith, voluntary, and statutory organisations in reaping the benefits of collaboration.

This is apparent from our work within the community, which is best demonstrated by initiatives such as our Brent Shelter of Sanctuary. Not only did the shelter model pull together diverse faith communities united by a collective vision and goal, it also adopted a crucial partnership between homeless charities and the council to ensure best possible outcomes for people experiencing homelessness in the borough.

The greatest value of collaboration can be found in the power of collective action. According to the most recent census figures, over 250,000 of Brent’s residents are of a faith. By invoking universal virtues such as hope, love, and charity, it is easy to embrace each other’s differences, allowing us to unite our efforts and resources towards the common good. This drives our efforts to promote sustainable practices in faith communities and is also what enabled us to execute projects such as our Shelter of Sanctuary, which saw an array of faith groups come together to provide shelter and guidance for homeless people during the winter period.

INFLUENCE

Our final aim is to influence statutory and faith organisations to better serve Brent’s communities as a whole – the Faith Covenant signed between faith communities and Brent Council is testament to this firm intention. We ensure that the voice of the faith sector is heard and embedded in local strategies and policies that affect local communities. Our recent engagement with the health and wellbeing strategy includes lobbying for initiatives such as multi-faith chaplaincy in mental health wards, accessible faith-based counselling services and the co-production of a mental health toolkit for faith communities. We also extend this commitment to vulnerable groups who are not explicitly faith based, with our Borough of Sanctuary group working hard with a number of community organisations to make Brent an actively welcoming place for sanctuary seekers.  

In this way, we hope to ensure Brent’s communities are best equipped to provide the necessary help to those in need. 

Faith Covenant

We are proud to uphold the values and the commitments of the Faith Covenant, “a joint commitment between faith communities and local authorities to a set of principles that guide engagement, aiming to remove some of the mistrust that exists and to promote open, practical working on all levels.” The Borough of Brent became a signatory of the Faith Covenant in 2017, and since then we have worked tirelessly to promote cooperation, understanding and openness both within faith groups and between faith groups and statutory services. 

In the years since, the relationships between faith groups and the council have gone from strength to strength, with Covid-19 affecting much closer partnerships. Brent’s commitment to the Faith Covenant and the continued close partnership between faith groups and statutory bodies was reasserted on 17th November 2021 at the Brent Civic Centre.

It was in this spirit of active  and vigilant maintenance that our attendees put forth their vision for the further promotion of prosperity, co-operation, and greater civic representation for Brent’s faith communities in the wake of the pandemic. This was highlighted by Daniel Singleton, the National Executive Director of Faith Action, who stressed that just as a dog isn’t just for Christmas, the close relationships formed between the Council and local faith groups during the height of the pandemic can not be allowed to wither and must be actively maintained by both sides. 

Steering Group Members

The work of BMFF is governed by its Steering Group Members of local faith and voluntary sector representatives.

Dr Mario Phillip

Chair

Mr Kirit Wadia

Vice Chair

Our current efforts are structured around six sub-groups, listed below. Please refer to the Projects section at the top of the page for further details on the work of each group:

Ms Tahseen Mehar

Faith in Mental Health - Led by Ms Tahseen Mehar

Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith

Police Cooperation - Led by Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith

Ms Sue Grace

Brent: Borough of Sanctuary - Led by Ms Sue Grace

Rev. Ali Taylor & Bea Jackson

Faith Communities Outreach and Engagement - Led by Reverend Ali Taylor and Bea Jackson

Pastor Yinka Afuwape

Youth Empowerment and Advocacy Against Inequalities - Led by Pastor Yinka Afuwape

Dr Mario Philip

Climate Change, The Environment and Disaster - Led by Dr Mario Philip

Get Involved

We are keen to hear the unique insights to the challenges which local faith organisations face. If you would be interested in getting involved with the Brent Multi-Faith forum, be it through one of our six sub-groups or in a broader capacity, we would love for you to get in touch with us via info@brentmultifaithforum.org.uk or join our mailing list