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We all want to live in a tolerant society, where people have freedom to express and discuss their beliefs openly with others. Established in 2021, the Understanding Faith network aims to foster a culture of respect and tolerance by increasing awareness, understanding and conversation between colleagues of all faiths and none. We believe in encouraging people to bring their whole self to work without fear of others
What does the network do?
There is a committee from across the organisation who meets regularly. We seek to fulfil our objectives in three ways: (a) by sharing information with colleagues via the intranet and providing reading material; (b) by bringing different faith festivals to life in various ways; and (c) by hosting events and organising tours of local places of worship.
Since the start of 2022, the group has sought to improve awareness and understanding of all faiths amongst our people. To do so, we have also facilitated and held a number of different themed meals:
At Easter, we marked the occasion and shared a themed meal to highlight the Christian and Jewish faiths.
We celebrated Eid al-Fitr by serving a halal dish for this religious holiday celebrated by Muslims across the world. One of our colleagues also shared a short story explaining what Eid means to him, and this was shared throughout our organisation.
We conducted an employee survey to help us gauge the baseline understanding and attitudes across the organisation and obtain feedback on some proposed initiatives. The responses were very positive and will inform our approach going forward.
In 2022, in the wake of the Queen’s death, we shared a book called “Our Faithful Queen” charting the life of Her late Majesty and how her faith played such a key part of both her working and personal life. This book was made available to all those who wanted it.
In the year ahead we plan to organise visits and host events to promote thoughtful discussion and understanding.