Bishop of Birmingham launches, “Faith Makes A Difference”
17 March 2012
"This month sees the launch of ‘www.faithmakesadifference.co.uk’, a website designed to make it easy for schools, academies, religious groups and parents to access lesson plans and other resources for teaching the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.
On Thursday 15 March, 11am at the NEC The Rt Revd David A Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, alongside Cllr Les Lawrence, Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Children, Young people and Families, will officially mark the site going live. The Bishop is looking forward to the occasion,
As part of the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, I am delighted to be involved in launching the Faith makes a Difference website.
At a time when the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet have stressed the vital role that Christianity and other faiths have in public life, this Syllabus both builds on and takes forward the strong tradition of faith which has shaped the public life of Birmingham and this country.
The Syllabus, agreed by the nine main faiths in the City, local teachers and politicians, is based on 24 character-building qualities, such as ‘sharing and being generous’. Real life stories, illustrated through film, show young people representing the rich diversity of faith in our City. It is hoped that the syllabus and website will help to introduce young people to their peers for whom their faith makes a real difference to their lives. This dynamic approach to interfaith activity has been warmly welcomed by teachers and other faith leaders and has been praised by the Department for Education.
Writing to a group of Inter Faith leaders in August 2011 the Minister of State for Schools Nick Gibb MP said:
‘It is the responsibility of local authorities, working through Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (and Agreed Syllabus Conferences) to design Religious Education provision that is appropriate to the pupils and parents they serve. We fully recognise the important role that these bodies play and do not propose to change the arrangements. These organisations must be close to their communities and understand their needs, as well as being accountable to them for the RE taught in maintained schools. We believe that SACREs (and Agreed Syllabus Conferences) remain best placed to design an RE Curriculum that is relevant to and valued by their community.’
The Bishop has extended his gratitude to Birmingham City Council and, in particular, Cllr Les Lawrence for their essential work and generous support of this project,
It is my prayer that this Syllabus will make Birmingham known to be a place that celebrates diversity and allows young people to explore faith in relevant ways.”
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