New Faith Covenant signed at Leeds Civic Hall

A new covenant setting out the principles which will strengthen the relationship between Leeds City Council and faith and belief organisations has been officially signed this week.

The Faith Covenant will focus on developing the following areas:
• Sharing examples of work already being undertaken, in particular best practice;
• Ensure the council and the religion and belief sector share learning and development opportunities where possible.
• Provide clarity around the availability of support and funding from the council and third sector and;
• Ensure the religion or belief sector take part fully in city wide and local community consultations to inform the delivery of services.

The official signing of the covenant included Leeds City Council deputy leader Cllr Peter Gruen, chair of Leeds Faiths Forum, the Canon Charles Dobbin and national executive director of FaithAction Daniel Singleton (L-R in photo).

Peter Gruen said: "We are delighted to sign this covenant, which underlines the council’s ongoing commitment to build positive relationships and partnerships with all faith and belief groups in our city. This will not only be beneficial in helping us engage better with residents in our communities, but also inform how the delivery of important council services can be further improved."

Canon Charles Dobbin said: "I really welcome this covenant. It will address potential tensions in Leeds by helping faith communities to build up cooperation as a matter of ordinary life rather than crisis management. It is an enlightened step forward, recognising and building on the work done by Leeds Faiths Forum over the last 14 years."

Daniel Singleton said: "FaithAction members are involved in making a positive difference to their communities through social action projects the length and breadth of the country. Faith really is too significant to ignore and here in Leeds it’s fantastic to see how the council has recognised this. Leeds City Council is one of the earliest adopters of the covenant, and hopefully this will encourage other local authorities across the UK to empower faith organisations to both expand their social action programmes while also providing greater transparency in their governance."

To find out more about the covenant, please see here:

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