Conference aims to build togetherness through faith

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street with members of the faith steering group.

Homelessness, hate crime and the economy are on the agenda of a multi-faith event organised by the Mayor of the West Midlands in partnership with the University of Birmingham.

Around 400 people are expected to attend the 'Mayor and Faith Conference' in the Universities Great Hall this evening. The Mayor, working with a faith-based steering group, has organised the event to help him shape priorities and ways for working with different groups.

Delegates will see presentations by Jean Templeton OBE; chair of the Mayor’s homelessness task force, Anita Bhalla OBE; who is chair of the Mayor’s Leadership Commission, David Jamieson; the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, and Bishop of Birmingham the Right Reverend David Urquhart.

The conference will also examine and discuss ways of working in several areas of concern to the region, including unlocking the potential of young people by building new leadership networks, reducing homelessness and social need and finding concrete ways to work together to make the economy work better for the whole community Mr Street said:

“Faith in all its different forms is a force for good in our society. I want this conference to bring all faiths together as one to find ways of tackling those areas that affect and concern us all within the wider West Midlands community.”

The conference forms one of the Mayor’s 10 pledges that he promised to immediately undertake following his election in May this year. A 17-strong faith steering group was established shortly after Mr Street took office.

Co-chairs of the group, appointed by Mr Street, include Francis Davis, Professor of Communities and Public Policy at the University of Birmingham. Prof. Davis said:

“This gathering is intended to be a conversation between hundreds of people of faith and the Mayor to help him shape his priorities and explore ways to unlock all the talents of the region to build a more inclusive economy.

“What's important here is the Mayor has promised us he'll follow up with a concrete action plan and that plan, in my view, has the potential to set a national and international standard for regions like ours."

You can follow the conference in real time by searching #FaithWM on Twitter.


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