Maintaining harmonious community relations in Luton is a key aspect of the work of LCoF. Despite the differences that exist between the people of the town, and the negative and inaccurate perception of Luton often perpetrated in the media, much of this work has been and continues to play a vital role in highlighting the harmony of the town and promoting a message of peace, friendship and solidarity.
Protest Marches and Mediation
In recent years, Luton has been the location for protest marches by extremist groups including the EDL and Britain First, which understandably raises tensions and concerns within the different communities in the town. During times such as these, LCoF tries to hold the middle ground, offering advice, support and guidance in how to respond to such provocation, and mediating between groups at times when it has been necessary.
Public Unity Demonstrations
The impact of both local and global incidents can also have a detrimental effect to the peace of the town, and so LCoF repeatedly stands in solidarity with others at times of trouble at public vigils, and speaks out to deplore and strongly condemn attacks in the name of religion. These displays of unity help to create space for people to express their heartfelt sympathies, and send a resilient message to the world that we must not allow extremists to stir up hatred, division or violence amongst us.
Faith Festivals and Social Gatherings
Whilst much of this work is often reactive to concerns we face, a great deal of work is also proactively undertaken to share our faiths with others, often taking part in the celebrations of other faith traditions. Every year, LCoF creates opportunities for people from all faiths and none, to come together and break down the barriers that exist between them, through dialogue, sharing and increasing understanding of others.
Hosting public talks has proved to be another way of bringing people from across different communities together to discuss many of the burning issues of today, including speakers who are faith leaders, community workers, MPs, journalists and more. These are effective at being able to encourage people to come together and discuss a wide range of matters that pose a challenge at both a local and global level.