Covenant for Engagement between Leeds City Council and Religion or Belief Organisations
The coming decade will see the country facing new social needs and tough new challenges. There will be fresh demands on public health, social care, education, employment support and community inclusion. We believe that one important resource can be realised by supporting faith-based organisations to work constructively and effectively, as part of civil society, with Leeds City Council.
Faith groups have a great deal to offer as providers and advocates for the communities in which they serve, and that some of their potential is being unnecessarily overlooked at present. To help tackle the problem, Faith Action, working as secretariat for the All Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society has drafted a Covenant which has been amended and adopted by Leeds City Council and local faith groups.
The Covenant is therefore a set of joint commitments between local authorities and faith communities to guide engagement, aiming to remove some of the mistrust that arises due to lack of mutual understanding and to promote open, practical working on all levels.
Working with the Leeds Faiths Forum, Leeds City Council adapted the Covenant for Engagement and officially signed it on 5 March 2015. Representatives of different faiths from the Leeds Faiths Forum and Concord Interfaith Fellowship have also signed the Covenant.
A Working Group has been established to monitor the progress of the Covenant for Engagement, meeting three times a year and focusing on:
- Sharing examples of work already being undertaken, in particular best practice
- Ensure the Council and the Religion or Belief sector share learning and development opportunities where possible
- Provide clarity around the availability of support and funding from the Council and Third Sector
- Ensure the Religion or Belief sector take part fully in city wide and local community consultations to inform the delivery of public services.
To ensure that practical engagement for the benefit of the community continues as a result of the Covenant it is now open to be signed by religious groups or organisations in Leeds who agree with the joint commitments put forward. A copy of the Covenant for Engagement form is available to download from the Documents section on this page which can then be signed by a representative of a faith group or organisation and returned to Leeds City Council either by post or electronically.