Briefing: The “devastating, outrageous” impending closure of the Inter Faith Network

The impending closure of the Inter Faith Network after 37 years has shocked and dismayed faith leaders across the UK. The government says it is withdrawing funding because a new IFN trustee is associated with the Muslim Council of Britain, an organisation which the government will not speak to due to a dispute in 2009.

The Inter Faith Network was set up to raise awareness and understanding of different faith communities and promote good interfaith relations. It has supported local initiatives and brought together national faith organisations to provide opportunities for safe dialogue, especially needed during the flashpoints of the Rushdie book burning, 9/11 and terrorist attacks in the UK.

In this Religion Media Centre briefing, speakers said its role was more important than ever at the moment against the background of war in the Middle East. So the decision to withdraw funding was outrageous and devastating, leading to predictions that dialogue will wither. Rosie Dawson hosted this discussion with many speakers including Dr Harriet Crabtree, executive director Inter Faith Network; Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra; Dr Ed Kessler, founder director of the Woolf Institute; the Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth; and Bishop Patrick McKinney, lead Catholic bishop for inter-religious dialogue; plus many local interfaith activists.

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Hannah Scott Joynt


Voice-over artist, award winning radio and TV presenter and BBC continuity announcer


Leo Devine

Leo's Local

Media and Training Consultant at Devine Media. Former BBC Journalist, Editor and Senior Leader


Rosie Dawson

Journo's Notebook

Freelance religion journalist, documentary maker and radio producer with 20+ years of experience in the BBC’s Religion and Ethics department

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