The following Covenant between the Solihull Partnership and the faiths sector in Solihull was signed on Monday 21 September 2015 by Cllr Diana Holl-Allen for the Solihull Partnership and Shantose Kaur, Chair of the Solihull Faiths Forum:
The Faith Covenant
The Covenant is a joint commitment between faith communities and partners within the Solihull Partnership to a set of principles that guide engagement, aiming to improve collaborative partnerships and to promote open, practical working on all levels.
The Covenant is built on the following principles:
- Faith communities are free to practise their beliefs and religious observances without restriction, to raise their voice in public debate and to be respected, within the framework of UK law.
- Public services and faith based social action should respect service users from all backgrounds, with no discrimination on the grounds of religion, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or disability.
- The voice, participation and solutions that faith communities bring are important, and their involvement in the decision making process should enable them to benefit the wider community.
- Organisations and services will be stronger by drawing on diverse sources of funding, recognising that monopolies of funding, action and participation are seen to be detrimental to the common good or benefit of all.
The Covenant entails the following commitments:
Partners within the Solihull Partnership commit to welcome the involvement of faith groups in the delivery of services and social action on an equal basis with other groups. In addition, they commit to:
- Building relationships and trust with faith groups in particular through Solihull Faiths Forum;
- Adopting appropriate strategies for the engagement of faith communities in decision making processes;
- Encouraging faith groups and their members to be involved in the reshaping and redesign of local services;
- Clear signposting and open, transparent communication and guidelines around funding;
- Developing and sharing training and learning opportunities between faith communities and the partners within the Solihull Partnership.
Faith based organisations commit to work actively with partners in the Solihull Partnership in the design and delivery of services to the public. In addition, they commit to:
- Seeking opportunities to bring people together to serve the community, particularly its poorest and most isolated members;
- Serving all local residents seeking to access services fairly, irrespective of their religion, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or disability;
- Ensuring excellence in child protection, health and safety, accountability and transparency;
- Responding to consultations where appropriate;
- Developing and sharing training and learning opportunities between faith communities and partners within the Solihull Partnership.
The Solihull Partnership is the umbrella partnership for Solihull. Its membership consists of the public organisations in the Borough as well as representation from the voluntary and community and business sectors.