The Faith-Based Regeneration Network UK (FbRN) is the UK’s leading national multi-faith network for community development, regeneration and social action.
Set up in 2002 by a group of faith community practitioners, it reaches and supports faith-based organisations operating at community level across the UK, and operates as a key partner for government and voluntary and community organisations at national policy level.
FbRN’s UK network currently consists of 1,300 organisations and individuals who regularly receive our free communications and newsletters. Members are from all faiths plus some who do not belong to a faith community but who are interested in the work of FbRN. Most FbRN members are spread across England with members in other parts of the UK and in other countries. Many FbRN members are key contact points for other networks, and through them FbRN communications reach a further 8,500 groups and individuals.
Website, email bulletins and news
FbRN communicates with the Network through a range of methods including social media, a monthly email bulletin, newsletter and website. We ensure FbRN members have up-to-date information on public policy issues that may affect them, new resources and funding streams, job opportunities and forthcoming events. The newsletter is currently produced in printed and electronic formats three times a year. It contains reflective pieces, ideas for good practice and longer term news.
The website contains a regularly updated wealth of resource which can be accessed for free, including tool kits, good practice advice and work sheets, news and public policy information, profiles of groups and organisations involved in faith-based community development, regeneration and social action, information on courses, events and job opportunities.
A number of FbRN publications are available online.
‘Faiths and Frontiers on the Starship Social Enterprise; boldly going as faith based entrepreneurs?’ download pdf
‘Priceless, Unmeasurable? Faiths and Community Development in 21st century England’ download pdf
‘Keeping It Together: a reflective practice tool for faith based community development practitioners’ download pdf
Conferences, events and seminars
We aim to hold a national conference every two years, bringing together practitioners and experts to share knowledge and learn from each other.
2013 - Facing the Challenges, Looking for Opportunities
The 2013 conference was largely workshop and discussion-based with a high degree of participant involvement with six broad conference streams:
• Skills – what methods and skills will help us build our professional ‘toolkit’?
• Research – what do we know and understand about our sector?
• Policy – what is the environment and context we are working in?
• Practice – what effective models exist that practitioners will find useful?
• Innovation – what are the opportunities to meet the needs of our communities more effectively?
• Networking – how can we work together and learn from each other?
2010 - Faiths, Social Action and Big Society
The 2010 national conference was held soon after the general elelction and aimed to feed into the formation of the Coalition Government’s strategy for civil society. Faith-based organisations contribute to the social capital that makes for active and engaged citizens and have a long track record of social action in areas of high social need, have roots in local communities and the ability to generate local trust, stimulate volunteering and financial resources.
At FbRN’s national conference we mixed keynote speakers from government and others, with ‘World Café Dialogue’ sessions to explore questions, and reflect on insights and learning in order to be able to assist faith-based organisations and the makers of public policy.
2009 - Joining up the Dots
Aimed to strengthen links between faith-based organisations, voluntary and Community Sector organisations providing resources and support for regeneration and social action, and government and private sector organisations. Read the conference report here.
We also provide expert speakers who cover a range of subjects and disciplines. for conferences and events. Please get in touch if you have an event you’d like us to be involved in. Recent events we’ve taken part in include a workshop session at a NVCO staff ‘away day’ and a workshop session at the Faiths Forum for London conference.
FbRN also organises seminars and workshops around the regions of England.
In 2006/7 we held 6 seminars on community development and 5 on social enterprise. In addition to information on policy, and workshops on skills, the 400 participants engaged in sessions which gained their opinions and comments on the needs of their organisations, and the effect of policy on them.
It is vital that good practice and public policy in relation to faith based community development, regeneration and social action are underpinned by a sound evidence base. FbRN has therefore a keen interest in research.
The FbRN Executive Director was a member of the research team which produced the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2006 report, Faith as Social Capital: Connecting or Dividing? [INSERT LINK to resources section on the FbRN website]
With the Church Urban Fund, we researched the needs of faith representatives on key local public partnerships and produced a report, Faithful Representation, 2006. [INSERT LINK to the resources section on the FbRN website]
We produced two research reports (one on the scale and scope of faith based social action, the other on the role of regional forums of faiths) to assist the Department for Communities and Local Government in the development of its Framework for Inter Faith Dialogue and Social Action (Face to Face and Side by Side) in early 2008. download pdf
The FbRN Executive Director is a member of a number of research advisory groups including the Faiths and Civil Society Unit of Goldsmiths College Faith, Youth and Civil Society Network and the Third Sector Research Centre work stream on below the radar activity.
Work with Central Government
FbRN works with government departments in order to build bridges between policy makers and those working at community level. It has a particularly strong relationship with the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), and is a member of the CLG Faith Communities Consultative Council. We are working with CLG and the LGA (Local Government Association) and other partners to revise the LGA Guidance on developing good working relationships with faith communities.
Regional Forums of Faiths
With the Inter Faith Network for the UK, we convene the English Regional Faith Forums Network. This brings together representatives of all the Regional Faith Forums to keep in touch with one another, exchange resources, share good practice and work together on issues of common concern. read more http://www.erffn.org.uk/
Partnerships and Coalitions
Much of FbRN’s work is done through partnerships and coalitions. We are members of the Community Sector Coalition, which is made up of national infra-structure organisations in the Community Sector. We also have very good working relationships with the Inter Faith Network for the UK, the Faiths and Civil Society Unit