OneSpirit on InterFaith Network Closure

Feb 19, 2024

Dear OneSpirit Community,

As many of you may be aware, the Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN), which has significantly contributed to interfaith understanding and cooperation since 1987, faces the sad reality of closing down.

This decision, taken by the IFN Board, comes after a prolonged period of financial uncertainty and complex challenges which have made their vital work unsustainable.

Despite receiving a provisional funding offer from the government, as well as generous support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, individual donors, and member organisations, the IFN has reached a point where the absence of a finalised Grant Funding Agreement and further financial assurance has led to the necessary yet regrettable commencement of their closure process.

Reflecting on our Shared Mission

Here at OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, we acknowledge the extensive work IFN has done over the years, resonating deeply with our own mission of fostering harmony and understanding across diverse faiths and beliefs. We recognise the significant gap its closure will create, and we send our solidarity and gratitude to the trustees, staff, volunteers, and supporters of IFN.

Looking to the Future

The closure of the IFN is not just a loss but also a call to action for interfaith communities across the UK. We eagerly invite our community to contribute thoughts and ideas regarding the continuation of IFN’s legacy.

A few suggestions that we know are needed include: 

  • Forming new or strengthening existing local interfaith bodies
  • Considering support structures via other organisations
  • Offering volunteer resources where professional support falls short
  • Developing strategies to uphold the vital tradition of Inter Faith Week

We understand the foundational role of professional staff in facilitating the work that has earned IFN’s trusted reputation. In these changing times, we also recognise the potential of volunteer efforts to sustain the spirit of their work moving forward.

Your Voice is Valuable

OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is committed to supporting the transition and evolution of interfaith work in the aftermath of IFN’s closure. We ask for your reflections, suggestions, and innovative ideas to carry forward the torch of interfaith collaboration.

How has IFN’s work impacted you? We invite you to share your experiences! This reflective period is ideal for sharing the positive essence of their message. Being an interfaith organisation, IFN has vastly enriched our perception of harmony and extended the scope of the interfaith message.

In Unity and Peace, Always

Thank you for your continued support, engagement, and shared belief in the power of interfaith dialogue and understanding. As we process this change, we look ahead with resolve to build new pathways for connection in honour of the legacy IFN leaves behind.

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