Welcome to this CVA Update FOCUS on Faith events & updates in the borough of Croydon
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CVA Update Focus on Children, Young People & Families

Chair's report

A packed newsletter awaits you with lots of useful information, including a trip to Kemnal Park Memorial Grounds in Chislehurst coming up on 30th July. This will be from 12-3, there will be a tour of the grounds, some speakers from the different faiths who use it and refreshments. Please do call them and tell them you are coming.

Apparently we had the wettest June in Croydon since 1903 but as you will read the best sunny day was the one we chose for our annual picnic and the second interfaith bike ride. This was a lovely day and thanks to all the organisers and to those of you who came. Look out in the next letter for next year’s date.

We used Spacehive to help fund the safety riders so thank you to our sponsors.  We are waiting to find out if we have been successful in our funding bid for the next 3 years, hopefully we will hear in August.

We were part of a big conference on Hate Crime in April and you will see below a letter from the deputy mayor for London urging you to report Hate Crime, however big or small, so that we know how much is going on and can address it properly. If it is not reported it can look as if there is no problem. Also at our meeting last week we met the new faith liaison Officer DC Alex Starr and you can read his introductory letter.

We also had a discussion about safeguarding training for adults involved in any kind of supplementary schools or play schemes.  We are having a couple of sessions in September for you to come along and find out how to get free training and advice to protect you.

I have mentioned the Friday feeding the homeless project undertaken by the Muslim Association of Croydon before and you can see some photos and a report on how it is getting on. There is a conference led by Nightwatch in September which you are invited to, to discuss ‘meeting the challenge of Homelessness’.

All this plus several other articles of interest, so grab a cup of something and enjoy a good read. Have a peaceful and happy summer.

All the best

Penny Smith-Orr,
Chair, Faiths Together in Croydon


The bike ride and picnic were a great success on Sunday with about 25 riders setting out from Croydon Arena and at least the same number, including the Mayor of Croydon and the Bishop, waiting to meet them in Park Hill for the picnic.  The riders called at the Hare Krishna Temple in South Norwood, the West Croydon Baptist Church and the London Road Mosque before making their way through central Croydon to Park Hill.

Click here for a full report.  More photos on the Faiths Together in Croydon website and on the Facebook page Faiths Together in Croydon.

Do you or your organisation work with children?

Are you confident about keeping children safe and what to do if something goes wrong?

Do you have an up to date safeguarding policy and guidance to make sure that children and adults are safe?

We would like to help you. We are able to offer free training, guidance and support.

We would like to invite you to an informal information session to show how we can help. This will be held in the autumn. Please come if you can and watch out for details.

In the meantime, if you have any queries please call either David Butler (Education Chair of the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board) on 020 8760 5636 or Steve Hall (Local Authority Designated Officer) on

Solace Holiday Programme

Over the approaching school holiday period, Solace International is planning a series of community and fundraising events.  These include a programme of holiday courses for parents and others supporting children through school.  

The courses include:
  • Helping your child settle in a new environment
  • Supporting children with their homework and home studies
  • When things go not-so-good: Getting along nicely with school authorities 
  • Handling bullying
More information

Walk for Solace

The annual ‘Walk For Solace’ takes place this year, a little later than usual, on Saturday 27th August.  The walk starts at Croydon Whitgift Centre at 7.00 a.m. and finishes at London Waterloo Station (10.5 miles) at around 10.00 a.m.  The aim is to draw attention to, and raise money for, those who have to walk long distances to get what they need.  If you are unable to join them for the walk, or part of it, you can support them in other ways.

More information

Reporting Hate Crime - letter from the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime

Dear colleague,

London is rightly recognised as a city of tolerance and inclusion, something the Mayor and I are keen to work together with communities to build upon in the years ahead.

As well as using our platforms in public life to celebrate the rich diversity of our city and encourage a more inclusive society, we are also determined to pursue a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime.

We are concerned by the reported increase in racial hate crimes following the referendum result. I wanted to make contact to assure you that City Hall and the MPS are giving these reports our fullest attention. I am receiving daily briefings on hate crimes and I remain in close contact with the police and partners.

Read more

Message from Croydon's newly appointed Community Faith Liason Officer

Dear All,
Let me take this opportunity to introduce myself. Croydon has one of the country’s most multi-cultural communities. As home of the Immigration Service, it has for years now seen its population grow with many different nationalities of differing faiths. Its diverse nature boasts over 30 different faith denominations and over 300 places of worship.
The metropolitan Police within Croydon have introduced the role of Community Faiths Liaison Officer in their portfolio, and I am honoured and privileged to have been selected to carry out this role.
It is essential that the community and the Police continue to have positive communication. A healthy working partnership can only reap benefits in promoting confidence in the Service, and give reassurance to different communities that we all live on an equal footing.
Inter Faith partnership working will play a pivotal role in this, and it is hoped that we take advantage of all local engagement opportunities, and seek to become part of already well established Inter Faith working groups within the borough of Croydon.
I look forward to meeting with you all at some point in the future.
Kind regards.
DC Alex Starr
Communities Faith Liaison Officer


The Jewish Home

Marriage and family play a crucial part in ensuring  the survival of Judaism. Whilst the Synagogue plays a critical role in safeguarding  communal prayer, observance and study, the home is where the child first experiences and learns about his or her heritage. 

The Sabbath (Shabbat) is welcomed every Friday night in the home with the lighting of candles. This is traditionally done by the woman of the household. Several festivals are marked prominently in the home, notably Passover (Pesach), with a Seder (a service and meal taking part around the table). Also Sukkot where a booth is built. 

Read more
As chair of FTiC I thought I would go along and support our members one cold and rainy Friday in January. I was very impressed with the organisation of the soup kitchen and went back again a couple of months later to see how they were getting on. A week later we held an Easter tea at our church and had some food left over so I called Tamkin and took it to the refugee centre in Thornton Heath and told my friend at church what I had done with her food.

Since then I have been going every Friday with big containers of food including vegetarian dishes that she brings me before work on a Friday. My daughter came along one week and has been coming ever since including on one week getting her husband to cook as our friend could not.

Read more

Croydon Nightwatch to host major 40th anniversary conference on tackling homelessness

The plight of homeless people will be the focus of a major conference to mark the 40th anniversary of Croydon’s Nightwatch charity this autumn.
Government Minister Marcus Jones MP will join other leading experts at the Croydon Conference Centre in Surrey Street on 21st September to debate the theme, Helping to Meet the Challenge of Homelessness. They will look at how Nightwatch and its partners have assisted homeless people in the past, and consider what might be done to prevent homelessness in future.
Read more

Garden of Healing and Wholeness at Croydon University Hospital. 

Take a stroll round to the left of the entrance to St Barnabas Chapel, Croydon University Hospital, follow the building round and you will find yourself in a peaceful, secluded garden sheltered by a hedge. When we get a sunny day it is a lovely place to sit and reflect. Two years ago we added a small garden of remembrance for our babies - known as the Butterfly Garden. Thanks to a generous bequest from former Chaplaincy volunteer Valerie Pearton we have been able to create a garden of healing and wholeness situated along the side of the Chapel. This was dedicated with a special service on 24th July followed by a traditional cream tea on the lawn.  

Read more

Free summer holiday sports activities

Game Changer has lots of FREE sports activities on offer in Croydon over the summer holidays from Basketball and Boxing to Dance and Football. Check out our website for more details or follow us on twitter @My_GameChanger

For the first time we are also offering canoeing sessions at South Norwood Lake with CYSA.  You must book before your first session as you need to bring a consent form and you need to be able to swim 50m unaided. Contact George at

Launch of the Croydon Health and Employment Partnership

The Volunteer Centre office in Centrale Shopping Centre will host the launch of the Croydon Health and Employment Partnership on Tuesday 26th July from 4-5.30pm. This programme is led by the CVA in partnership with 8 local community organisations funded by European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

Come along and find out more about the programme, which will provide specialist, local, one to one support to get unemployed and economically inactive people back into work. To book a free place email

Table Tennis England invites applications to hold table tennis sessions

As part of their Loop in the Community pilots Table Tennis England is inviting applications.  They are specifically looking for table tennis sessions that reach;
·         Women and girls
·         Disabled people
·         People with long term health conditions
·         Ethnic minority groups
·         Those from lower-socio economic groups
·         Older people
·         People currently inactive

Closing date for applications 29th July 2016


If you have any events you would like to advertise in the Faiths Together in Croydon please send them to  The next newsletter will be in October.

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