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  • Writer's pictureSAYiT

Faith, Sexualities and Gender Think Tank

Sheffield Town Hall

Monday May 13th

This event was organised by SAYiT alongside Faithstar, Equality Hub Network Sheffield and Sheffield City Council. The aims of the event were to:

  • Improve understanding between faith and LGBT+ communities.

  • Value difference and diversity.

  • Explore the Government’s RSE guidance and equalities legislation.

  • Agree on an aspirational statement on human rights, respect and inclusion.

The think tank included:

Faith Perspectives Panel

We heard the experiences, perspectives and thoughts from the following speakers-

1. Michael Heap, Humanist Society and Religion/Belief/No Belief Equality Hub 2. Bishop Tim, Anglican Diocese of Sheffield 3. Huw Thomas, Curate, Church of England, and Diocesan Director of Education 4. Frada Wilenski, United Synagogue Sheffield 5. Lynn Rishworth, Pagan Pathways

This was followed by a G&A session fielded by the panelists.

National RSE Guidance, the Equality Act and Sheffield’s approach – Carol Fordham and Bashir Khan, Sheffield City Council

Learn Sheffield and Safeguarding, Sue Finnigan, E-Learning Consultant, Sheffield City Council

Building bridges: Faith and LGBT+, Sarah Hagger Holt, Stonewall

At the close of the event attendees were then asked to sign an aspirational statement. Please see below:

Aspirational Statement

Sheffield LGBT+ and Faith communities stand together today in recognition of our shared compassion for one another; in solidarity as oppressed and marginalised communities and united in acceptance of the differences between and within those communities.

We commit to respecting the views and wishes of our diverse communities in a way which does no harm to the other. On the subject of RSE the message from faith communities and the LGBT+ communities of Sheffield is that we stand together with compassion; teaching our children respect and acceptance of difference without infringing on the human rights of communities to either their religious beliefs or to living their lives freely and openly as LGBT+ people.

We will commit to working with parents, schools, and communities in a sensitive, reflective and thoughtful manner.

We will ensure that we always listen and respond in a way which is underpinned by our compassion for each other and in a spirit of acceptance and understanding that enables us to flourish and grow together.

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