The work of GRASSROOTS is incredibly varied and involves new projects and events on a frequent basis, but in general this work fits between one of four main categories:
Community Cohesion & Inter Faith Relations
Working with different faith communities and LCOF (Luton Council of Faiths), while continuing to support people from both within and outside the Church, we at GRASSROOTS have come to realise that engagement with other faiths and cultures is no longer a choice. In the given context of Luton, where migration from across and within continents seems never ending, we meet strangers every day. In an ever increasingly busy world, it is time for ‘breaking and sharing the word in action’ with all of God’s peoples, amongst all of God’s peoples. Our call to mission is to share our ‘God of Love and the Love of God’.
GRASSROOTS gave birth to Luton Council of Faiths (LCOF) and continue to mentor it, often organising events and activities in partnership, such as:
- Annual Peace Walks (previously known as Luton Faith Walk)
- Peace Rallies, Vigils and other related events, in preparation of and response to community cohesion issues and heightened tensions that arise due to various local, national and international events
- Cultural Celebrations such as One World Week
- Luton Archery Project
- Faith Woodlands Project [link to website] and local legacy projects in Dallow Downs
- Educational events, such as Youth Conferences on relevant and contemporary themes Inter-cultural and inter-faith exchange visits and events
- Learning opportunities to enhance mutual appreciation and befriending
Spirituality of Justice
We encourage dialogue between people of different cultures and faiths in order to foster a vision of human solidarity, development and the integrity of creation – a movement from dialogue to action for peace and justice.
The overall aim of the project is to develop the experiences of Justice Spirituality by building compassion and solidarity with and among people of different faith traditions in Luton and its neighbourhood. In this, conversations with all are necessary, along with the need to support each other in the public acknowledgement of Faith festivals and to show genuine concern for the common good locally and globally.
The ongoing work of the Spirituality of Justice Project has been leading inter faith and ecumenical work into issues of Fair Trade and Trade Justice, and GRASSROOTS is now leading the recently successful Multi Faith Steering Group for ‘Making Luton a Fair Trade Town’ Campaign.
Working with Women across Faiths & Cultures In partnership with Ghar se Ghar (Hindi/Urdu words meaning Home to Home)
This project is about developing recreational, educational and health activities for women, primarily from different faiths and cultural backgrounds, to address their needs, concerns and aspirations. These are often from sections of the community that are otherwise considered as “hard to reach”.
This is largely achieved through supporting the women’s network of ‘Ghar se Ghar’, and through the running of various events such as Health Fayres, and encouraging participation in various other events, Annual Conferences & Faith Walks organised by the partnership of GRASSROOTS and Luton Council of Faiths.
Church Related Community Work (In partnership with Bury Park Beech Hill Council of Churches
GRASSROOTS supports community work in the Beech Hill Bury Park area of Luton through its involvement in a Church Related Community Work project with the Council of Churches in that area.
The Church Related Community (Development) Worker (CRCW) is a Ministry of the United Reformed Church. Generally speaking, the CRCW ministry is about ‘faith in action’, enabling the local church to engage with its community. CRCWs are often described as having one foot in the church, and one in the community.
This ministry is exploring how people can develop their shared working as a council of churches, as well as challenging people as to what it means to be a Christian presence in this specific place. Together church members will use the many gifts with which they have been blessed to uncover new ways of working with each other, and with the community in which God has placed them.