Southend Faith and Belief Festival

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Southend Museums and Southend's Faith and Belief Network are organising a Festival to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Borough. Co-produced in collaboration with a diverse range of Faith and Belief communities, this festival welcomes those who want to showcase their faith or belief and encourages us all as a community to get to know each other a little bit better.

The last year has been a particularly challenging one for our community. This virtual festival will explore the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presented to our faith and belief communities and how they have overcome them. This will be a great opportunity to showcase how practices have been adapted and what has been done to help each other and their local communities.

This first virtual Faith and Belief Festival is being produced by our communities, this will be an ongoing project built initially in three parts;

  • Introductions, stories and experiences

Please tell us about yourself, what faith or belief you are a part of and what matters to you. Share your stories and experiences of how you practiced your faith during lockdown. How did you celebrate any events of significance?

As part of your story telling we would also like to explore the objects that helped our faith communities to express their faiths at home during multiple national lockdowns. We welcome you to share photographs of objects of importance and anything significant to your faith or belief.

  • Virtual Exhibition

Visit the online exhibition that will take place online from May 17th . The exhibition will showcase pre-recorded videos presented by local faith and belief leaders about their role , the faith they represent and their community work during the pandemic.

This community led exhibition will be accompanied by images of faith related objects from the Museum collection. In partnership with Southend's Museums and Galleries we explore new ways of building an archive that doesn’t currently reflect the variety of faiths in the borough. We hope that, noting the lack of some poignant objects (particularly domestic objects), we can ignite a positive discussion about how we can change that.

  • Festival Flyer / Southend Faith and Belief Network Logo Competition

We also want to invite the young people of Southend to help us design our new Faith and Belief Network logo and Festival flyers used to promote the event and to represent the diversity of our local faith and belief communities in Southend.

This is site will be developed over the coming weeks. Look out for updates and links

To read about how the Council handles your data please visit our Privacy notice: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Privacy Notice(External link)(External link).

Southend Museums and Southend's Faith and Belief Network are organising a Festival to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Borough. Co-produced in collaboration with a diverse range of Faith and Belief communities, this festival welcomes those who want to showcase their faith or belief and encourages us all as a community to get to know each other a little bit better.

The last year has been a particularly challenging one for our community. This virtual festival will explore the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presented to our faith and belief communities and how they have overcome them. This will be a great opportunity to showcase how practices have been adapted and what has been done to help each other and their local communities.

This first virtual Faith and Belief Festival is being produced by our communities, this will be an ongoing project built initially in three parts;

  • Introductions, stories and experiences

Please tell us about yourself, what faith or belief you are a part of and what matters to you. Share your stories and experiences of how you practiced your faith during lockdown. How did you celebrate any events of significance?

As part of your story telling we would also like to explore the objects that helped our faith communities to express their faiths at home during multiple national lockdowns. We welcome you to share photographs of objects of importance and anything significant to your faith or belief.

  • Virtual Exhibition

Visit the online exhibition that will take place online from May 17th . The exhibition will showcase pre-recorded videos presented by local faith and belief leaders about their role , the faith they represent and their community work during the pandemic.

This community led exhibition will be accompanied by images of faith related objects from the Museum collection. In partnership with Southend's Museums and Galleries we explore new ways of building an archive that doesn’t currently reflect the variety of faiths in the borough. We hope that, noting the lack of some poignant objects (particularly domestic objects), we can ignite a positive discussion about how we can change that.

  • Festival Flyer / Southend Faith and Belief Network Logo Competition

We also want to invite the young people of Southend to help us design our new Faith and Belief Network logo and Festival flyers used to promote the event and to represent the diversity of our local faith and belief communities in Southend.

This is site will be developed over the coming weeks. Look out for updates and links

To read about how the Council handles your data please visit our Privacy notice: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Privacy Notice(External link)(External link).

How have you practiced your faith or belief during lockdown?

Please tell us how you (and/or your faith/belief community) have adapted practicing your faith/belief during lockdown, what has meant the most and how have you overcome the obstacles faced by this new way of living.

Please share your stories and thoughts and, if you wish, please attach a picture of an object which aided you through this time. The object can be anything that helped you through the pandemic and/or helped you to connect with your faith/belief (examples are a candle, or a laptop with a Zoom service/meeting, etc.) These pictures will be saved in the Southend Museum Archives.

- If you would like to attach a picture you can see a bar above the text box with two lines; you need to click on the picture icon which is the third picture in the second line.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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    Southend Orthodox Jewish Community

    about 1 year ago

    Passover night also called Seder night

    A selection of pictures of different tables some are larger as they have bigger families.


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    Jackie's thought

    by John S, about 1 year ago

    I attend Westcliff Free Church. In April 2020 we were in the early days of our first national lockdown due to COVID 19 and there was a great feeling of uncertainty.

    But parts of two Bible verses, “I the LORD do not change …” (Malachi 3 v 6) and “But God, who is rich in mercy …” (Ephesians 2 v 4) brought comfort and reassurance to me and to others.

    They helped us understand that while we were (and still are) uncertain about what we should do, we can be certain about God. There is change all around us, but... Continue reading

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    Hoping we can return to normal celebrations soon

    about 1 year ago

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    We can sing outside at Eastwood Evangelical Church

    by SimonWerrett, about 1 year ago

    Zoom has been great for us since March 2020 when we had to close our building and move online. We initially were meeting every day at 10.30 for different activities, which when you could not go out was a great opportunity to talk to people. From July 2020 as restrictions eased we met 3 or 4 times a week.

    We had planed an outside carol service, but this was cancelled due to the new lockdown. The great thing about Zoom is people can join it via a phone (although they cannot see anyone) and this has provided an opportunity for... Continue reading

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    Prayer and virtual coffee mornings reduce isolation and help me cope during the Pandemic!

    by Revd Paul Mackay, over 1 year ago

    The following is a quote from a member of our congregation at St Marys Prittlewell.

    "I have been very grateful for the support from the clergy and other members of our church community through zoom meetings, made available during the pandemic, for daily prayer meetings, 2 weekly coffee mornings and the link to church services. All of these have reduced the feeling of isolation.

    The combined commitment and belief in the power of prayer at the prayer meetings has given me strength and comfort during the death and illness of some of my friends and family. It has helped me... Continue reading

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    15 months like no other

    by Revd Paul Mackay, over 1 year ago

    Like many faith communities we had never heard of 'Zoom' before March 2020 - since then there has rarely been a day that we haven't as a church family not met for one reason or another using Zoom or Microsoft Teams. As part of the clergy team here, I guess the hardest time was when we were on 'our own' in church and shared services via Zoom or recorded them and then shared them via YouTube and Vimeo.


    Of course we were never truly on our own - God was and is always with us and guiding us. It was... Continue reading

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    Southend Faith and Belief Network

    over 1 year ago

    As part of the Engagement and Participation Team here at the Council, when the pandemic started to reach more locally we knew that we had to engage with as many people as we could in a short space of time. Our Faith and Belief communities have been an invaluable source of support to the residents of Southend throughout the pandemic from sharing messages to congregations, assisting with covid testing and vaccinations, supporting vulnerable families in need and generally ensuring that people have felt less isolated and valued.

    Southend’s Faith and Belief Network Leaders have been meeting fortnightly to discuss issues... Continue reading

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    Avenue Baptist Church moves online !

    by J Kilpin, over 1 year ago
    As a result of our building closing throughout much of 2020 we found that streaming our Sunday services online became a major vehicle for maintaining connections within our congregation. These services were initially pre-recorded, and scheduled to stream each Sunday morning.. then gradually we became more confidant to stream them live from an empty sanctuary each week into people's homes. We now currently can open our doors to the public on a Sunday morning for our Worship service, but simultaneously broadcast/stream our services live for those who are housebound or prefer to watch from home.


    Along with this, we also... Continue reading

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    The return of Memory Worship to Wesley & Thorpe Bay Methodist Churches

    by PeekJules, over 1 year ago


    Back in 2016 Rev Julia Monaghan our minister at Wesley Methodist Church in Leigh on Sea and I set up a monthly church service for people living with dementia; we called it Memory Worship. Pre COVID 19 the afternoon would take a regular pattern of welcome; singing well known hymns, reading familiar passages of scripture, and saying the Lord's Prayer together the formal part of the service would last 30 minutes before leading into a craft activity and hospitality, providing an opportunity for conversation to reinforce the theme of the service. Our dedicated team of volunteers were always on hand... Continue reading

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    Westcliff Free Church and COVID-19

    by John S, over 1 year ago

    Westcliff Free Church is a small independent church situated on the London Road near Westcliff Library.

    Along with all other churches, we closed in March 2020 and, to begin with, distributed our services (as WORD documents) by e-mail, post and by hand through letter boxes to all our members encouraging them to worship at home. We also put the services on our website (www.westcliff-free-church.org) in the hope that some from outside the church would be able to join us in that way - we think that a few have done so.

    We continued to produce and circulate our weekly Prayer... Continue reading

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Page last updated: 01 Aug 2022, 01:08 PM