Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Steering Group - final meeting

With the the project's objectives accomplished, tonight's meeting was to review the conference and consider where and how the findings may now be made use of.

Publicly accessible on the Spiritual Capital website, its existence needs to be made known as widely as possible to the City's information networks. Keith Kimber to follow this up and liaise with Pollenshop over updating.

Report distribution
Two hundred hard copies were printed. Half of these are available for distribution to interested parties. Despite the preliminary work done on promoting the project report, the sole media report was negative and hostile, aiming to marginalise the initiative. Much more personal lobbying is needed from Steering Group members and Churches Together partners, to ensure it is widely read and distributed.

Monica Mills has agreed to approach Cardiff Inter-faith forum with a view to holding a follow up meeting in September on the report and its recommendations, as a first stage towards the possible creation of an arm's length organisation that could bid for funds to employ someone to liaise with the Council on behalf of faith communities. Generating cross-party and inter-faith good will towards the outcome of this project is agreed to be the next best step.

The Research Steering Group dissolves at this point in time.

This blog will remain open, to record eventual progress with outcomes.

Special thanks to are due to Roy Thomas, Paul Ballard, Monica Mills, Chris Daley, Mohammed Jabbar, Keshav Singhal and Gwilym Morris of Pollenshop for all they gave to bring this project to an end - which is only a new beginning.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Finally, the Spiritual Capital Conference

This afternoon at Future Inn, Cardiff Bay, the Spiritual Capital Research Report was launched at a conference attended by seventy people double the number expected - Christians of all persuasions, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were among the participants. The Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Judith Woodman, and Policy Advisor Paul Orders were among the speakers. The conference was chaired by Project Manager Roy Thomas.

With the exception of Professor Ballard, who was launching a book on church and the city centre at a theologians' conference in Bristol, all members of the Steering Group were present. Dr Keshav Singhal took part in the concluding panel discussion, and the Project Director introduced the report.

Details of the afternoon's proceedings will be posted on the revamped website www.spiritualcapital-cardiff.org.uk

The full research report is downloadable from this site, whcih also publishes a complete database of Cardiff Borough's religious communities, a key outcome of the research.

The Report recommendation that a religious communities officer be appointed as part of its Diversity team with the specific remit to keep city government better informed about faith communities and enable greater participation from them in shaping the vision of the City's future, is something which the conference agreed is worth further investigation by all sides.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Yet another change of venue

Conference organisers were today informed that a strike on 16th July would make it impossible to use County Hall as a meeting place.

Thankfully, the Future Inn hotel in the vicinity of Atlantic Wharf is able to provide us with conference facilities, so this alternative venue has been booked.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Conference venue changed

The date, 16th July, 1.30 - 5.00pm remains unchanged, but the offer of using Committee Room 3 in County Hall has been accepted instead.

This should make it easier for LGOs and members invited to attend in the midst of their busy schedules.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Conference date re-set

The date for the launch conference has now had to be re-set in order to accommodate key Council speakers, and secure a venue. A range of desirable places were found to be taken up with public examinations or enquiries.

Finally City United Reformed Church has agreed to welcome the conference between 1.30 and 5.00 pm on Wednesday 16th July.

Now the business of publicising the event and be pursued with vigour.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Database compilation completed

Work on compiling and checking the faith-groups database for the Borough of Cardiff is now complete. This represents 195 religious community groups and 17 administrative organisations, which have been identified due to information about them published on the Web.

The number of websites relating to religious communities in Cardiff Borough seems to have increased in the year during which the research has taken place. This may be partly due to the availability of new on-line publishing tools, but also due to improved placement of existing sites, making some sites more readily findable. It is noticeable that some commercially sponsored specialised information providing websites do not provide up to date information. This can lead to misleading searches and requires additional error checking.

Independent error checking of the information gathered into the Spiritual Capital database will be essential before its web publication next month.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Report ready to go

Following corrections, the full report is now ready for printing and private circulation, before public launch. It's proving difficult to acquire a suitable venue for the conference and document launch on our preferred dates - 4th or 5th June.