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Faith & Belief 2040: Fostering Social Cohesion

We will be contacting participants of this event shortly, with an update about this event.

Join us at Cumberland Lodge in the heart of Windsor Great Park, on 23 and 24 April 2020, for our cross-sector, roundtable-style conference on ‘Faith & Belief 2040: Fostering Social Cohesion’.

The way people identify with faith and belief is changing: we are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in this regard for centuries, perhaps even millennia.

This conference focuses on the UK context in particular, where fewer people are identifying as Anglicans, and a growing number of people are identifying as non-denominational Christians. Within non-denominational Christian communities, we are seeing increasing diversity of modes of faith and belief practice.

Meanwhile, there is ever-increasing representation, and a growing assertiveness, of other faiths and beliefs. There is also a significantly increasing proportion of people – particularly in younger generations – who are non-religious and do not identify with a specific religion or belief.

As we embark on a new decade, this conference is a timely opportunity to look ahead to the likely faith and belief landscape of 2040, to help prepare decision-makers and practitioners for the challenges and opportunities that these transformations bring.

Conversations on religion and belief often focus on the present, or on short-term responses, but a 20-year horizon opens up breathing space to reflect on the bigger picture. Given the scale of the changes we are living through, there is a pressing need for a longer-term approach to the potential impacts on social cohesion and our shared future.

Key questions

Mindful of the scale and complexity of the subject, ‘Faith & Belief 2040: Fostering Social Cohesion’ aims not to define detailed solutions, but to provide a cross-sector platform for:

  • Exploring the opportunities and challenges that result from the current trajectory of change in our religion and belief landscape, in terms of social cohesion, state institutions and community life;
  • Considering what short- and medium-term steps could be taken to prepare for historical shifts by promoting shared values and inclusive visions of belonging, and to reflect on possible barriers to taking action;
  • Informing a comprehensive Cumberland Lodge Report that highlights cross-sector insight and presents practical recommendations, to present to policymakers, leaders, influencers, civil society representatives and practitioners, and the general public, later in 2020.

Who is it for and why should I come?

We anticipate that this conference will be of interest to policymakers and civil servants, faith leaders, community practitioners, students and academics. We will be inviting experts and stakeholders from a broad spectrum of faiths, organisations, sectors and backgrounds to participate – including younger people from the generation that will occupy leadership roles by 2040.

Rather than being ‘representatives’ of organisations or specific faith and belief groups, participants will be asked to contribute their unique perspectives as individuals, to help build a holistic analysis of the issues we are tackling.

We warmly welcome all registrations of interest in attending, but please be aware that attendance will be by invitation, to ensure broad and balanced representation, as space is limited.

If you would like to be part of this conference, please follow the 'Make Enquiry' button on this webpage to let us know how and why you would like to contribute, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

This is the third conference in our 2019-20 series, Inclusion & Opportunity.


Participatory sessions will explore the following issues, with opportunities for group discussion and breakout sessions throughout, and time and space for reflection and networking.

Our core roundtable sessions will focus on:

  • Majority and minority communities
  • Faith, belief and identity
  • Faith and social cohesion
  • Moral courage

Conference costs

Attendance at this conference is supported by our charitable funds, to facilitate a diverse spectrum of participation, involving people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives.

This funding includes overnight accommodation at Cumberland Lodge on 23 April, and all meals during your stay.


We are pleased to announce that the speakers for this conference include:

Yasmeen Akhtar - Director, Alexander Haus

Mamataj Begum - Faith & Belief Forum Youth Committee

Jo Broadwood - Director, Belong

Phil Champain - Director, The Faith & Belief Forum

Andrew Copson - Chief Executive, Humanists UK

Lord Alf Dubs - Member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group

Dr Justine Huxley - Director, St. Etheburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal - Senior Lecturer in Sikh Studies, University of Birmingham

Canon Rev Dr Rosemarie Mallet - Vicar, Diocese of Southwark

Chine McDonald - Head of Media & PR, Christian Aid

Dr Maryyum Mehmood - Centre Facilitator, Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham

Bushra Nasir CBE DL - CEO, Drapers’ Multi- Academy Trust

Madeleine Pennington - Head of Research, Theos Thinktank

Aliyah Saleem - Co-founder, Faith to Faithless

Edwin Shuker - Vice President, Board Of Deputies of British Jews

Rev Dr Richard Sudworth - Secretary for Inter-Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury & National Inter-Religious Affairs Adviser for the Church of England

PhD student travel bursaries

We are pleased to be able to offer five bursaries for this conference, to support PhD students working in relevant fields with the costs of travelling to and from Cumberland Lodge, in addition to meals and accommodation.

To apply, please download the application form on this webpage and send it to Emily Gow at egow@cumberlandlodge.ac.uk, by 12pm on Monday 16 March 2020.

Dates and times

From: 23 Apr 2020 - 10:00am
To: 24 Apr 2020 - 3:30pm
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