– LOCAL ORGANISATIONS ARE COMING TOGETHER AT ST MARY’S CHURCH IN WALTHAMSTOW THIS TUESDAY TO HOST A COMMUNITY ASSEMBLY –
– THE ASSEMBLY PLANS TO ENACT A 500-PERSON LISTENING CAMPAIGN IN AN EFFORT TO BRING NEW LIFE TO WALTHAM FOREST’S CITIZENS UK CHAPTER –
– CITIZENS UK IS A DIVERSE, NON-PARTISAN ALLIANCE OF CIVIC ORGANISATIONS WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE ‘COMMON GOOD’; PREVIOUS LONDON-BASED CAMPAIGNS HAVE INCLUDED THE LONDON LIVING WAGE CAMPAIGN-
St Mary’s Church in Walthamstow, which is opposite the Ancient House at the top of Walthamstow Village, will host a community assembly this Tuesday, 24 January from 7 to 8.30 pm in an effort to ‘re-launch’ the Waltham Forest chapter of Citizens UK.
Citizens UK, which has chapters around the country, is a diverse, non-partisan alliance of civic organisations acting on issues which local people are concerned about. In the past, these issues have included things such as affordable housing, safer streets, implementation of a living wage, and resettlement of child refugees.
Waltham Forest is changing: money and opportunities are flowing in, and though Citizens UK has had a presence here for years, a new group of faith and education leaders want to explore how they can grow the alliance to ensure that these changes will benefit the people of Waltham Forest. The assembly on 24 January will give people an opportunity to shape the future of Waltham Forest Citizens and also to announce the intention to conduct a 500-person listening campaign.
“Our hope is this assembly will lead to us having over 500 one-to-one conversations with people around Waltham Forest in 2017 – conversations which will focus on what local people are interested in and what they are concerned about. This is where real change begins and how communities become organised,” said Iftakhar Latif, Director of Social Welfare at Walthamstow’s Faizan-e-Islam Mosque.
Rev Vanessa Conant, Rector of St Mary’s Church and the Parish of Walthamstow, said, “The work of Citizens UK is so important; I believe it leads to improved community cohesion, more opportunities for local people, and fairer, safer, healthier communities. If our neighbours aren’t doing well, then we aren’t doing well, either. And the fact is that too many of our neighbours aren’t doing well. But we can do something about that.”
Citizens UK brings together churches, mosques, synagogues, colleges, schools and universities to work together for the ‘common good’. At the 24 January assembly, several other organisations, in addition to St Mary’s Church and the Parish of Walthamstow, will also be represented, including Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College, St Mary’s Primary School, Cornerstone Church Leyton, Chingford Parish Church, Leyton Sixth Form College, Faizan-e-Islam Mosque and St Barnabas Church. Local leaders such as Kaneez Shaid, Chair of Citizens UK and Director of Marketing and External Relations at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College, and Rt Rev Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking, will have a role in the assembly at St Mary’s this Tuesday.
The hope is that many other organisations in Waltham Forest will join Waltham Forest Citizens during 2017 in order to strengthen the alliance and to give people a more powerful voice in the lead-up to local elections in May 2018. Those unaffiliated with an organisation are also warmly invited to attend the assembly to learn more about Waltham Forest Citizens and to contribute their ideas. For those interested in attending, they are invited to register their interest here.
For more information on the 24 January assembly at St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow, please contact Daniel Mackintosh at . For more information on Citizens UK, visit www.citizensuk.org or follow Waltham Forest Citizens on Twitter at @WFCitizens. For more information on St Mary’s Church and the Parish of Walthamstow, visit www.walthamstowchurch.org.uk or follow St Mary’s on Twitter at @StMarysE17 or on Facebook at facebook.com/StMarysE17.