Gordon has met with local faith leaders for an exchange of ideas and discussion about how they can better reach out to their communities.
He held his faith forum event at Holy Trinity Church in South Shore with Reverend Tracy Charnock. Over 20 attendees from various different faiths participated in the event. They were put into three different groups and each explored and discussed three different issues including the usage of food banks, universal credit and social isolation.
Gordon said: “Faith groups in Blackpool have a longstanding history of working closely with communities across the town. I have recognised this during my years as the MP and have held a number of these events so I can respond to the issues that they raise, and the run to Easter this year was a particular opportune time to do this.
“We heard some very distressing stories about how local individuals and families, who through no fault of their own have found themselves struggling to make ends meet because of Government policies. This event was an important platform to look at practical ways in which faith groups can reach out to those in most need.
“We heard about the very good work being done by students at some local colleges to help elderly people with computers skills and using the internet. There were also calls for greater funding towards local voluntary groups so they could continue providing important services which reflected the needs of people in Blackpool.”
Reverend Tracy Charnock added: “It was a great honour and joy, for us at Holy Trinity, to welcome representatives of many different faith groups from across Blackpool. The conversations flowed as we shared stories of how we live out our faith in serving our communities. It became apparent that our faith groups - in their acts of charity - contribute immensely towards the well-being of so many people here.”
Last year faith representatives across the town signed a partnership with Blackpool Council to commit to working together. The partnership was inspired by Gordon’s last Faith Forum, where guest speaker Stephen Timms MP spoke about the “Covenant for Engagement” - a set of principles that would enable faith communities and local councils to work more effectively together in bettering their communities.
You can read more information about the Blackpool Faith Partnership at http://www.faithandsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/blackpool-faith-partnership-agreement.pdf