Three Faiths Forum

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The Three Faiths Forum (3FF) is one of the UK’s leading interfaith organisations.[1] It has worked to build good relations between people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures for nearly twenty years.

3FF creates safe spaces in schools, universities, places of work and worship and the wider community where people can engage with questions of belief and identity and meet people different from themselves. 3FF’s work involves people of all beliefs – religious and non-religious. Its programmes change perceptions, behaviours and attitudes in individuals and organisations in a more positive direction.[2]


3FF was founded in London in 1997 by Sir Sigmund Sternberg, Revd. Dr Marcus Braybrooke and Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi.

Initially, 3FF focused on engaging religious, communal, and civic leaders through seminars and events. However, in 2006, its first grass-roots programmes that now account for more than 85% of activity were launched.[3]

Phil Champain has been Director since 2015.

Programmes for young people are one of the key focus of the organisation. In 2006, the Forum launched its schools programmes, and in 2007, it launched the ParliaMentors leadership programme for university students. In 2008, the Forum launched a branch in the Middle East. In 2009 and 2010, the Arts and culture team began to create programmes that build bridges between communities through the arts.[4]

Initially an organisation focused on relations within and between the Abrahamic faiths, 3FF has since evolved to work with all faiths, as well as those who do not subscribe to a faith.[5]



3FF is a leading provider of schools programmes that explore faith and belief as they are actually lived by people today.[6] The school programmes help young people to explore questions of identity sensitively and effectively.[7]

3FF’s educational programmes have been commented globally and received many awards: the Shap award for schools in 2014,[8] the UN Alliance of Civilisations award for Intercultural Innovation for ParliaMentors in 2010,[9] and for Tools 4 Trialogue in 2009.[10] Moreover, the 3FF model is being used in the United States and Sweden.[11]

3FF schools programmes include:

Encountering Faiths and Beliefs: 3FF's flagship workshop brings real-life experiences of faith, belief and identity into the classroom via a panel of trained speakers and an expert facilitator.[12]

Skills Workshops: Using tools also deployed in 3FF’s training for professionals, students learn techniques for exploring the complexities of their own identity and that of others.[13]

School Linking: Provides opportunities for young people from different backgrounds to meet and work together on a variety of activities throughout the year.[14]

Teacher training: 3FF offers training for teachers, head teachers and senior leaders in faith awareness and in dealing with sensitive or controversial issues.[15]


The ParliaMentors leadership programme, launched in 2007, equips the next generation of leaders with the skills, experiences and networks they need to advance their careers. In a yearlong programme, university students of different faiths and non-religious beliefs are mentored by parliamentarians, who assist them in developing social action projects with support from leading NGOs.[16] Once participants graduate from the ParliaMentors programme, they join the Alumni Network of over three hundred, many of whom are working in the political field.[17]


3FF offers context-specific training programmes aimed at developing intercultural skills of professionals.[18] 3FF has delivered trainings in almost 15 cities across the world, including Berlin, Stockholm, Jerusalem, New York City and Rangoon.[19]

Arts and Culture

3FF’s arts and culture events create opportunities for people to connect with others through music, performances and the visual arts. The Urban Dialogues exhibitions and events draw in diverse audiences who may not otherwise meet, creating spaces that stimulate conversation. Artists from a broad range of disciplines are involved to create work and events that explore concepts of belief, faith and cultural identity in contemporary society.

The Arts and culture programmes include:

Urban Dialogues exhibitions: Urban Dialogues organises an annual exhibition displaying art that engages with concepts of belief, faith, and cultural identity, and brings people from different backgrounds together for performances and discussions in the gallery space.[20]

Female Voices: a series of events that brings women from diverse backgrounds together for discussions, music, performances, and food, recognising the unsung role of women as bridge-builders between communities.[21]

The Mixed-Up Chorus: 3FF’s intercultural choir unites people through their love of music.[22] The idea behind the choir is that if people from different backgrounds sing next to each other, they might live well next to each other.[23]

King’s Artist Salons: Launched in September 2014, the King’s Artist Salons brings together artists, academics and campaigners to create new collaborative artistic work around the theme of conflict and belief in the UK, in collaboration with King’s Cultural Institute.[24]

International Partnerships

3FF has developed strong partnerships with organisations in different countries, working with them to adapt its methodologies and tools to suit other contexts.[25]

In the United States, ICF, the Intercultural Forum in New York, and 3FF have worked together to bring workshops into US public, private and faith-based high schools.[26]

3FF Middle East The Israel branch of 3FF works in the humanities and healthcare to improve the intercultural relations between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Israel.[27] The core of the project provides trainings to enhance the intercultural communication between the medical professionals, their patients and fellow staff members.[28]

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2014 Camden’s Mayor Charity of the year[29]
  • 2014 Doha International Interfaith Award[30]
  • 2014 The Shap Award for schools[31]
  • 2010 UN Award for Intercultural Innovation: ParliaMentors[32]
  • 2009 UN Award for Intercultural Innovation: Tools 4 Trialogue (Schools)[33]
  • 2009 Institute for Community Cohesion Official Commendation: Tools 4 Trialogue (Schools)[34]


  1. Journal of Scriptural Reasoning Forum
  2. The Interfaith Observer
  5. The Interfaith Observer
  6. J. Watson (2011) Discussion in religious education: developing dialogic for community cohesion and/or spiritual development, International Journal of Children's Spirituality, vol. 16, no. 2
  7. J. Abrahams, The Three Faiths Forum – helping children understand, The Guardian, 13/06/2012
  8. The Shap working party on World Religions in Education
  9. British Council (2011) Belief in Dialogue. Undergraduate ParliaMentors
  10. United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
  11. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of European Affairs (2007), Did you Know? Public Diplomacy at Home and in Europe
  12. J. Bonnell, P. Copestake, D. Kerr, R. Passy, C. Reed, R. Salter, S. Sarwar, S. Sheikh, (2011) Teaching approaches that help to build resilience to extremism among young people
  13. The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations
  14. Schools Linking Network (SLN)
  15. J. Bonnerjee, A. Blunt, C. McIlwaine and C. Pereira (2011) Connected communities: diaspora and transnationality
  16. United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
  18. Near Neighbours
  20. East End Review
  22. The Kentishtowner
  23. BT Davies, A choir has no duff notes when it sings out interfaith unity, The Times, 1/03/2014
  24. King's College London
  26. Coexist. Intercultural Forum
  27. The Interfaith Observer
  30. Doha International Centre For Interfaith Dialogue
  31. The Shap working party on World Religions in Education
  32. United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
  33. United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
  34. Intercultural Forum

External links