Keeping the Faith 2.0 Embedding a new normal for partnership working in post-pandemic Britain

Baker, Christopher and Timms, Stephen. 2022. Keeping the Faith 2.0 Embedding a new normal for partnership working in post-pandemic Britain. Project Report. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society, London. [Report]

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Abstract or Description

This report reflects the views and experiences of senior representatives and practitioners of both local authorities and faith groups across England, expressed in 35 in-depth interviews. It is a follow up report to the original Keeping the Faith report, published in November 2020 and covers the 12 months of experience of working in partnership to tackle COVID-19 since the time of that publication.

The key theme emerging from the research is that we are now entering a more reflexive stage of the pandemic as we move from ‘rescue and emergency’ mode to ‘building back better’. In other words, addressing the longer-term implications of partnership working if the ‘new normal’ - identified in the original report as being the useful learning and practices developed in the ‘eye of the storm’ of the first lockdown - is to be preserved and built upon.

These longer-term implications are expressed in areas of policy and technical change, many of which are highlighted in the appendix to this report and include those associated with the ‘hotspots’ of policy partnership that have emerged in this second phase of the pandemic. As well as the ongoing need for emergency food relief and food distribution, faith groups and local authorities have also found themselves collaborating closely in areas of mental health, public health, domestic violence, the care and integration of refugees and migrants, mentoring highly vulnerable families and individuals, being the conduits for other clinical and public health interventions in their recovery, as well as providing emergency childcare services via fostering and adoption services. The growing use of worship and other faith-based centres in the delivery of statutory mental health and public health is likely to be a permanent feature of health and social care provision going forward.

However, the bulk of the content of this report is concerned with highlighting the importance of values as the basis for more effective and sustainable partnership and policy development. The key message around the capability of faith/secular partnerships to build back better is that ‘shared values’ are much more likely to lead to ‘shared outcomes’. Shared values identified as being held in common across both local authorities and faith groups include: compassion, social justice (including an end to discrimination and poverty), friendship, an ethos of service, kindness, empathy, and hope.

Item Type:

Report (Project Report)

Additional Information:

This work was undertaken by the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


7 September 2022

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Sep 2022 10:21

Last Modified:

16 Sep 2022 10:21


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