Women First

A group of women from Smethwick of all faiths and none have been working together to plan the Women First project.  Often a lot of formal Interfaith work is attended predominately by men. The Women First Planning group wanted to run a project that would bring women of all faiths together, especially women who wouldn’t usually attend an Interfaith Meeting.  With the support of our partners, Black Country Near Neighbours, a planning group of local women came together. The group decided to run a craft and coffee morning to give local women the chance to get to know each other over informal activities.

The event was well attended with women from Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Christian and no faith background taking part. Especially popular was the “Craftivisim” activity which involved embossing cardboard garlands with the paperclip symbol.

Following the success of the day an application has been made to Near Neighbours to run regular Women First craft days and a celebration for International Women’s Day.

“No matter who we are, where we come from, what our beliefs, how we dress, we are women first”

Story from Black Country NN Coordinator - Ruth Burgess


Rev David Primrose, Diocesan Director for Transforming Communities has co-ordinating responsibility for this area in the diocese

07975 644044


InterFaith Enabler for the Wolverhampton Episcopal Area and Advisor to the Bishops of Lichfield & Wolverhampton

‘My focus is on developing Christian discipleship in a multi faith world and encouraging new forms of inter faith engagement particularly amongst children and young people. We are all called to be involved in our the multifaith reality of our contemporary world. My role is not to be ‘the specialist’ but rather as my title suggests encouraging all Christians to engage positively and with theological integrity our consciously multi faith world.’

Rev Ray Gaston

01902 652633 

07751 155124

InterFaith Advisor to the Bishop of Stafford

Fr Allan Townsend

01782 416333

InterFaith Advisor to the Bishop of Shrewsbury

Revd Andy Smith

Black Country Near Neighbours

The idea is to bring people together who are near neighbours in communities that are diverse, so they can get to know each other better, build relationships as people and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.

Near Neighbours has two key objectives:

Social interaction – to develop positive relationships in multi-faith areas ie to help people from different faiths get to know and understand each other better.

Social action – to encourage people of different faiths, or no faith, to come together for initiatives that improve their local neighbourhood

Ruth Burgess (ruth.burgess@tctogether.org.uk)