About Us

Who are we?

The Interfaith Forum (formerly the Interfaith Council) was launched in December 1999 and since then has worked continuously to build stronger links between faith communities and to promote community cohesion and social inclusion within Blackburn with Darwen.

Since it inception, Interfaith Forum has become a trusted forum for exchange between the different faiths in the Borough.

The BwD Interfaith Forum

The Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum is a registered charity with the following ‘Objects’

-To advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Blackburn with Darwen.

The Interfaith Forum looks to celebrate the different and distinctive features of each Faith, promotes working together on common ground and good relations between people of different faiths and no faith

The present Member Faiths include-

  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Sikhism
  • Buddhism
  • Judaism
  • Other historic world faiths can also request to join
  • eg – Zoroastrian, Jain and Bahai

Each Faith’s umbrella organisation can appoint up to 4 representatives to the Advisory Committee.

Charity Trustees, from each member faith, are appointed to the Board of Trustees from those serving on the Advisory Committee.

Support for the work of the Interfaith Forum is provide by  Blackburn with Darwen Community and Voluntary Service (CVS).

  • Blackburn with Darwen has a diverse Faith Community which comprises of 63.0%  Christians, 20.0%  Muslims, 0.3% Hindus  0.1%  Sikhs, 0.1% Buddhists  and < 0.1%.Jews
  • 25% of the population is under 16 years of age.
  • The Interfaith Forum’s activities and service provision includes:
  • Participating in Civic occasions
  • Arranging events to ‘meet your neighbour’ and ‘Get to know your Neighbour’s Faith.’
  • Partnership working with the College, Schools and Council
  • Youth project work
  • Facilitating Faith Leader Forum’s
  • Arranging Faith related Conferences
  • Providing Consultancy and Advisory Service
  • Faith Centre facilitation
  • Advice and Assistance on Faith related matters
  • Good practice guide
  • Access to local, regional and national faith resources
  • Help with conflict resolution


  • Mohammed Tayyab Sidat (Chair) – Muslim rep
  • Derek Estill* (Secretary) – Christian rep
  • Sadiq PatelTreasurer
  • Ashok Chudasama* – Hindu rep
  • Madhubala Pandya* – Hindu rep
  • Bharat Parma – Hindu Rep
  • Abdul Kheratker* – Muslim rep
  • Zakaraya Anwar – Muslim Rep
  • Ismail SatiaSatia – Muslim rep
  • Renee Black* – Jewish rep
  •  Amrit Kaur – Sikh rep
  • Joginder Singh Bhamra* – Sikh rep
  • Baldip Hungin – Sikh rep
  • The Revd John Howard- Norman – Christian rep
  • The Revd Arun John – Christian rep
  • The Revd Ian Stockton – Christian rep
  • Richard Foster* – Buddhist rep
  • Aftab Alexander Mughal – Web Master

* Charity Trustee

Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum is a Charity with the following Aims and Objectives

  • To advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in the borough of Blackburn with Darwen; including an awareness both of their distinctive features and their common ground and to promote good relations between persons of different faiths.
  • In furtherance of the said purpose but not otherwise, to promote and organise co-operation in the achievement of the same and to that end to bring together representatives of the voluntary organisations and statutory authorities in the said area of benefit.