3FF’s Director Phil Champain is taking on the London Landmarks Half Marathon! In this 21 Challenges instalment, Phil reflects on his three years at the organisation, the challenges that face the interfaith sector, and his personal experience of observing 3FF’s work in action.

Phil is a keen runner and a big proponent of interfaith work. Entering the London Landmarks Half Marathon therefore seemed liked a great idea until he realised he needed to start training more regularly! Of course, it has helped him knowing that there is a goal beyond his sheer enjoyment of running.

That goal is anchored in the work that 3FF does and which Phil, as the Director of the organisation, has been able to witness first hand. He has been working at 3FF for three years now, and in this time, he has observed many workshops in schools which has reinforced the importance of 3FF’s work.

It’s been very obvious that these workshops give students a unique opportunity to ask questions about other people’s faiths and beliefs. It also provides them with a space where their curiosity can be addressed in a safe environment. The questions that students ask adults who are invited to talk to them, include “‘I like your headscarf – why do you wear it? and ‘how does your family feel about you not being religious anymore?’”. The conversations that develop from these questions are really important as “they help us become more comfortable with difference. They challenge prejudice and can help prevent discrimination.”

This, of course, is just a fraction of the potential impact that 3FF’s work can achieve. Young people need to be equipped with the tools necessary to be able to ask questions in a sensitive manner. Phil firmly believes that “we need to reach more young people – to give them the opportunity to deepen their understanding of people with different faiths and beliefs and to use this understanding in positive ways”. However, the biggest challenge is raising the necessary funds. Phil is eager to drive this forward by making an individual contribution to raising money for 3FF and “running the London Landmarks Half Marathon is a great way to do it.”

It promises to be an exciting day with a wonderful atmosphere with lots of runners fundraising for good causes. We are all wishing Phil the best of luck!

Please show your support for Phil by donating to his fundraising page.