I spent this afternoon at the Northamptonshire Police HQ in a training session "Major Emergencies: Needs of the Faith Communities". As a result I will be signing up as a Multi Faith Volunteer to be available in the event of a major emergency (Fire, Flood, Terrorist attack, …).
Next training is scheduled for May, meanwhile some reading to do and forms to complete.
I have been thinking about some of the data. I am based in an area with the lowest BME (Black Minority Ethnic) concentration in the county (East Northants 1.7%, whole county average approx 10% !). I suspect that this might have the opposite effect to what you might expect. Given the numbers, volunteers of other faiths are likely to have to travel some distance to reach this area. I wonder therefore if it is actually more likely that I would need to support people of other faiths caught up in an emergency (as many possible emergencies would affect people from outside this area).
That does not worry me, indeed one of the benefits of being part of this group will be the chance to be part of a multi-faith team which is currently impossible in East Northants (lack of other faith representatives).
This is one of those interesting newish developments for Methodist Ministers. In the past this was handled for all faiths by the Church of England which is highly unsatisfactory for all. Although the time required is not very great (in the normal run of things) it is a role in the community that many Methodist congregations will be unfamiliar with.
The rest of the day was far more traditional (paperwork, leading worship in a residential home, chairing a Church Council).