The SOAR project is the ‘Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities programme’. We, Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI) are the lead partner, and we are working alongside our project partners who are based across Europe, Finn Church Aid & Architects Council of Europe. The project is being funded and supported by the European Commission.

The SOAR Project through EFI, organised a two-day leadership retreat in France for selected faith leaders, institution management and volunteers in France, Belgium and Holland involved in religious institutions who have been engaged already in the SOAR programme. The two-day leadership retreat is an important opportunity to gather key leadership from different faith groups in France to receive specialist leadership training, detailed support and have dialogue engagement as a leadership group to help shape a plan of action and support for at-risk communities across France.

The goals of the retreat were to:

  • Share & identify the most critical priorities for faith communities linked to security.
  • Help understand the steps required in planning for protection.
  • Help to build a European network of leaders interested in the protection of places of worship.
  • Understand the urban security agenda from a faith community perspective within an EU context.

The retreat was an interactive process that engages all leadership members present. The programme included senior planning, roll planning and strategic thinking.

The retreat was composed of four group table exercises: Assessing the Risk, Managing the Incident, Responding to the Incident, and Communications.

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