A GROUP dedicated to promoting a variety of faith and cultures in Hampshire is facing a funding crisis.

This afternoon, hundreds of people from across Southampton will be attending an annual open meeting of the Southampton Council of Faiths at Medina Mosque in Compton Walk, celebrating the charity’s work over the past year.

But David Vane, secretary of the council said the charity, which helps to foster multiculturalism in the 47 different languages spoken in the city, is facing a funding crisis.

He said: “We need to raise some money at the moment. Our funding is about to run out any month. We have got a few things that we are looking at.”

Among the work the Council of Faiths provide is helping the emergency services draw up plans of how to deal with a crisis at a religious building such as a mosque or a temple.

David added: “All the services deal with death. Each faith has a different way of dealing with that. When they go on to a crime scene or a disaster scene they have an idea of what they can or can’t say or do or can’t do.

“We have held conferences where we have helped the nurses and doctors to understand the different faiths and their ways of treating people.

“We hold meetings every other month but I do think it makes a difference. Southampton is a much more tolerant place because of the work that we do.”

The council will also be discussing its forthcoming Peace Walk on June 22, where worshippers will have the chance to walk through the city finding out more about the different communities in Southampton.

David said: “We take people around all the different venues. Some people have never been inside a gurdwara or mosque so it’s a chance for them to see what it’s like.

“We are always welcome into the different places of worship.

“It’s a way of integrating the community. We had 200 people turn up last year.”

The open meeting of the Southampton Council of Faiths is being held at Medina Mosque at 2.30pm.