United Nations Interfaith Harmony week

 

Woking People of Faith, Surrey Faith Links and the Bishop of Guildford's Christian-Muslim Forum work together on a local event to mark the United Nations Interfaith Harmony week.  

The Shah Jahan Mosque has kindly hosted two events which centered around brief presentations, group discussion and food!  News of the 2012 and 2013 events can be found via links provided and below.

 

The Bishop of Guildford and Imam Hashmi with other local leaders

 

UN interfaith Harmony Week Event 2012

Interfaith group tackles local issues

Surrey Faith Links, Woking People of Faith and the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, came together on February 15 - during United Nations’ Interfaith Harmony Week – to specifically look at more ways of working together as people of faith for the good of the local community.

Interfaith Harmony Week is supported by the United Nations and leading political figures around the world and promotes good work between people of all faiths and celebrates the common principle which is shared between all traditions.

Over 100 people – representing almost all local faith groups and community organisations - were involved in the two-hour event discussing ‘The young, the old and the future’. Central to the work of the overall group were smaller workshops that tackled current local issues, including Youth Unemployment – Woking has one of the highest unemployment rates in Surrey and this often hits the young especially hard. Olympics Support was a popular topic enabling delegates to learn more about getting their communities involved in the run up to the London games during the summer.

Another hot topic was Doing God Together – something New Labour famously didn’t want to do, but the gathered workshop group thought could be a friendly and safe context within which to explore the complexities of our diverse faith communities. Far from being a barrier to open communication, ‘doing God’ was seen as a positive way forward together. And one of the most popular discussion groups centred around Tree Planting – backed by Woking Borough Council and recruiting volunteers from faith groups to establish a tree planting programme around Woking to improve the environment for all.

After a busy morning session, Bishop Christopher briefly addressed the event over a friendly lunch – generously prepared by the Mosque – and was quick to point out that this was the best-attended interfaith event in recent years and the subject matter was encouraging for all involved in providing local solutions to topical issues for faith communities. “We will pray for one another and continue to work together for the benefit of people of all faiths and none,” he said.

 

UN Interfaith Harmony Week Event 2013

To Mark the UN Interfaith Harmony Week 2013, Woking People of Faith, Surrey Faith Links and the Bishop of Guildford's Christian-Muslim Forum gathered people of all faiths to encourage inter-faith cooperation.  The Shah Jahan mosque kindly hosted the event for 50 people who listened to local examples of local cooperation between people of different faiths for the good of the wider community.  Guests were invited to meet with one another and to share good ideas about local engagement.   The meeting also heard a report on the activities of four 'action' groups which emerged from a similar meeting in 2012. 

Comments from those who attended include the following:

'Brilliant, Our group had a real diversity of faiths - Christian, Muslim, Hindu - gut good networking and discussion on how to work together. There was interest in 'Friendship groups' being set up as well as 'Social Action'. 

'Good Atmosphere: great to hear stories of what works.'

'As a new-comer I found it a worthwhile experience, particularly meeting new people.'

'Constructive, pro-active, productive. Well done'.

Woking's people of faith gathered to explore ways in which faith communities together can make a contribution to the local community for the good of all in Woking Borough.

 

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