Woking's people of faith gather to tackle local issues February 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.

Leaders of different faiths meet at Shah Jahan

Woking's People of faith gather at the Shah Jahan Mosque to explore ways in which faith communities together can serve the wider community for the good of all in the borough.


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