Woking People Of Faith

Diverse Beliefs United Action

Education Project

 Speaker Service

One of WPoF's core objectives is encouraging interfaith dialogue and discussion.  The more we know about each other, the less we fear the unknown.

And we facilitate this by offering a travelling team of speakers, who are more than happy - individually or by way of a panel - to visit faith institutions to participate in that dialogue and discussion.

We particularly welcome invitations to local churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, gurdwaras and other places of worship.  In this context, please find details of our speakers below.

Alongside this, WPoF have initiated the 'Education Project', which aims to work with Schools (Primary and Secondary), Colleges and any Educational Institutes to enrich students' experience of Religious Studies with direct links to practising people of faiths and beliefs.

Speakers from different faiths and beliefs visit the school/college and deliver a presentation, assembly and/or Q&A style session.  The visit can be tailored to suit the schools time and the format can be discussed beforehand.

We have had very positive feedback from schools and would like to roll this offer out to all schools/colleges in the Woking and surrounding areas.

Please email administrator@wpof.org.uk for further information.

Details of our speakers are:

Kauser Akhtar (Muslim)

Kauser Akhtar is Faith Links Adviser for the Diocese of Guildford, Church of England and is from the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking.  She has a BA in Accounting and Finance and Islamic Studies qualifications from the Institute of Classical Islamic Science, Lahore, Pakistan.  She has been teaching Islam for over 13 years.

Philip Goldenberg (Jewish)

Philip is well-known in Woking as a former LibDem Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate. But he is also Burials Officer of Guildford Synagogue, with a wealth of experience  in the worlds of law, business, charity and national politics.

Zafar Iqbal (Muslim)

Zafar is the Community Engagement Manager in Woking Borough Council and has a wealth of experience in such diverse fields as scientific research (doctorate in chemstry) with published research papers, vocational training and setting up a number of highly successful community organisations relating to education, Interfaith and business development in both the UK and Pakistan.

Meeta Joshi (Hindu)

Meeta has been an Interfaith speaker for 15 years, volunteering at primary schools, colleges and universities locally and Interfaith forums regionally and nationally.  A qualified Engineer and Communication specialist, she was Project Leader in IT / Telecoms for 12 years and gave presentations as a TV producer for Higher Education. She is Hindu Chaplain for Surrey University and Epsom College and a Strength Scope Consultant and Executive Coach.

Dr Syed Naqvi (Muslim)

Dr Naqvi has been an Interfaith speaker for 30 years, attending and volunteering at regional, national and international educational institutes and Interfaith forums.  A qualified Medical Doctor and Religious Scholar, he has served the wider communities around the globe. He is Imam at Al Asr Mosque, Woking, serves European communities in Education and is designing and compiling an 8-book series for children.  He is founder member and trustee of WPoF and a trustee or chair of 6 UK charities.

Marian Nash (Christian)

Marian, for 35 years, was a Teacher of the Deaf for pupils aged 3-18, in mainstream schools, plus 4 years for the Government-funded Communication Aids Project, giving presentations to large audiences all over England. She enjoys creative communication and believes learning is better achieved through active participation than passive listening.

Simon Trick (Baha'i)

Simon is Chair of WPoF and has over thirty years' experience in Interfaith speaking.  A former Primary Headteacher, he then established his Sports Massage business in 2012.  He has been a Surrey Police Chaplain since 2010, a published author and was involved in the writing of the schools' National RE and Citizenship frameworks.

Please email administrator@wpof.org.uk for further information.

 Education Project - Updates

A Bahai, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, Humanist and Muslim joined the New Monument School Assembly on Tuesday the 3rd July 2018.  A few minutes were spent introducing themselves.  A varied programme had been arranged to keep KS1 & 2 pupils interested for an hour.  The children joined in with an action song, then KS1 had a story about different coloured crayons being used together to make one beautiful picture with pupils being the pencils.  KS2 were shown a video about how DNA testing shows we are not who we think we are, because people who said they were one pure nationality, discovered that they had ethnic origins from countries all over the world.  Then everyone stood up to sing 'If you're happy and you know it' to get some exercise.  An activity followed where selected pupils were asked to try and eat raisins with a spoon without bending their arms.  After much difficulty, the pupils watching suggested that if they fed each other and worked together as a team, they would help each other to gain the reward.  Finally, Simon introduced everyone to an echo/action song called 'We are drops'.  To conclude, the speakers each gave their version of the Golden Rule.

This message was received by about 200 pupils, who actively listened; were engaged; and extremely well-behaved.

Please see a statement from New Monument School which reads as follows:  "On Tuesday the 3rd July 2018, New Monument School held our first ever Multi-Faith Day supported by Woking People of Faith.  The aim of the event was to foster in pupils a curiosity for other religions and ways of life, as well as help them develop a greater understanding, respect and tolerance for beliefs which might be different to their own; thus promoting community cohesion in the long run.  Very many thanks to our guests representing Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, the Church of England, Humanism and the Baha'i faith for a wonderfully enriching experience."