Schools: Challenges of Middle East Dialogue
27 / 11 / 23
16 / 04 / 20
Our Movement Building volunteer Nicholas Mcdonald reflects on some of the responses by faith communities to the lockdown of COVID-19.
This year, April and May present some of the biggest events in many religious calendars. Just this weekend, we saw the celebrations of Passover, Easter, and Vaisakhi across the globe. However, current events have made what should be a time for friends, family and faith very challenging. As the COVID-19 pandemic carries on impacting the country with lockdown and self-isolation guidelines enforced, communities and places of worship have not been able to celebrate the way they normally would.
This has not deterred local communities from enjoying these festivals however, and they have adapted to the current climate by moving online. This has allowed congregations to take part in religious services, and for families to share faith events together, despite not being in the same building.
Faith groups have not only been celebrating festivals in new ways, but many have helped step up to the challenges of assisting their local communities. Many groups have organised online counselling, food banks and care packages for vulnerable people, and helping them to keep safe.
Spending these holidays away from friends and family is difficult, but it is heart-warming to see that, despite these trying times, faith and belief groups continue to stay connected.
Below are some wonderful examples of different religious organisations reaching out to support their local communities during this time of crisis:
The Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din allowed some products not certified kosher for Passover due to shortages and issues caused by the pandemic.
In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din has today released a list of regular products and a set of guidelines to allow those in need to buy a range of basic goods for Pesach that are not under special Pesach supervision. Please do share. pic.twitter.com/gXO9Ge8uIP
— United Synagogue (@UnitedSynagogue) March 23, 2020
Sikh devotees of Neasden Temple joined Vaisakhi celebrations by donating traditional Indian sweets to SGSS Southall for their food boxes being delivered to the needy during lockdown.
Devotees of #NeasdenTemple joined #Vaisakhi celebrations by donating traditional Indian sweets to @sgsssouthall in Havelock & Park Avenue for the food boxes being delivered to the needy. We hope everyone has a safe & joyous day of festivities! #stayhomesavelives #VaisakhiAtHome pic.twitter.com/SgrGgqKk2C
— Neasden Temple (@NeasdenTemple) April 13, 2020
During the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi, Langar was prepared for those in need by staff at Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick, the largest Gurdwara in Europe.
Today is Vaisakhi, one of the holiest days in the Sikh calendar. It marks the founding of the Sikh community and usually would be celebrated with special services and parades. But this year coronavirus restrictions mean online celebrations instead. @SatnamRana reports pic.twitter.com/DLNxAt2S1U
— BBC Midlands Today (@bbcmtd) April 13, 2020
The Church of England’s Easter Sunday service was delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, from the unusual setting of his own kitchen.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) April 12, 2020
Jewish caterers in Prestwich preparing Passover meals for elderly people who cannot have Seder with their families.
Although the Islamic holy month of Ramadan does not begin till 23rd April, The Ramadan Tent Project will be hosting Zoom-based Iftah meals.
What an INCREDIBLE 24 hours it has been since the official launch of #MyOpenIftar!
We have had over 350 people sign up & counting! Register for your FREE pack via: https://t.co/OKuRqXbirg
— #MyOpenIftar #StayHome (@OpenIftar) April 10, 2020
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