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News / First ever London Interfaith Fun Run unites communities in London and beyond

First ever London Interfaith Fun Run unites communities in London and beyond

News

The Faith & Belief Forum

31 / 08 / 21

A global message of unity and friendship between people from diverse backgrounds was sent from London on Monday 30th August as the inaugural London Interfaith Fun Run brought together hundreds of people from different communities.

The first-of-its-kind event held at StoneX Stadium in Barnet saw hundreds of runners challenge themselves and raise money for charities, the majority in London but some joining virtually by running in their own area as far away as Hyderabad, India.

There were plenty of exciting activities to experience at the London Interfaith Fun Run, such as an international food court, a prayer and reflection space, Cloud Nine inflatable Zone and an ‘Interfaith Zone’ with facilitated dialogue activities.

Runners and spectators were treated to a diverse range of music, dance and storytelling performances in collaboration with Faiths In Tune who organise interfaith music festivals and events across Europe. Performances included Shumei UK, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, Propa and friends, MTO Shahmaghsoudi, and London International Gospel Choir.

The London Interfaith Fun Run organisers, the Faith & Belief Forum in partnership with Maccabi GB, were joined by 34 other charities who brought supporters and beneficiaries to run, fundraise for their cause, and take part in the other activities on the day. Charities ranged from refugee support organisations, to those tackling climate change, and those bringing together different faith groups to build trust and understanding between neighbouring communities.

Hagir Ahmed, the Refugees and Asylum Seekers Officer for the United Nations Association, said:

“I was inspired by the London Interfaith Fun Run as a chance for the refugees and asylum seekers to have the opportunity to participate and engage, while socialising with positive people from all religions and cultural backgrounds.”

Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum, and one of the runners on the day, said:

“The London Interfaith Fun Run is a great opportunity to bring people of different faiths and beliefs together while showing our support for charities doing important work in London and beyond. After 18 difficult months with very limited social contact and many challenges, this positive event, bringing people together, is just what many of us need.”

President of Maccabi GB Michael Ziff commented:

“The London Interfaith Fun Run was very special to be a part of. It was incredible to see hundreds of runners and spectators come together. It is really important to see all Faiths, Beliefs and Religions working together for a better London and Great Britain to put aside their differences. We look forward to building on the success for many years to come.”

The London Interfaith Fun Run was sponsored by Dangoor Education and supported by the Greater London Lieutenancy’s Council on Faith. Sir Kenneth Olisa, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, attended the event and spoke to the audience about the important role the city’s faith and belief groups play in supporting their communities, demonstrated clearly by the many ways they have helped people through the pandemic.

David Dangoor CBE, chair of Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith, who initiated the London Interfaith Fun Run project and was there on the day to lead the countdown for the 5k and 10k run, said:

“We hope it will inspire many of those who form the beautiful social tapestry of our great capital city, be they young or old, whatever their ethnic group or faith, to join together in strengthening the bonds that can help make London a strong and welcoming, diverse, community.”

With registration of interest already open for the 2022 event, there is plenty of time to start training for next year’s Fun Run.

Register your interest on the London Interfaith Fun Run website: https://www.interfaithrun.org/2022

Note: The London Interfaith Fun Run was organised by the Faith & Belief Forum in partnership with Maccabi GB, sponsored by Dangoor Education and supported by the Greater London Lieutenancy’s Council on Faith, CanO Water, Jewish Volunteering Network, Saracens F.C, JLP Productions in conjunction with Simcha Streaming, with the Jewish News as Media Partner.

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