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News / London’s first Interfaith Fun Run: There’s something for everyone!

London’s first Interfaith Fun Run: There’s something for everyone!

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The Faith & Belief Forum

02 / 09 / 21

Reconnecting with Hagir Ahmed from United Nations Association London and South-East Region

By Josephine Davidoff, F&BF Community Engagement Kickstarter

Last Bank Holiday, Monday 30th I was delighted to attend and help support London’s first Interfaith Fun Run, at StoneX Stadium, Barnet, and organised by F&BF and Maccabi GB!

It was so uplifting and rewarding to see many weeks (and months!) of conversations, outreach, teamwork and promotion, and our efforts come together for an in-person event! All around me I could see people of all ages and from across the beautiful diversity of faiths, beliefs and cultures in London.

Despite the cold and windy British summer day, upon arriving to the StoneX Stadium, the atmosphere was electric and for the first time (in almost 2 years), I could feel the ‘butterflies’ that I used to experience from attending in-person interfaith events (which was so very different from online Zoom events!). I reconnected with individuals, that many of which I had previously only met online, and never seen in person (including colleagues), where the height difference between us was surprisingly made apparent! I saw both familiar and new faces, friends, and networks from my own faith community and from wider communities, and it was wonderful to feel the positivity radiate around the stadium, whilst also making new friends and connections.

(At long last) Meeting Eda Choussin from Religions for Peace UK Youth Network in person

It was also truly inspiring to see so many runners come along to the event to support so many fantastic charities; I was almost inspired to pick up running as a new hobby! It was particularly uplifting to see the surprise and smiles on runners faces when cheering them on from the side lines – not even the weather could stop them from completing their 1K, 5K, 10K or combined 16K!

Throughout the afternoon I visited the different stalls, including F&BF’s creative and thought provoking interfaith zone, some of the wonderful 20+ partner charity stalls, and I watched the talented artists and performers on the main stage. A particular highlight for me was watching the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, with their drums echoing so proudly and loudly throughout the stadium, watched over so gracefully by Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, the Lieutenant of London. I also found myself getting sucked into the radiant energy from the all-female London International Gospel Choir, whilst I clapped and swayed in the front row of the audience to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ with old (and new) interfaith friends.

Being part of the F&BF team has been so special and rewarding, and I feel truly honoured to have been not only part of the development, but also to experience London’s first ever Interfaith Fun Run. I truly believe that this initiative will create waves of community cohesion and I can’t wait to see what next year’s London Interfaith Fun Run will bring!

Register your interest in next year’s Fun Run here

Watching the incredible London International Gospel Choir perform
The very proud (yet knackered!) Faith & Belief Forum team with Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, and David Dangoor CBE, initiator and supporter of the Fun Run.

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