A visit to the Holy Land – some reflections
30 / 07 / 19
27 / 06 / 19
After work last week I went over to Ealing Cricket Club to be part of an interfaith event for people in Ealing and Acton organised by five leaders on the ParliaMentors programme run by the Faith and Belief Forum.
I came a bit early to support the students who have organised this interfaith event alongside their studies, exams, coursework and dissertations. As it happens, Sam, Lauryn, Dilan, Darya and Theint Theint really didn’t need my help at all.
The sunlit room was set up beautifully with flowers and candles with little edible gifts on every table. There were salads that they had made and brought themselves which spoke of some of their own cultural heritages and chairs arranged so that everyone would sit talking to people they would get to know better over the evening.
There was time to chat and share experiences before the 20 pizzas they had managed to get for free arrived. Then everyone got some pizza and salad and the rest of the event began.
Luckily they had Rupa Huq MP who was able to call the room to attention and pass over to Sam to welcome everyone and introduce them to the rest of the event. She and the rest of the team then shared personal stories of their own faith, belief and identity from their time as young people in London.
This set an important and personal tone to the rest of the evening as it was rooted in sharing lived experiences. Reverend John Parry from the London Interfaith Centre shared a story from his time as abroad with the church helping people in great need.
Rupa Huq MP also spoke about the potency of this event almost three years to the day since her colleague Jo Cox was killed in her own constituency, and the enduring legacy of Jo Cox’s work has been to recognise how much we have in common across differences.
A facilitated discussion followed where members of the group were able to share why they thought interfaith meetings are so important and what they would like to see in the future.