Freedom of Religion or Belief Conference
19 / 12 / 22
15 / 06 / 20
We are proud to have passionate volunteers join us in supporting the work and vision of the Faith & Belief Forum. This week we talk to our Events volunteer, Nicholas:
Your name and job title:
Nicholas McDonald, Events Volunteer.
What made you initially interested in interfaith work?
Being born and raised in London, and coming from a multicultural background myself, meant that I have always been exposed to so many different cultures, faiths, beliefs and so on. I developed an interest in how all these different faiths worked and how they interacted with one another. Furthermore, my general interest in all things “equality” and activism based, such as LGBT+ rights, racial equality etc., naturally lead me to finding an interest in this field.
Why do you feel it’s still required in our world? What motivates you?
As the world becomes ever more mixed and diverse, I believe that promoting interfaith between groups is still vitally important. Furthermore, recent events, tensions and the general polarisation of society and politics means that there is much hostility and tension between, and within, faith and cultural groups. I am motivated as I would like to help bridge these gaps and promote equality and togetherness amongst them all.
How did you first hear about F&BF?
My friend saw the volunteering option and shared it with me, so I applied this year after researching the organisation.
How would you explain what you do to someone completely unfamiliar with our work, and what is your favourite aspect of your job?
I would explain to someone unfamiliar with our work that, I am volunteer who works with the Community team, helping to promote, celebrate and put a spotlight on community work within the field of interfaith. My favourite aspect of my job is learning about different faiths and cultures, and helping to celebrate the hard work these groups do.
What is the most common misconception about your job? And what is the truth?
People often assume that I am working for a “religious group” and my job is to promote and spread religion. The truth is, what I do is not at all connected to one religious group or religion itself, rather acting as a sort of bridge between multicultural groups, including religious groups, spotlighting their work, celebrating their cultural and traditions and attempting to bring them all “together”.
What didn’t you realise about interfaith until working at F&BF?
I did not realise how many people genuinely cared about interfaith and the hard work that goes on to make it happen, especially at F&BF.
What are you most proud of during your time here at F&BF?
I’ve been proud of the new skills I have quickly learnt and the work I have done. Particularly, I am proud of the newsletter I created for Barking & Dagenham’s Faith Forum, and the blog piece I created for F&BF “E-Easter, Virtual Vaisakhi and Passover during a Pandemic”.
What floats your boat outside of work?
Other than finishing my final year of university, I spend most of my time outside of work playing video games like Pokémon or Animal Crossing, watching all RuPaul’s Drag Race related content, following professional wrestling, enjoying pop culture and pop music or keeping up with British and American politics.