Interfaith Project 2010

Celebrating our work within the context of peace and religious diversity
Friday, 26 February 2010

In our Winter 09 edition, Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Ms Nicky Wynne, wrote a brief article touching upon a new fund- and awareness raising initiative, the Interfaith Project. This is currently being developed into an ongoing programme of discourse, which we hope to formally launch later this year.

So far, the project has generated three sessions of theological debate, with another scheduled for late January. At the previous meeting in November 2009, representatives of the world’s three primary monotheistic faiths – Islam, Judaism and Christianity – agreed upon a joint statement that they believed would do well to be endorsed by religious leaders around the world.

Order Prelate, the Right Reverend Jack Nichols, along with Liberal Judaism’s Rabbi Mark Solomon, Imam Mamadou Bocoum of the Muslim College, London, Tony Kyriakides-Yeldham of Dodbrooke Rectory and Simon Keyes, the Director of St Ethelburga’s Centre in the City of London, decided to set the project in motion with this simple statement:

“As Christians, Muslims and Jews, our scriptures teach us that we have a duty to care for the sick and to show compassion to all people regardless of their faith, ethnicity or gender. ”

All those involved in the project hope that this statement will be a springboard for further debate and will inspire wider support for the work and ethos of our charity.

The notion of interfaith dialogue is not a new one. Indeed, it is as ancient as religion itself.

Men and women, when not in conflict with their neighbour, have always sought to understand him. Form the Emperor Akbar the Great, who encouraged tolerance in Mughal India in the 16th century, to the historic interfaith conference initiated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2008 and hosted by King Juan Carlos of Spain in Madrid, history tells us that – underlying temporary strife and war – the world has always strived for cooperative and positive interaction between people of different beliefs. We will be bringing you updates on this project in upcoming editions of Jerusalem Scene. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about interfaith dialogue, please find a selection of websites you might like to visit here: www.stethelburgas.org www.interfaith.org.uk www.threefaithsforum.org.uk/.

Nicky would like to thank all those learned and esteemed colleagues who are freely giving up their invaluable time in realising this important project. If you would like more information, please contact Nicky at nicky [dot] wynne [at] stjohneyehospital [dot] org, or on 070 7533 6969.