North Kirklees played its part in the recent Inter Faith Week with a series of community events.
The aim of the special week is to strengthen good interfaith relations, highlight the contribution that faith communities make to society and to increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs.
Some events were organised by North Kirklees Inter Faith, a group of faith leaders who meet regularly to grow their friendships, encourage communities to come together and to plan events.
One event was Roses for Peace, which saw white roses being given out free to members of the public with words of peace attached from the Holy Bible and Holy Qur’an. Preparation included people from different communities preparing the roses, including at St Thomas’ Church, Batley, with members of local churches and mosques including SOMIT (Sisters of Mount Pleasant Islamic Trust) and More in Common Batley & Spen. Roses for Peace took place in Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Mirfield and Batley, an increase of two new towns from last year.
The roses were a sign of peace – and members of the Christian and Muslim community stood side by side handing out the roses.There were lots of positive comments and happy smiles at the events.
North Kirklees Inter Faith were honoured to have Dr Khalid Mahmud and Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Huddersfield as chief guests for the Clerics Tea at Batley Bulldogs. The gathering was attended by local Muslim Scholars and Christian Clergy. The theme of the discussions were Inter Faith Week and Abraham, who is a prophet in both religions. Revd Simon Cash, Co-Chair of North Kirklees Interfaith, Priest in Charge, Dewsbury Team Ministry; said, “The event was well attended and we hope this kind of dialogue continues.”
Mufti Mohammed Amin Pandor said: “We were extremely fortunate to have my Shaikh, such a great Scholar who has written over 90 books on various subjects. We were honoured for him to take time out of his busy schedule and come to our event.” People old and young from all walks of life celebrated Inter Faith Week on a calorific high with Intercultural Afternoon Tea at Batley Library. Many cultures have a tradition of sipping tea in the afternoon and so came about the idea to bring it all together to celebrate the traditional and contemporary. Thus, was born Intercultural Afternoon Tea. The event was organised by the Friends of Batley Library with support from the Batley Library service. Volunteers brought, bought, and baked food reflecting their cultural heritage for all to share. Over 30 people enjoyed the delights of scones and samosas, cake and khaman downed with cups of karak chai and builder’s tea, plus sandwiches. On the last day of Inter Faith Week, Moulana Irfan and Hafeezah Soni were invited to church services at St Andrew’s, Purlwell and All Saints’ Church, Batley.
During the services Moulana Irfan and Hafeezah spoke about the wonderful work that is taking place in Batley to bring communities together.
They also visited Batley Parish Sunday School where they talked about our mutual friendship and why they were visiting the church.The visits also included time for questions which they happily answered. The congregations were hugely appreciative of the visits and showed their appreciation by giving flowers as a token of gratitude.