Members of the clergy and Imams from Halifax came together on Tuesday to celebrate National Inter Faith Week and to pray for the loss of those in the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday.
40 people from the Calderdale Council of Mosques and the Halifax Deanery Chapter, including the Rt Revd Toby Howarth, the Bishop of Bradford, joined together in Halifax Minster to help strengthen the bonds between the two communities. This was the first time that the Halifax Deanery Chapter invited imams to meet together as part of national Inter Faith Week. Much work has been taking place on the interfaith front headed up by Calderdale Interfaith Council over many years.
The meeting was about friendship and relationships between faith leaders across Calderdale. Sadly the agenda was dominated by the attacks in Paris and child exploitation. It allowed those present to commit to working together for common humanity and gave the opportunity for them to pray for those who lost their lives in the Paris terrorist attacks and to offer their support to those still in the French capital. It is very much hoped that this event will become an annual meeting together, and that opportunities to come together at other times will be established. As the public sector diminishes, so the faith communities will need to work together providing education, health and social care for the local communities they serve. The meeting finished with a curry lunch for everyone.
Canon Hilary Barber, Vicar of Halifax Minster said afterwards, "I was delighted that so many Imams and Scholars were willing to come and meet with local Clergy - Anglican, Methodist and Baptist. I truly hope it will be the beginning of a fruitful relationship as we come together to serve the local community."
The first Inter Faith Week took place in 2009 and the initiative has been held in the third week of November every year since, this year’s Week running from the 15th to the 21st November.
Inter Faith Week uses group events to join together people of different faiths while celebrating diversity and working together to create an increasing understanding of different faith communities.
To find out more about Inter Faith Week, visit their website at www.interfaithweek.org