People of faith from across diocese meet and learn together

Members of the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, have recently gathered at a church in our diocese for a chance to explore the faiths together. 
The event was standing room only, with many visitors rarely seen in church there to learn more about the beliefs and traditions of particularly Islam and Judaism. 
The gathering took place on November 21 in St Paul’s Church in the village of Aldbrough St John, and was hosted by the Revd Camilla Campling-Denton, Priest in Charge at Forcett and Aldbrough and Melsonby, who opened the meeting with a welcoming prayer.
 Of the event Revd Camilla said: “It was wonderful to share this special time of learning, food and conversation with so many people of different faith backgrounds. 
“We were truly blessed by this incredibly enriching evening, where together we cherished the peace at the heart of all our religions.”
Zoe Herdman, who had organised the event, started with a brief outline of how the three religions had a common ancestor in Abraham and how they had divided off at points in history. 
Bess Robertson, Chair of Darlington Hebrew Congregation, spoke about how things had changed at her synagogue in Darlington since they had made the decision to become a Reformed congregation. 
In Reformed Judaism woman play a much more active role in worship and the running of the synagogue. 
Another Jewish testimony came from 90 year old Peter Freitag, President of the Darlington Hebrew Congregation. 
He described how he had come to England with his family aged 8 to escape the Nazis as they took over Czechoslovakia in 1937. 
Dr Abdul Quader, a retired anaesthetist at Darlington Memorial Hospital and founder of the Darlington Islamic Society, spoke about Islam, its five pillars of the faith and the importance of prayer with a demonstration of how Muslims pray. 
He spoke about the three holiest sites for Muslims with particular reference to Jerusalem and its similar importance in Judaism and Christianity. 
Following a question and answer session, which brought out the similarities in all three faiths, there was a buffet of traditional Islamic and Jewish foods plus some Wensleydale cheese, mince pies and fruit cake to represent Yorkshire cuisine.

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