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Interfaith Week

Anthony Lees-Smith  |  20 November 2022

For some years now, the week following Remembrance Sunday has been designated Interfaith Week. It’s a week to highlight cooperation and build new relationships across difference as well as to learn from the religious diversity that is part and parcel of modern life. In Evington we are truly blessed to live alongside neighbours of many different faiths. Remembrance is one of those times when we come together and with cadets, scouts and residents of all faiths and none, we remember those who went from our community and died in conflicts past.

Last weekend, our Faith and Friendship group met in the parish centre. This group of people originally came together from across the community to work with artists on the Faith and Friendship Tent that was launched earlier this year by the Bishop of Loughborough. They continue to meet to work on art and craft projects, making beautiful cards and bookmarks to sell for Christmas, laughing, sharing and breaking into song together. There are even plans afoot to prepare for a fashion show in 2023 using upcycled clothing!

On Tuesday, Mark our curate and Sarah our youth and community worker went into City of Leicester College with the Faith and Friendship Tent. They took part in a “human library” where students got to speak to visitors of several different faiths. They answered questions as part of a panel and listened to students talk about their own religious traditions. It was an absolute delight and we look forward to working more with City of Leicester College in future.

On Friday, Anthony and Sarah went to meet the new headteacher at Krishna Avanti Primary School. St Denys have had a wonderful relationship with the Hindu school ever since it was founded 10 years ago and we have successfully worked on many projects together. We are really looking forward to sharing Christingle with the whole school in a couple of weeks time.

Many of us at St Denys have friends and neighbours who are from different religious traditions. With respect and understanding, these relationships can be hugely enriching. As Christians, we follow a Jesus who wasn’t afraid to cross boundaries. Engaging with religious difference can deepen our own faith as we ask questions of ourselves and others. In a world that struggles to know how to live well with difference, we need ever more spaces for building faith and friendship.

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