"Inter Faith Week is the time for reflecting upon the rules and rhythms of our own lives”
Emma D’aeth is the Trust Chaplain at Solent NHS Trust. Read her reflective blog on Interfaith and how she believes it can unite us.
“Interfaith Week begins on Remembrance Sunday and this significant date was chosen for a specific purpose - to strengthen good interfaith relations and highlight the positive contribution of faith communities to society. Also remembering the service and sacrifice of soldiers and civilians of many faiths and beliefs.
“November seems to be a time for remembering, not only for us a country on Armistice day but also for us as individuals.
“The pandemic has changed many things in our lives and challenged us to live with the unknowing. Maybe, Interfaith Week is the time for reflecting upon the rules and rhythms of our own lives, whether we would interpret that as our own faith pilgrimage or maybe we have other ways of describing our spiritual life. Of recognising and responding to the needs of our human spirit. Our meaning, purpose and connectedness and the importance of our humanity and individuality which has a huge impact on all our well-being.
“Rowan Williams once said; ‘Interfaith Week is not just sitting around with a cup of tea and being nice to each other, there is a great deal more to it than that!’
“While our great religious traditions are distinct in belief and practices, there is much that unites us. We draw on those fundamental values held in common and on the wisdom of our respective faith traditions to continue to work for the wellbeing of society, and our wider global community, the planet that is our home.
“Therefore, it is with deep sorrow that we heard about the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice in France - where people had been attacked and murdered in their places of worship. The Interfaith Network for the United Kingdom released a joint statement in which they condemned this act of violent extremism and said: ‘Such attacks on places of worship are a reminder that we stand together and to continue to work together with ever greater urgency against ignorance, prejudice and hatred.' Their statement can be read in full on their website.” www.interfaithweek.org.uk
Emma continues, “This week is facilitated by the Inter Faith Network for the UK and, it is community-led, with local people of different faiths and beliefs. Up and down the country they are holding online events to highlight the work going on to promote understanding between people of different faiths and beliefs. This is only one of the numerous ways where we can value one another with gratitude and mutual attentiveness. As members of our Multi-Faith Resource group we share in that vision and uphold the Heart Values of Solent NHS Trust.
“We are here to support and be alongside colleagues of all faiths and none. Maybe, in this time of acute crisis, regardless of whether we have a faith or not, we can be a sign of hope, dignity and respect.”