Launch of the Epsom and Ewell Inter Faith Forum – a brief report
Fifty-five people, including Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Baha’is, and Quakers attended the launch of the Forum on Sunday 2nd July 2017 which was held at the Islamic Centre in Hook Road. John Padwick, who chaired the meeting, welcomed everyone and briefly described some of what led up to the launch.
Liz Frost, Mayor of Epsom and President of the Forum, added her welcome and spoke of the need to know one another personally and not only through the media.
The Imam, Joynal Ahmed, welcomed us on behalf of the Islamic Centre.
We had a panel of five speakers who were asked to reflect on ‘Can faith be relevant today in Epsom and Ewell?’
Mike Thornton, Minister at Epsom Baptist Church, spoke about the importance of faith communities in the public space. Communities need to be active in working for peace and reconciliation.
Saidhanya Raviendrakumar, Education Coordinator at Sri Raja Rajeswari Amman Temple explored the importance of faith – in ourselves, our religious traditions and our communities, especially in times of adversity.
Joynal Ahmed, the Imam at the Islamic Centre, asked what the faith communities are doing in Epsom and Ewell. Are we doing enough? God commands us to be active in our society. Are we relevant to God?
Trevor Finch, a local Baha’i and RE teacher, spoke of the dis-ease reflected in increasing racism, prejudice, and materialism. Faith offers values, goals and inspiration to a way of being human that enhances life.
Jonathan Lees, founder of the Epsom and Ewell Food Bank, and leader of the Generation Church, described how the involvement in the Food Bank of many people of various faiths has offered love and hope in a very concrete way. Similarly, there is a growing network of refugee support.
There was a brief question time focusing on how young people of faith can be empowered to bring their own skills and insights into the life of their own and wider communities. It was also stressed that religion can be a force for change, growing out of people’s experience and reflection.
The launch finished with refreshments, kindly provided by members of the Islamic Centre, and by a good deal of ‘networking’.
The next meetings of the Forum are:
September 17th 3.0 Visit to Raja Rajeswary Amman Temple.
September 26th 12.30 Interfaith shared lunch
October 8th 2.0 Prayers for Peace at Clayhill Green, Epsom, followed by tea.
October 8th 4.0 Inter faith panel at Epsom Mental Health Week, St Barnabas.
October 21st 5.0-7.0 ‘Bicentennial of the Birth of Baha’ullah’, Langley Vale Village Hall, Rosebery Road, Epsom KT18 5UH
For further information about the Forum and about any of these events please email the Secretary,
Lynne Scholefield at email@example.com