Reports, Agendas & Minutes

LICHFIELD INTER-FAITH FORUM (LIFF)

The Inter-Faith Forum was founded in 2006, an initiative which grew out of the Churches Together septennial review and was largely inspired by Lichfield Quakers, who expressed a concern felt by a number of local Christians that at a time when Britain had manifestly become a multi-faith society there was little sign of that reality in Lichfield. We started off as a small ecumenical group and felt that our first priority was to educate ourselves about faith communities active in our area. Islam was the obvious place to begin and so we held a number of meetings to which we invited a Muslim scholar from Coventry

who helped us not only to understand the teachings of the Koran but the practice of Islam in the context of British society. We arranged visits to mosques, Sikh gurdwaras, Hindu temples and to meetings of the Ba’hai faith.

At the beginning we were members of churches, but when the Lichfield Islamic Cultural Centre was formed, and the mosque established we invited a Muslim to become a member of the group. This was followed by a Buddhist presence, when a Temple was opened in King’s Bromley run by monks of the Thai tradition.

We have run Saturday morning seminars two or three times a year on a variety of issues of common concern, including war and Peace, Gender Equality, racial discrimination, Palestine/Israel and asylum seekers. These have been well supported. One of the very solid achievements of the Forum has been the fostering of good relationships and deeper understanding between the various faith communities in and around Lichfield although the number of people in the churches who engage with the work of the Forum remains disappointingly low.

We have arranged events each year to celebrate Inter-Faith week in November. Last year we decided to focus on providing a number of opportunities for mutual hospitality, which were highly successful. The week culminated in a Saturday morning mid-day meal arranged by the Quaker meeting to which a number of Muslim families came along. Out of this experience has come an initiative by the Forum to explore the possibility of Lichfield becoming a City of Sanctuary (this is the subject of another report.)

Someone said: ‘It is now time for the Churches of this country to become pilgrims in the faith communities living among us – not just casual visitors’.

Warren Bardsley(on behalf of the Lichfield Inter-Faith Forum)

For further information please email w.bardsley39@btinternet.com

 


Page last updated: 21st Jun 2019 5:06 PM