Faith event breaks down barriers

Published: Friday 8th December 17

More than 70 pupils from Wandsworth secondary schools have been learning about some of the different faiths practiced in the borough.

They attended this year’s Faith Direct event at the town hall, where they were able to fire a series of quick-fire questions at representatives from the borough’s different faith groups.

The Faith Direct initiative, organised by the council and the Wandsworth Multi-Faith Group, was held during Interfaith Week. It brought together speakers from local Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jewish, Baha’i, Humanist and Buddhist communities.

Faith Direct aims to increase young people’s knowledge of different faiths and beliefs, promote understanding, tolerance and respect and offer an open forum for dialogue.

The young people conducted a whistle-stop tour round the room interviewing each representative in turn. The questioning lasted 15 minutes before a bell was rung and the students moved on to the next table. The event was open to young people in Year 7 or above and all those attending received a fact pack in advance summarising the main characteristics of the different beliefs.

After the event, schools who attended said their pupils enjoyed learning about the various religions & faith systems and that the speakers had made the study of different beliefs come alive for them.

The Wandsworth Council Multi-Faith Group was set up following discussions with faith representatives in Wandsworth in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It provides a forum to discuss local issues and quickly resolve any potential concerns. Find out more

The Multi-Faith Group is part of the council’s ongoing work to work closely with different communities within Wandsworth to promote tolerance and keep people safe.

At last month’s full council meeting, members unanimously agreed to adopt the formal definition of anti-Semitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and pledged to use it to better understand and act against anti-Jewish hatred, along with all other manifestations of prejudice and hatred.

The council has signed a declaration against hate crime in all its forms and helps provide protection and support for victims.

The Leader of the council and chairman of the Multi-Faith Group Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “We’ve been running the annual Faith Direct event for year now, but events like this that break down barriers, especially amongst young people, are becoming increasingly important.

“Wandsworth is a diverse, vibrant community, and as a council we will not stint in our efforts to respect different believes, promote tolerance and stamp out hate crime, while at the same time encouraging all our residents to work together to make Wandsworth one of the best places to live.”

Notes to Editor:

The faiths were represented byVenerable Phrakru Samu Lom (Buddhapadipa Temple); Dr M Khan (The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community); Lt Katy Shubotham (Salvation Army), Bishop Noel McLean (Yahweh Christian Fellowship); Sharon Coussins (Wimbledon and District Synagogue); Shanta Chellappoo (Baha’i); Jon Fayle (British Humanist Association); Ajaib Singh Bahra, (Tooting Sikh Gurdwara) and Imaam Khubaeb Raja (Balham Mosque and Al-Risalah Education Trust).

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Recent comments

i think its disgusting brainwashing, in today's society when we have science and fact all around us, still "education" establishments force this fantasy rubbish down our kids throats, you still teach false information based on hearsay and fantastical magic. from a book that has never been proven to contain any truth and cannot stand up to the mildest scrutiny, what a crock. religion is for the weak minded its a trap, an animal that preys on the weak and installs mental illness the likes of nothing else. it should not be taught anywhere because you are demonstrating lies every time a child is forced to sit and listen.

11 December 2017

The Sally Army and the Yahweh Christian Fellowship are hardly a good representation of Christianity..
Vivian Brickell

9 December 2017

This is an excellent event, especially when so many schools are breaking the law by failing to offer pupils religious studies. But why were no Hindus involved?
Carol Tibbs

8 December 2017