Posts Tagged ‘Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum’

Oneness of Humanity and the Unity of Religion

November 20, 2011
candles one lit by each speaker

candles one lit by each speaker

Encourage knowledge understanding of and between faiths.

For many it would be a beginning to understand their own faith.

In the corner a table with various bits of literature.

Several speakers from different faiths. Talk about their faith, light a candle, play some music.

The Hindu religion is a very ancient religion. When India was strong spiritually, it was also strong culturally. The study of science encouraged.

The Old Testament is the Jewish Torah, it is a book of drama, for example the story of Joseph and his exile in Egypt. It is the Jewish tradition to chant these stories.

For Buddhists, we all have a common faith. It is better to live a single day in honour, than a hundred years in disgrace. Treasure in the body is more important than treasure in the storehouse, and most important of all is the treasure in our heart. If you lack faith it is like trying to light wet tinder. It is important to understand ourselves to help ourselves and others. Enlightenment.

There is no such thing as a typical Christian. Having faith helps to understand life, without faith life has no meaning. A Divine presence is in all Creation. God. The Psalms were written 3,500 years ago but still have relevance and meaning today. Psalm 139, the Lord is always near, you look into my heart and know everything.

No one from Islamic faith.

A Sikh is a seeker of truth. Only one God, who is in everything, who was there before and will be there after. God is unique, cannot be described.

Bahia, the son of the founder toured UK a century ago.

The meeting organised by Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum and hosted by St Nicolas Church marked the start of Inter Faith Week. It was opened by the Mayor of Guildford and closed by the Deputy Mayor of Godalming.

I had my hand up to ask a question, but was ignored. I wanted to ask had anyone been to St Paul’s in-the-Camp? If not, then please go, as you would find many faiths working together. When St Paul’s was closed, Flash Evensong performed evensong on the steps, Quakers have been holding services on the steps on Sunday afternoons, during Sermon on the Steps, two days after St Paul’s re-opened their doors, many from many different faiths spoke.

Flash Evensong at St Paul’s-in-the-Camp
Sermon on the Steps at St Paul’s in-the-Camp
Evensong at St Paul’s
Tom Hodgkinson: ‘Fundamentally this is a Christian protest’
Fundamentally Christian?

If you have not been to St Paul’s in-the-Camp, then please pay a visit. You will be rewarded and enriched.

Were I to choose a piece of music, I would choose The Sixteen performing the Lamentations of Job composed by Victoria set to visuals from inside St James Cathedral.

St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen

A special plea: Would St Nicolas please exercise better management of their notice board. Yes, this meeting was displayed on their notice board (which makes a pleasant change) but on the day had been taken down. As had notice of an interfaith meeting at Holy Trinity for the following day.

Top story ARISE and AWAKE! Daily (Monday 21 November 2011)!


To Heaven Hell with a Scribe and a Pharisee: A priest and a rabbi take a look at the Jewish religion at the time of Jesus. Trinity Centre, top of High Street next to Holy Trinity Church, Guildford. 7pm Monday 22 November 2011

Keystone Spirit with Eden People at Keystone Pub. 8pm Tuesday 29 November 2011

Art @ Costa. Swan Lane, Guildford. 7-30pm Tuesday 6 December 2011

Keystone Spirit with Eden People at Keystone Pub. 8pm Tuesday 13 December 2011

What is the Role of Faith in Your Life?

June 9, 2011

‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions.’ — Jesus

A talk by five people of five different faiths on the role of faith in their life.

Nabil Mustapha (Baha’i faith): Faith is a covenant. Medicine is a noble profession, to be practised to help others, not to earn lots of money. The Baha’i faith is a choice to be exercised, a choice not to be exercised until one reaches the age of sixteen.

Mark Bishop (Buddhism): Grew up in India then UK in the Protestant and Catholic tradition. Did not become a Buddhist until late in life. Belongs to a sect that has no monks. Chant a mantra half an hour before breakfast then again in the evening.

Ray Traynor (Catholism): Taught in many countries. Chance conversations, chance meetings, led to these opportunities. Like Santiago in The Alchemist, risks were taken.

Irene Black (Judaism): One is born a Jew. It is who your parents are that determines that you are a Jew. Difficult to say what the impact of faith has on ones life. Easier to say what the lack of faith means, life would have no meaning. A close parallel between Hinduism and Judaism. Faith is seen through action. There are as many interpretations of Judaism as there are Jews.

Adel Sharif (Islam): We all have faith. Religion is man made. Prophets are messengers of God, their names in Arabic reflects their function. There is only one Koran, but many interpretations. Translations are often bad as the translator does not understand the Arabic. Muslims recognise the same God, the same prophets as Jews and Christians. The Quran is a continuation of what went before, not something new. The Quran tells believers of the One Faith to recognise Jews and Christians. Believers are seekers after truth. A scientist is a seeker after truth. Education should be for the betterment of mankind, not to earn more money. The proposed Multi-Faith Centre at Surrey University is to be renamed the Faith Centre. [also see The Role of Science and Faith in the Development of Civilisations]

Gifts: We all have gifts. We should share those gifts.

Peace: Something we should all strive for.

Prayer: God listens. Maybe we should heed the advice of St Benedict and learn to listen. Prayer is two-way communication. We have to learn to read the signs. [also see Does it matter how we pray?]

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho describes those who say their faith is the only way as religious bigots. A devout Catholic, at his St Joseph Party in Istanbul he quoted from the Quran. He invited his guests to join him in prayer. Prayers were said in several languages by people from different religious backgrounds.

In The Shack Jesus is asked: Do you have to be a Christian to follow Him? He replies no, as even He is not a Christian. He adds, Jews, Muslims, even Buddhists, follow him.

Publicity: The meeting was very poorly publicised. Even St Joseph’s lacked a poster on the church notice board! As an absolute minimum posters and flyers in local churches, libraries, Guildford Institute.

Meeting hosted by Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum at St Joseph’s Church in Guildford (Eastgate Gardens). 7pm Thursday 9 June 2011.

Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum is an informal collective. For more information on future meetings please contact Bernard Jones (

Upcoming events

Midsummer Feast with Eden people – evening Tuesday 14 June 2011 – Allen House Pavilion, Guildford.

George Abbott’s Guildford. A talk by Mary Alexander at St Mary’s Church in Guildford. George Abbott was a former Archbishop of Canterbury, a contributor to the King James’ Bible. 7-30pm Tuesday evening 28 June 2011.

Creative Arts @ Costa, a celebration of music, word and the visual arts, takes place at Costa in Swan Lane in Guildford on the first Tuesday of the month (same day as the farmers market). The next event is Tuesday evening 5 July 2011. There will be no events in August and September. Swan Lane is the narrow lane that runs between the High Street and North Street at the lower end of the High Street. With Eden People, a Christian collective.

The Keystone Spirit is a regular meeting of Eden People at The Keystone Pub (3 Portsmouth Road, Guildford, GU2 4BL).

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