Westminster Interfaith: Promoting Dialogue Between People of Faith The agency of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster for Interreligious Dialogue



Pilgrimage 2009

Flag of Prison Service

Prison Service flag
Holloway Prison



Entrance of Buddhist Centre

North London Buddhist Centre
Holloway Road

Westminster Interfaith Newsletter

Issue 62 – July 2009

Pilgrimage – North London venues

The North London leg of the Interfaith Pilgrimage proved to be a very rich and thought-provoking morning, encompassing the Holloway prison chaplaincy and the North London Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. A major incident in the prison meant that we were not able to be received in the prison chapel as planned, but we were welcomed instead in the prison's visitor centre, where the Anglican, Catholic, Muslim and Pagan chaplains spoke to us about their spiritual and pastoral work with the women prisoners. It struck me that this was a place where interfaith understanding was a lived reality. As they spoke with us of their work – with the women, with all aspects of prison life, and with the many chaplains of other faiths – the chaplains addressed and included each other with what seemed an easy and respectful familiarity: Anglican, Catholic, Muslim, Pagan – united by their shared experience and commitment to holding a spiritual presence in the prison. It seemed very natural that we should conclude our visit by praying together.

At the North London Buddhist Centre we were welcomed by Suddhaka, a practitioner of this Buddhist tradition. After speaking to us about Buddhism and its values of awareness, kindness and generosity and the core principle of doing no harm to any living thing, Suddhaka led us in a short meditation: an experience which is central to Buddhist practice. At the end of our North London leg I was left reflecting on the importance of both action and reflection in spiritual life. I was also left feeling deeply grateful to the organisers of the pilgrimage for inviting us into such enriching encounters.

Jo Bownas

See also Pilgrimage for Peace
Pilgrimage – Central London venues
Pilgrimage – West London venues
Pilgrimage – Afternoon venues

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Pilgrimage 2009

Holloway Prison grounds

Holloway Prison
Parkhurst Road



Buddha shrine

Buddha Shrine
North London Buddhist centre

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