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

A print edition of Westminster Interfaith Newsletter is published five times a year and is available by subscription, currently £15.00 per calendar year from :-
Westminster Interfaith,
Westminster House,
Watford Way,
NW4 4TY.

Cheques should be made payable to 'Westminster Interfaith'.



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When preparing the printed Newsletter we sometimes have items that do not make it into print for lack of space,or maybe the subject is no longer topical by the time of the next issue. Some that we feel may nevertheless still be of interest are offered here.


Back Numbers of Newsletter

Issue 61 – May 2009
Issue 60 – January 2009
Issue 59 – November 2008


Pope Benedict at the Western Wall

Westminster Interfaith Newsletter
Issue 62 – July 2009

6 August Hiroshima Day

9 August Nagasaki Day

and Franz Jagerstatter Memorial Service

for details of events please see Pax Christi

On pilgrimage and pilgrimages

First of all, I would like to thank all those who helped make this year's multi-faith Pilgrimage for Peace an enjoyable, spiritually uplifting experience and a great success: ...
Full article here

Inter Faith Week 15-21 November 2009

Inter Faith Week was proposed by the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom in the consultations that led to the Department for Communities and Local Government document: "Face to Face and Side by Side – a framework for partnership in our multi faith society."
Full article here

Youth Interfaith Congress in India

'Youth for Unity' a youth branch of the Focolare movement founded by Chiara Lubich, is planning to take a group of young people aged between fourteen to seventeen from Britain to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu in Southern India from 6-13 August, 2009...
Full article here

Pope Benedict's visit to the Holy Land

"Build a civilization of love"

In March 2009, Pope Benedict XVI told representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that he was preparing to visit the Holy Land as a pilgrim to pray for "the precious gift of unity and peace both within the region and for the worldwide human family".
Full article here

24th Anniversary Celebration of the London Peace Pagoda

It was a sunny but windy day in Battersea Park by the River Thames, where the Peace Pagoda is situated. The Buddhist monks and nuns had prepared everything impeccably...
Full article here

Prayer placed by Pope Benedict in Jerusalem's Western Wall

During his trip to the Holy Land in May, Pope Benedict XVI, stopped to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Here is the text of the prayer he placed in one of the cracks of the Wall.

God of all the ages,
on my visit to Jerusalem, the "City of Peace", spiritual home to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, I bring before you the joys, the hopes and the aspirations, the trials, the suffering and the pain of all your people throughout the world.
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,hear the cry of the afflicted, the fearful, the bereft; send your peace upon this Holy Land, upon the Middle East, upon the entire human family; stir the hearts of all who call upon your name, to walk humbly in the path of justice and compassion.
"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him" (Lam 3:25)
© Copyright 2009 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Promoting community cohesion

The Hounslow Friends of Faith, a local multifaith group of friends in Hounslow have, these last ten years, sought ways of promoting harmony among the different faith communities in their Borough...
Full article here

Pilgrimage – West London venues

We met at West Ealing Station at 9.30 am. There was a group already there of about 30 pilgrims, including Alfred Agius, with some trainee Roman Catholic Deacons, some with their wives. We went straight to the West London Islamic Centre and Jamia Mosque, ...
Full article and photos here

President Obama in Cairo – seeking a new beginning

President Obama's speech in Cairo on June 4 was an attempt to renew USA relations with the Arab world and with Muslims, in particular. In it, he deals with a number of important issues, which unite or divide the West with the Muslim world. He lists these issues under 6 general categories: ...
Full article here

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...
Full article and photos here

Sister Simon Catlin – an appreciation

For more than 10 years, Sr Simon has been a part of our team in Westminster Interfaith. When she joined in 1997, she was living and working in the East End of London...
Full article here

From Brother Daniel's Diary (7)

4th August 1988. I was explaining what my work was to a couple of ladies, a mother and her twenty year old daughter – both leaning towards the extreme right...
Full article here

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

On May 14, the day before his return to Rome, Pope Benedict XVI stopped at Nazareth in Galilee, where he gave a number of homilies and talks including an address at an inter-religious meeting...
Full article here

Islam Awareness Week 15th – 21st November 2009

After careful consultation, Islam Awareness Week (IAW) will coincide this year with the first ever Inter Faith Week in England. IAW was started in 1994 as an annual week-long programme...
Full article here

Pilgrimage – Central London venues

Our pilgrimage began at the Chinese Buddhist temple off Regent Street, Fo Guang Temple. It seemed as though the whole community had turned out to greet and bow to us...
Full article and photos here

News in Brief

Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue together with Bishop Augustine Shao of Zanzibar, Tanzania and Bishop Johannes Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Bandung, Indonesia. The president of the council is Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

An unprecedented Catholic-Hindu meeting in India has opened a new chapter in relations between the two faiths so Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran affirmed in a Vatican Radio interview, after participating in a June 12 Catholic-Hindu summit in Mumbai at which Catholic and Hindu leaders discussed recent violence against Christians in that country. Jayendra Saraswathi, who is the current Sankaracharya of the Hindu monastic institution Kanchi matha, noted that these attacks were a reaction to "forced conversions," and asked Church leaders that these acts be stopped. Cardinal Tauran and Cardinal Gracias reiterated that forced conversion does not happen in the Catholic Church: "It has no meaning, and is considered invalid." The archbishop of Mumbai called for a deepening of the "spirituality of our people," added that "moral lessons should be included in the school syllabus to help children become better human beings."

Pilgrimage for Peace

The multifaith pilgrimage for peace is traditionally held on the first weekend in June, usually on the Saturday, although it has taken place occasionally on the Sunday. Apparently, in the early days,when Brother Daniel was in charge...
Full article and photos here

Pilgrimage – Afternoon venues

At lunch time, the three groups of the pilgrims converged on the Zoroastrian Centre, where the Zoroastrian community met us, many dressed in traditional costumes. Inside the Zartoshty Brothers' Hall...
Full article and photos here

Pope Benedict's address to faith leaders in Nazareth

Here is the text of the address Benedict XVI gave on May 14 in the auditorium of the Annunciation Shrine in Nazareth, during an interreligious meeting with faith leaders in Galilee.

Dear Friends,
Grateful for the words of welcome offered by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo and for your warm reception, I cordially greet the leaders of different communities present, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Druze and other religious peoples...
Full text here

'The Story of a Multifaith Journey' W. Owen Cole

"I have found Dr Cole's journey immensely fascinating as a man of faith, showing us how he has done it while being faithful to his own and with deep respect for the other, a true witness to interfaith. I strongly hope that other readers also find his journey of spiritual fellowship as transformational as I have found it to be for me."

Charanjit K. Ajit Singh, author of The Wisdom of Sikhism.

W. Owen Cole has had a distinguished career in Religious Education and has a worldwide reputation as a commentator on multifaith issues and practice as well as on Sikhism. He has written – on his own and in conjunction with others – many well-received books, continually used in teaching from primary to tertiary education.

Direct phone orders: +44 (0)1524 68765 (post and pack in UK £2.95) www.sussex-academic.co.uk

Forthcoming Events

These are the events / organisers we know about, the list is not exhaustive:
July 2009 – Forthcoming Events

Calendar of Religious Festivals

Multifaith Calendars are seldom complete, ours is made to fit on an A4 page – you may find more celebrations listed and explained online by following some of the addresses on our Resources page.
Calendar: July 2009 – early September 2009


A tourist says to his guide, 'You have a right to be proud of your town. I was especially impressed with the number of churches in it. Surely the people here must love God'.

'Well', replied the cynical guide, 'they may love God, but they sure as hell hate each other'.

It reminds me of a little girl who was asked, 'Who are pagans?' She replied, 'Pagans are people who do not quarrel about religion'.

From: "The Song of the Bird" by Anthony De Mello.
By kind permission of the publishers, Gujerat Sahitya Prakash Anand, India

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