Walworth / Old Kent Road Christian Muslim Peace Gathering
- Created on Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Over 40 Christians & Muslims of all ages came together in Burgess Park, South London, on Wednesday 22 October from St Peter’s Church (Walworth), the Old Kent Road Mosque and St Philip’s Church (Camberwell), led by Revd Andrew Moughtin-Mumby, Imam Tadjudeen Salami, Imam Kazeem Fatai and Revd Anna Macham.
Both English and Yoruba were spoken and there were some surprises as both Muslims and Christians from Nigerian backgrounds heard each other speaking a second common language! Siriol Davies (Diocese of Southwark) brought a badge-making machine and we all made “Salaam – Peace” circles to create colourful badges to wear and to give out to friends & neighbours.
Fatima Adamou (Christian Muslim Forum) led a standing dialogue in the park as the children played together. In Muslim-Christian pairs, we talked about the significance of food and fasting in our different traditions. Everyone learned something new, from the significance of bread and wine within Christian liturgy to the timing of Ramadan within the Islamic year. There were conversations about the relationship of food to celebration (Eid al-Fitr, Christmas) and of fasting to prayer and giving to charity (Lent, Ramadan).
Revd Tim Clapton from the Near Neighbours Programme and Adrian Greenwood, Chair of the House of Laity of the Diocese of Southwark both joined in.
A huge banner was unfurled. The children sat in front with Fr Andrew and the adults held up the banner: SALAAM – PEACE We are Muslims and Christians standing together, praying for peace and harmony. #WeAreAllHuman #NotInMyName
A group photo was taken and everyone joined in making the pledge:
We are people of Faith
We are people who long for Peace
And are looking for Peace
We are all creatures of God
We are all committed to one other
Together we will find Peace: Salaam!
There was a relaxed and happy atmosphere. It was a great way to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace in an international city like London, taking the initiative locally while remembering communities overseas. Women from the Mosque brought cakes and biscuits to share. Men from the churches brought juice and water. People spent ages chatting over the shiny Peace-Salaam badges, deciding which ones to take away. It wasn’t over-organised, so people chatted in small groups and got to know each other. The dialogue deepened the conversations and created stronger links between individuals and their respective places of worship. The rain held off and afterwards everyone wandered back across the park in their different directions.