Posts Tagged ‘Springfield Centre’

WOMEN of faith gathering in Birmingham

Christian and Muslim together in the Springfield Centre

On 8th March around 60 Christian and Muslim women came together in the Springfield Centre, Birmingham, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The aim for the event was to form and build relationships as well as deepen understanding between women of the two faiths. The aspect of faith created a great interest in the event and, if the venue had been bigger we would have had many more women assembled! The evening started with refreshments, allowing the guests time to view a display representing Christian and Muslim faith and culture, created specifically for the evening.



This was very well received and created much conversation which greatly aided the mingling process.  The speakers Rehanah Sadiq and Pauline Anderson then set the tone for the rest of the evening by sharing personally and passionately about their faith. Rehanah, a hospital chaplain, spoke about her experience growing up in Sheffield in the 1980’s. She shared her personal story of exploring her Muslim identity and discovering God in prayer. Pauline, a counsellor and consultant, testified of a living and personal God who helped her through many difficulties in life and who inspires her to work as a Christian for the community.
Discussions continued in small groups as participants shared more about their own faith and life experiences.




Even at the end of the event many women stayed behind, still enjoying the atmosphere and conversing with each other, confirming it was indeed an inspirational and enjoyable evening. When asked to describe the evening some key words participants used were respect, understanding, sharing, laughter and friendship. Many expressed the hope that more meetings like this would follow, exploring topics such as:
Family values, Understanding teachings of Bible/Quran, sharing life/faith experiences, testimonies/personal stories and helping the community.
The grant given by the Christian Muslim forum helped to make it a special evening.

Archbishop hosts encounter between local Christians and Muslims

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, hosted an event at Lambeth Palace which brought together 50 imams and clergy from 25 local areas to encourage and strengthen local interfaith relationships.

The Revd Mark Fisher, Andrew Stunell MP, Bishop Richard Cheetham, The Archbishop of Canterbury and Maulana Shahid Raza

The event was supported by Mr Andrew Stunell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Communities and Local Government who spoke to the participants:

“Across the country, Christians and Muslims are making huge contributions to their communities in countless churches and mosques, charities and community groups. But, because they are often working towards similar goals, there is great potential for them to collaborate more.

“That is what this conference is about – challenging ignorance and building effective, friendly working relationships, not only between clergy and imams but also between their congregations. Inter faith activity is an important component of the Big Society we want to build, in which people work together for the common good and to tackle shared problems.”

The programme sought to celebrate and publicise the fruitful work done by these local dialogue groups, which are run by both mosques and churches in the local areas as well as in prison and hospital chaplaincies.

One example of the practical outworking of this is the Springfield Centre in Birmingham, a children’s centre that serves both mosque and parish church, as well as the rest of the community. The centre provides holistic support for children’s development and support to families with young children, as well as helping to foster local interfaith engagement.

The event, organised by the Christian Muslim Forum, provided an opportunity for many men and women from local churches and mosques to share their experiences of working with each other, and explore areas where they can work together locally on issues of shared concern.

The Christian Muslim Forum has brought together over 200 local leaders of both faiths since 2006 and will run the event in partnership with the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) and Churches Together in England (CTE). Participants have drafted a letter to go out to churches and mosques, encouraging leadership and congregations to meet and learn from each other.