Helping build relationships through faith

Inter faith trail in Preston, starting at the Buddhist Centre at West Cliff.  Pictured is project worker for Preston Faith Forum Sumayya Kovariwala.
Inter faith trail in Preston, starting at the Buddhist Centre at West Cliff. Pictured is project worker for Preston Faith Forum Sumayya Kovariwala.
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Members of different religions from throughout Preston have come together during Inter Faith Week to build relationships and learn.

Since events kicked off on Sunday with a Voice of Women In Faith event at Preston Minster, hundreds of people have been attending workshops and meetings on subjects including finance, the Bible and the Qur’an.

Peter Lumsden, who has been responsible for organising many of the events, said: “It’s going really well, we’ve had a lot of people coming along and a lot of good feedback.

“People have said to us that in school during RE lessons you just get told about religions, but here we’re giving people the opportunity to actually talk to people of different faiths.

“Preston is quite unique in its diversity – we’ve got seven different faiths in a relatively small city – whereas in the east of the county it tends to be more Christians and Muslim.”

Zafar Coupland, who helped organise the Women in Faith event, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people of different faiths coming together to discuss key issues of homelessness, poverty, health and wellbeing.

“We also had perspectives from professionals in the Preston community, which was really interesting to hear. It’s just a shame that it’s only a one-day event.”

Peter added: “This week has been about building relationships, raising awareness of other faiths, and then working together to support the needy.

“Because unless we have strong relationships, tensions you see on the world stage can start to spill into local communities.”

Tonight from 7pm at County Hall in Preston a celebration event will take place for faith leaders and groups from throughout Lancashire, and on Saturday from 6-9pm a youth event will take place at St Ignatius Sports Hall, Preston.