Interfaith Evening 18 Nov 2014

On the Tuesday of National Interfaith Week, 18th November 2014, about one hundred of us met at St. Peter’s Church Hall, to join in a multi faith discussion entitled “Marriage – a challenge of a lifetime”

We were more than a little subdued as we were trying to take in the horrific news about the murder and wounding of our Jewish friends whilst at prayer in a shul in Jerusalem.

Alan Hudson our host for the evening made mention of this in his introduction. We then had presentations from our different local faith leaders, Makbul Rahman of the Muslims, Reverend Andrew Burton of the Anglicans, Father Jim McNicholas of the Roman Catholics and Rabbi Meir Salasnik.

We heard that marriage in all our faiths was a combination of both the spiritual and the human.

All of the faiths stressed the importance of the family, of love, of companionship, of compassion and of tolerance in marriage between husband and wife. We didn’t get around to discussing same sex marriages!

Both the Christian speakers compared earthly marriage to the relationship that Christians and Jesus Christ have with each other, whilst the Muslim and Jewish views were similar to each other and put more emphasis on faithfulness to each other and to God.

At the end of this session there were questions from the spellbound audience. They ranged from arranged marriages to mixed marriages to pre-marital relationships and the panel gave us their views. The refreshment break allowed us to mingle with each other albeit briefly. There was a very good atmosphere in the hall.

The second half was a talk by Mike and Glenda, Counsellors with Watford Relate, Mike giving us an outline of their work in getting couples together again or helping them to cope with the sometimes inevitable separation. Glenda gave some examples from her caseload where religion had caused problems in relationships.

The evening finished with a summing up and a vote of thanks. A collection raised £150 for the Watford Relate Hardship Fund.

 

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