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21st November 2018

It’s an inspirational and enriching week for thousands of communities across the country and this week St Brendan’s joined the many organisations, neighbourhoods and schools celebrating Inter Faith Week.

Father Richard

Father Richard

The nationally-recognised week is designed to highlight the good work done by local faith and faith-based groups and aims to draw new people into inter faith learning. The celebration enables greater interaction between people of different backgrounds and St Brendan’s was thrilled to embrace the event and contribute to its aims! Welcoming a range of guest speakers to the College, students learned more about the many faith-based groups within the city during their RPE lessons.

St Brendan’s extended a warm welcome to a range of representatives from the Catholic Church throughout the week. Amongst the visitors was Father Richard Mckay, a Roman Catholic priest of Clifton Diocese for 46 years and close friend of St Brendan’s. Father Richard spoke to students about his experience of his parish – St Nicholas of Tolentino and putting faith into action from a Catholic perspective. Following Father Richard was St Brendan’s RPE teacher John Lux who spoke about his recent trip with the Scouts to Nepal and discussed Hinduism within the area, as well as the multi-faith element of the country. Joining the two Catholic speakers was Rev. Lizzie; an Anglican female Vicar who has two churches in Fishponds. She spoke about her calling to the ministry and how she balanced the demands of being a vicar with three small children and a lot of parishioners!

As well as talking about Catholicism, students were also delighted to hear from Rizwan Ahmed – a Muslim Chaplain and Coordinator for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society. Part of Rizwan’s job is to promote community cohesion and interfaith dialogue; he delivers ‘Demystifying Islam’ presentations to students across the city and spoke about contemporary issues and his role in the Muslim Cultural Society. As the week progressed, St Brendan’s welcomed Balbir Kaur to College who spoke about her work with the Bristol Sikh Community.

This year the College also welcomed representatives from communities that students were not so familiar with. Towards the end of the week students were fascinated to hear from George Mazidian, who gave students an insight into the Baha’i faith. George explained how Baha’i’s believe that all religions have true and valid origins and that the faith founder Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent manifestation of God.

The week finished with a visit from Humanists UK representatives. The organisation brings non-religious people together to develop their own views and an understanding of the world around them.