Our main objective is to promote mutual brotherhood among all the religions living in the country: HFOF

Report / Shmama Latif

Last month in December, a seminar organized by “Hounslow Friends of Faith” was held in West London, in which representatives of all communities living in Great Britain participated and expressed their views. According to the management of this organization, our main objective is to promote mutual brotherhood among all the religions living in the country, that’s why we organize these kinds of events from time to time. A detailed report of the recently held event giving below.
Ms Barbara McIntivey said in her address on the occasion, I apologies that there has been no newsletter since the June/July issue. I stood down as a trustee and secretary of HFOF at the AGM in July and since then it has not been possible for another volunteer to produce the newsletter due to illness. As I think it is an important way of communicating news and events with those interested in interfaith matters I am temporarily acting as editor again. I join with HFOF committee members to wish all ‘Friends of Faith’ a happy and healthy New Year!

The administration has said that Thursday 19th January 2023 (time to be confirmed) Hounslow’s Holocaust Memorial Event will be held at West Thames College, Isleworth and another event will be Tuesday 21st March at 6pm a joint HFOF / Al-Mustafa Welfare Trust Iftar will be held at West Thames College, Isleworth. At this point a Tribute was also paid to Ken Riley on this occasion to who sadly died on 16th July 2022 aged 84 years. Ken was a dedicated trustee and friend of Hounslow Friends of Faith; he was an able and efficient Treasurer of HFOF for ten years and then for five years became Assistant Treasurer to support Barinder Sandhu who took over as Treasurer. HFOF trustees were invited to attend and participate in the funeral service for Ken Riley by Father David Cloake, Parish Priest of Ss Philip and St James Church in Whitton, where Ken worshipped. The Solemn Requiem Mass took place exactly a month after Ken’s death. Ken lived alone and had no family, but he was so well regarded by the communities and groups with which he was associated that the church was full of people who respected him and had worked with him over the years. Many tributes were paid by those who knew him well including one by Charanjit AjitSingh, Chair of HFOF, who said that Ken was devoted to his Church and his faith, and had the knack of bringing communities together, a self-effacing gentleman, quiet, yet warm and friendly in his unique way. He had a great thirst for learning about other faiths. He regularly attended the HFOF walks of peace and friendship and other events over the years. He could be relied upon to ask searching questions of any speakers. Prayers for Ken were said by the following: Ajit Singh (Sikh), Basil Mann (Jewish), Fali Madon (Zoroastrian) and Sister Nimu Ladwa (Brahma Kumari). Imam Sheikh Ammar Siddiqui who was to have given a Muslim prayer could not be present because his wife was at hospital for the birth of their first child. Cathy Thornewill, who earlier worked as Ken’s Assistant Treasurer and now lives in Exeter attended the service in person and Alfred Agius, a past Chair of HFOF participated remotely online.
Reflections on Past Events
The AGM of Hounslow Friends of Faith was held on July 20th at Hounslow Methodist Church in
Bell Road. Light refreshments were provided as people gathered then following the business of the AGM Mr Nitin Mehta MBE gave a very wide-ranging talk on ‘The Jain Perspective of Ahimsa (Non-Violence). He began by describing how the ancient concept of ahimsa forms an important part of India’s spiritual traditions going back several thousand years. He gave a fascinating account of how Jain beliefs and practices were founded in the 5th century BCE and taught by a succession of 24 Tirthankara (persons who achieve enlightenment through asceticism and who then become role-model teachers for those seeking spiritual guidance). Lord Mahavir in the 6th century BCE gave Jainism its current form. Jainism teaches that every form of life from the smallest to the largest has a jiva (soul) and so should be treated with equal respect. Among world faiths Jainism upholds ahimsa the most deeply and systematically and observes most strictly the rule of no harm to other life forms. Nitin described in some detail how this rule is interpreted in everyday life and the observances of the Jain monks and
nuns. The two main sects of Jain ascetics being the Diagambara (sky clad) and the Svetambara
(White clad) who practice ahimsa strictly in all aspects of their lifestyle and diet. He went on to share how his passionately held belief in Jain teaching accords with many aspects of the current ecological and green agenda. The application of the principle of ahimsa and plant-based nutrition is of immense value to the natural world. The talk made clear how the beliefs of this ancient faith have much to teach the world in our own day and age.
During Black History month a jointly organized interfaith event by Hounslow Friends of Faith and Al Mustafa Welfare Trust was held on Sunday 23rd October from 1 – 3pm at Lampton School in
Hounslow on the topic of Black History and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him). HFOF Chair, Charanjit Ajit Singh, Rev’d Adam Nayawo from Hounslow Methodist Church, Imam Ammar Siddiqui from Hounslow Jamia Majid and Islamic Centre, Mrs Shahida Mehrban a former Councillor, Nabeela Mulbocus a Community Development Officer from LBH, young adult speakers; Muzammil Ahmad, Hamza Iqbal, Arshia Gul, Fatima Butt and host Zubair Awan all shared their thoughts and reflections standing in solidarity with the black community.
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) teachings on racial equality inspired human beings to strive for racial equality and justice. He taught that all cultures and heritages are to be respected and said in his Last Sermon: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white; except by piety and good action.” The speakers emphasized that Islam continues to teach that diversity is to be embraced and racism condemned. During National Interfaith Week 13th – 20th November HFOF joined with the local British Sikh Consultative Forum for an interfaith event which was held on Wednesday 16th November in the Education Centre at the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Hounslow. The topic of the evening was ‘Wellbeing’ including Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Mental and Social Wellbeing. Dr Jeevan Singh Lall chaired the meeting. After an introduction by Charanjit AjitSingh about HFOF and National Interfaith Week, several invited speakers from different faiths shared how their faith understood and promoted ‘Wellbeing’. Jitu Bhai Dave, the Vedic Priest from the Hanuman Hindu Temple in Brentford shared how faith encourages and gives hope. He promotes wellbeing using music and meditation which helps quieten the mind. Silent Mona Yoga and laughter yoga can also promote feelings of wellbeing. Mariano Marcigaglia, a Buddhist Lay Chaplain, was concerned with the secularisation of society which means fewer people belong to a religious faith. He highlighted the poor mental health of some young people leading to suicide. Faith communities give a sense of belonging which is needed for our wellbeing.
Rev Barbara McIntivey a retired Methodist minister, said Methodists are known for their enthusiastic singing during worship. She spoke of the benefits of singing, which is aerobic, a form of exercise that improves the efficiency of the body’s cardiovascular system, with related benefits to overall health. Singing boosts both mood and the immune system and reduces stress. Research has shown that listening and singing along to positive music for even 5 minutes a day can improve one’s mood. Singing together with others gives a sense of belonging.
Dr Ajaib Kaur Sandhu, a retired Sikh GP, felt her 50 years as a GP was service to the community
bringing wellbeing. She praised Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism 552 years ago, for his teaching on diet and morals. He encouraged people not to eat sugar or overeat and to abstain from drugs and alcohol. Imam Sheikh Ammar Siddiqui, from Hounslow Jamia Masjid, stated that spiritual ill-health affects all other aspects of wellbeing and that there is a world crisis of people who are suffering from depression and related conditions. Within all faiths remembering God and meditating helps bring tranquillity of mind and improved wellbeing.
Dr Pavinder Garcha, a Sikh GP from Hounslow and a trustee of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in
Southall, spoke of the three pillars of the Sikh faith from his perspective as a GP:
1, Love of God and humanity; 2 Collective responsibility and decision-making; 3 Hard honest labour. He commented that although it is interesting to share our ideas of wellbeing how can the young be reached? He suggested going into schools as an interfaith team to promote total wellbeing. After the planned speakers others present were invited to comment. These included the need to be grateful and give back to the community; the tragedy of suicide; encouraging people to speak out about how they are feeling; removing the stigma around mental ill-health in some cultures and providing safe spaces to speak; checking in with us and nourishing our own wellbeing. Also present were two officers from Hounslow Council’s ‘Community Solutions Team’ which aims to be an early intervention and prevention service offering residents advice, guidance and support before they reach crisis point, currently the team is holding a series of Cost-of-Living Market Places. Other events in the LBH during Interfaith Week at which HFOF was represented include:
A lunchtime Interfaith event held on Wednesday 16th November at West Thames College,
Isleworth which was well-attended by the students and Ladies were invited to join an inter faith zoom on Friday 18th November 6 – 7pm organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association Hounslow North Branch on the theme: The concept of God in my Holy Scriptures from Hindu, Christian and Muslim Perspectives. The meeting began with a recitation from the Qur’an, a brief history of the Ahmadiyya movement, and that the Ahmadiyya women’s group Lajna Ima’illa is celebrating its centenary this year. Nali Patel shared that Hindus believe God is all powerful, knowing and omnipresent. God is in all human beings and all creation. The murti or idols represent different aspects of God. All Hindu homes have a murti to whom prayers and worship are offered. Colette Joyce, a Roman Catholic theologian, said that the Christian scriptures are made up of many books and tell the story of God and his people. She quoted from St John’s gospel chapter 1: 1 – 18 written in about CE 100. Christians describe God as the Trinity: Creator, Holy Spirit and Jesus. There are many words used in scripture to describe who God is e.g. ‘I am who I am’ and the Good Shepherd.
Bushra Bhatti an Ahmadiyyan Muslim shared that God is the Supreme Being – the Creator, source of all good. God is near and hears prayers. After several quotes from the Qur’an, she ended with chapter 39 verse: Is not Allah (God) sufficient for his servant.
On Saturday 19th November at 4pm at The London Buddhist Vihara in Chiswick an event
organised by the Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala was held with the topic the Lineage of the
Sacred Texts of different faiths. A report of this meeting will be in the next newsletter.
5 A tribute to Pat Trollope will also be included in the next newsletter. Pat, a longstanding
supporter of HFOF, died peacefully on 16th November aged 96 years.
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Programs from December 2022 to January 2023
10th Human Rights Day
19th – 26th Jewish: Hanukah
25th Christian: Christmas Day
26th Zoroastrian: Zaratosht No Diso
31st Buddhist: Bodhi Day
January 2023
5th Sikh: Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh
6th Christian: Epiphany
7th Eastern Orthodox Christian: Christmas Day 6 January 2023
12th Hindu: Birthday of Swami Vivekanda
14th Hindu: Makar Sankranti / Pongal
17th Jewish: Tu B’Shevat
21st Baha’i: World Religion Day
18th – 25th Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
22nd Chinese: New Year – Year of the Rabbit
27th Holocaust Memorial Day
30th Zoroastrian: Jashn-e-Sade

The members of the Executive of WCF are drawn from all major religious communities in Britain.

Joint President: Revd Dr Marcus Braybrooke

Revd Dr Marcus Braybrooke is a retired Anglican parish priest. He has also been involved in interfaith work for over fifty years, joined WCF in 1964 and has served as Hon. Secretary, Editor, Chairperson and now, as Joint President. He was Executive Director of the Council of Christians and Jews from 1984-8, and is a Co-Founder of the Faith and Belief Forum (formerly the Three Faiths Forum) and a Peace Councillor.
Marcus has travelled widely to attend interfaith conferences and to lecture, and studied for a time in India and in Israel. In September 2004, he was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate of Divinity by the Archbishop of Canterbury ‘…in recognition of his contribution to the development of inter-religious co-operation and understanding throughout the world.’ He and Mary were awarded the 2021 temple of Understanding Juliet Hollister Lifetime Achievement Award
He is the author of many books on world religions and Christianity. His ‘Faiths Together for the Future: the story of the World Congress of Faiths and the growing global interfaith movement to heal the world’ gives a fascinating story of how the interfaith movement has grown and suggests ways that the interfaith movement can contribute to solving the world’s problems.
Other books include Meeting Jewish Friends and Neighbours; Pilgrimage of Hope; Faith and Interfaith in a Global Age; Time to Meet; How to Understand Judaism; What We Can Learn from Hinduism/Islam/Sikhism; Christian-Jewish Dialogue: the Next Steps.
He has also written or edited Learn to Pray, 365 Meditations for a Peaceful Heart and a Peaceful World and Beacons of the Light: 100 Holy People who have shaped the history of humanity; 1,000 World Prayers; and Life Lines.
Marcus is married to Mary, a Vice President of the World Congress of Faiths who was a social worker and a magistrate. They have two children and six granddaughters. One of them, Helen Hobin, has written their biography called ‘Afternoon Tea with Mary and Marcus Braybrooke’.

Joint President: Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick

Rabbi Tabick was the first woman rabbi to be ordained in Great Britain, in 1975. She served West London Synagogue as an associate rabbi until 1998 and then became rabbi of North West Surrey Synagogue in Weybridge. She held this position until July 2013, combining it with her role, since 2012, as the first female Convenor of the Reform Movement’s Beit Din (rabbinic law court) in Britain and the Movement for Progressive Judaism’s court in Europe. She is also the part-time rabbi of West Central Liberal Synagogue. In 2014 Jackie gained her PhD looking at the outcomes of conversion to Reform Judaism 1952-2002.
Jackie is married to Rabbi Larry Tabick and they have three children, one of whom has now himself been ordained as a rabbi in the M’sorati Movement.

Chair and Editor of Interreligious Insight: Revd Canon Dr Alan Race

Alan Race is recognized worldwide for his seminal ideas in interfaith understanding and relations, and has been involved in promoting interfaith dialogue and co-operation at many levels.
Alan is active in interfaith work locally, nationally and internationally. He has worked through interfaith dialogue groups and taught theology related to religious pluralism and interfaith work for many years. He is the author of the classic text in theology of religions Christians and Religious Pluralism (SCM, 1983 and 1993); Interfaith Encounter (2001); Christian Approaches to Other Faiths (2008); Making Sense of Religious Pluralism (2015); Pope Francis and Interreligious Dialogue: Religious Thinkers Engage with Recent Papal Initiatives (2018, edited with Harold Kasimow); and most recently, New Paths for Interreligious Theology: Perry Schmidt-Leukel’s Fractal Interpretation of Religious Diversity (2019, edited with Paul Knitter). A festschrift book discussing Alan’s ideas and his response was produced as Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions: Retrospection and Future Prospects (2016, ed. Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges, Shanthikumar Hettiarachichi). Interfaith Worship and Prayer: We Must Pray Together (2019, ed. Christopher Lewis and Dan Cohn-Sherbok) featured Alan and several other members and friends of WCF. Find books here.
Alan is a retired Anglican priest and the Editor for WCF’s journal, Interreligious Insight.

Revd Feargus O’Connor

Feargus is a Unitarian minister who has been involved in interfaith co-operation and dialogue for many years through the WCF, the International Association for Religious Freedom, the Unitarian Interfaith Panel and the Unitarian Faith and Public Issues Commission.
As minister of Golders Green Unitarians, he facilitates and leads many interfaith peace and other services including the annual WCF celebration of animals. He is particularly active in peace issues, is a former secretary of the Unitarian Peace Fellowship, a member of the Gandhi Foundation and supports the very active and committed work of his congregation for the United Nations Association, Amnesty International and the School for Peace at Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salaam, the Israeli-Palestinian peace village.
Treasurer: Pejman Khojasteh
Pejman has presented papers on the subject of science and religion at The Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion – University of Oxford.
He has applied his experience and research in organisational risk management to societal risk management including religious oriented conflict causation and resolution. He is a Trustee of Inter Faith Network for the UK.

Maqsood Ahmed OBE

Maqsood Ahmed OBE is currently CEO of CDE Acumen, a private consultancy that advises on Government relations, strategy, community engagement, campaign management and communications, capability building, research and evaluation. His focus areas of work are countering violent extremism, inter-faith, community cohesion and social development. In 2021 he was appointed UK programmes director at the Al Mustafa Welfare Trust International. He has also been Director of Welfare and Community Development at the Muslim Hands overseas aid charity since 2012.
Maqsood’s background lies in working on anti-poverty, inter-faith and racial equality in a career which includes working in the Leicester Law Centre and Watford Borough Council for 15 years. Other appointments include time spent as a Trustee and founding member of the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Project in Ealing and founding member of the Leicester Central Mosque and Islamic Centre. In 2003 he was appointed as Muslim Advisor in the Home Office Faith Communities Unit. He was awarded an OBE for his ground-breaking role as the first Muslim Advisor to HM Prison Service, where he championed the opening up of Prison Chaplaincies to reflect the ethnic and faith diversity in many Prisons. He continues to advise on prison policy, drugs and violent extremism as a Trustee of the UK Prison Reform Trust.
Maqsood is passionate about interfaith dialogue and is a pioneer of Muslim/Jewish dialogue. He was instrumental in the first-ever Imams and Rabbis conference in 2006 in London. This was followed by a Muslim/Jewish women dialogue event in Manchester. He is also one of the Patrons of Abraham Fund UK, a charity that works to increase Palestine/Jewish engagement. He was awarded The Muslim News Al-Barooni Award for Excellence in 2008 for his work with the Muslim Community and his Inter-faith work in the UK and internationally.
He holds a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Warwick, where his work focused on Islam in Contemporary Society.

Swadeka Ahsun

A considerable part of Swadeka’s works focus on building Sustainable within faiths while review in progress of 25 years since the Beijing Platform for action across diverse stakeholders, policy makers, academics, professional , organizations, through values as belief empowers people making people achieve change, bringing understanding, mutual tolerance,and peaceful coexistence .
Swadeka obtained BA(honours) Arabic, MA(Islamic studies). She conducted research on dialogue between faiths and religion under the professorship of Tim Winter, of the divinity college of Cambridge University.
Swadeka participated on interreligious dialogue and gatherings, among them , were in Assissi and Rome. She as well participated at the G20interreligious conference(Riyadh) and is preparing for the forthcoming one (bologna, Italy)
An Award Winning artist, having exhibited internationally, she is at present working on culture and heritage, developing sustainable policies, boundless creativity for Unesco together with international collaboration.
Swadeka is the recipient of the Muslim News Al-Hamra award, excellence in the Arts & Culture.

Jitu Dave

Jitendra (Jitu) Dave is a High Vedic Hindu Priest and a retired Chief Biomedical Scientist, specialising in Virology and Immunology at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Trust for over 35 years.
He studied Hindu religious scriptures from a young age under the tutelage of his father, the late Bhagavatacharya Sri Ramanlal H Dave. In 1972, his family came to the UK from Uganda.
He continued his study under the tutelage of Sanskrit scholar the late Pandit Vishnu Narayan. He studied Astrology and Vastu Shastra under the tutelage of the late Jyotish Visharada Sri Mahashankar H Dave. He has been associated with HH Dr Shree Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, pontiff of Dattapeetham, Mysuru, India since the 1980s.
He has over thirty years’ experience of working in the Hindu community in the field of Interfaith, specialising in promoting the Sanatan Hindu Dharma. He is a member of Hounslow Friends of Faith, and a founding member, trustee and secretary of the Sri Datta Yoga Centre UK, a registered charity.
Jitu’s activities include priestly duties at the temple, promoting music for meditation and healing, Yoga, the raising of funds for a Veda school and the construction of a temple.
He is involved in raising funds for humanitarian causes such as supporting education for girls in India; and the building of schools, hospitals and an Ashram (a sanctuary for people seeking spirituality).
Desmond Biddulph

Revd Bonnie

Bonnie received her MA in pastoral theology from Heythrop College, University of London. She has considerable experience in inter-religious dialogue, focusing in particular on dialogue with Shi’a Islam following a period of study in Qum, Iran. Evans-Hills took part in a theological exchange at al-Azhar University in Cairo for the Anglican Communion’s al-Azhar Dialogue. Bonnie is currently Inter Faith Adviser in the Diocese of St Albans, and a parish priest. She serves on the national Presence & Engagement Task Group, resourcing multi-faith parishes, as well as Churches Together in Britain & Ireland Inter-Faith Theological Advisory Group. She has worked on occasion with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and more recently the United Nations strategy for ending incitement to genocide, as well as joining the management committee of the Anglican Inter Faith Network. Evans-Hills is co-author of the book ‘Engaging Islam from a Christian Perspective,’ published by Peter Lang.

Imam Monawar Hussain, MBE, DL

Imam Monawar Hussain is the Muslim Tutor at Eton College, Windsor; Muslim Chaplain to the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Founder of The Oxford Foundation. Monawar read Theology at the University of Oxford, holds a Master of Arts degree in Abrahamic Religions from the University of London and trained as an Imam under the tutelage of the late Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi KBE and Mawlana Shahid Raza OBE, at the Muslim College, Ealing, UK. Monawar serves as an advisor to a number of national charities including the World Congress of Faiths, The Oxford Trust, History of Science Museum (University of Oxford), the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion, Prison Phoenix Trust and the NSPCC National Advisory Group on Safeguarding and Muslim Children. Monawar was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to interfaith and community relations in Oxfordshire, in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2017. He is also a Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire, an Honorary Research Fellow at the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham and High Sheriff in Nomination for Oxfordshire (2021-22). He was awarded the prestigious Sternberg Interfaith Gold Medallion for interfaith services in March 2020.
Monawar’s dissertation entitled: ‘Spiritual Journeying: An exploration in the light of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and Attār’s Conference of the Birds’, was published in 2016. In addition he has contributed to: Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care in Mental Health Settings (2019), Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Interfaith Worship and Prayer: We Must Pray Together (2019), Jessica Kingsley Publishers; BBC Prayer for the Day: Vol 2 : More Reflections for Daily Inspiration: 2 (2016) Watkins Publishing; Religion and the News (2012) Ashgate Publishing.

Dr Vinod Kapashi, OBE

Vinod Kapashi OBE is the founder, trustee and past president of the Mahavir Foundation, a Jain charity established in 1987. He attended Parliaments of the World’s Religions in Chicago, Cape Town, Melbourne and Barcelona and presented papers. He has taken part in special delegations to Buckingham Palace and to the Vatican.
Vinod has studied Jain scriptures and published his first book called ‘In Search of the Ultimate’ based on them. Since then, he has written twenty more books on Jainism, and has gained a PhD in Jain literature. He had undertaken many charitable projects and has been successful in raising money for various causes. He was appointed OBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to Jainism.
He is the past president of Harrow Interfaith Council and has always taken great interest in the Interfaith Movement.

Barney Leith, OBE

John Barnabas (Barney) Leith has been has been an active Bahá’í since the mid-1960s. He has been a member of the UK Bahá’í community’s elected national governing council since 1993.
He has degrees in Sociology and in Social Psychology and Philosophy, and is a member of the teaching faculty of the Wilmette Institute, an online educational initiative of the US Bahá’í community.
He has an abiding interest in the role of religion in the public square and is keenly involved in inter-faith and multi-faith work. He is Chair of Trustees of the Faith-Based Regeneration Network, a UK-wide multi-faith social action network, and was for many years a Trustee of the Inter Faith Network for the UK. He also chaired both the Religion and Belief Consultative Group on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights and the Multi Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy.
He was appointed OBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the Bahá’í Faith and to inter-faith relations.
He is married to Erica and they have three grown-up offspring and five grandchildren.

Sister Georgina

Georgina Long has studied Raj Yoga meditation for 35 years and is a senior teacher at the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. Currently she is the Brahma Kumaris’ Inter Faith Coordinator UK.
In her working life she designed and promoted self development courses within the penal system for both prisoners and staff. For twelve years and as part of a working party of senior prison staff and Raj Yoga teachers, she was instrumental in providing three day residential retreats for prison personnel at the Brahma Kumaris Retreat Centre in Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire.

Brian Pearce, OBE Ajit Singh, MBE

Ajit has over fifty years’ experience of working as a volunteer in the field of Interfaith, race relations and community development. Professionally a retired chartered town planner and architectural consultant, he was the co-author of the Commission for Racial Equality and The Royal Town Planning Institute’s pioneering report ‘Planning for a Multi-Racial Britain’ launched in 1983. He was also the co-founder of the first local Interfaith Group in the country In 1970s. In 1988, he was awarded an MBE for his services in race relations and community development. Over the years, he has contributed to many International and national events and has participated in the debates on human rights at the UN in Geneva.
He has been a member of the World Congress of Faiths and also of the IARF British Chapter since its inception.

Charanjit Ajitsingh

Charanjit AjitSingh has been actively involved in interfaith dialogue in the United Kingdom for over three decades. She has been associated with the International Interfaith Centre since its inception in 1992, firstly as the co-chair of the Advisory Committee which consisted of academics and practitioners of different religions and later as a trustee. She has made significant contributions locally, regionally and nationally for improving community relations and human equality. She has presented papers at international inter-religious conferences organised by the World Council of Churches, the Vatican and the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. She contributes regularly to books and magazines and is on the editorial board of the magazine Faith Initiative. Her book on the Wisdom of Sikhism received good reviews. A former lecturer, principal, director and educational inspector, Charanjit is currently the chair of the IIC board of Trustees.

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