A pilot twinning programme between 20 churches and mosques across Britain was celebrated on 9 November to mark the start of national Interfaith Week 2020.
The pilot brought mosque and church leaders together for a series of online conversations between clergy and Imams, as well as lay leaders and volunteers, to foster deeper levels of friendship and understanding.
Topics of exchange included lessons learned from the first Covid-19 lockdown as a new national lockdown in England began, recent attacks targeting church and mosque worshippers in France, as well as how to develop more local cooperation.
As a participating mosque for the first time, Elland Masjid volunteer Tariq Ali said: “I’ve never met and gotten to know a priest before, so myself and the other volunteers at the mosque found it really enjoyable.”
Susan Parkinson, Elder at Westbury Gardens United Reformed Church (URC) in Blackburn, said: “Our conversations with our Muslim friends highlighted the way we both work in our communities and shows faith in action.”
The pilot builds upon an existing programme developed by the Christian-Muslim Forum.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Co-Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum, said: “We’ve been incredibly privileged to support the church-mosque encounters pilot project as part of Inter Faith Week this year. We know from first-hand experience how important and rewarding relationships are built between Christians and Muslims through Church-Mosque ties and we look forward to working with partners to continue to deepen and broaden networks among Christians and Muslims in the UK.”
The pilot is being organised by the following national faith bodies and is planned to be expanded to support more churches and mosques in 2021:
United Reformed Church
Baptist Union of Great Britain
Muslim Council of Britain
Christian Muslim Forum
Inter Faith Week 2020 took place between 8–15 November and was organised by the National Inter Faith Network.
Published: 24 November 2020