Archive of the Parish Church of Hampstead Garden Suburb London NW11 7AH
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Local Faith Leaders Unite 14 May 2017
Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jew and Buddhist were among those who came together to promote harmony and unity at a festival in Burnt Oak.
More than 3,000 people attended the Unity Festival of Faith and Culture, at Burnt Oak Leisure Centre, in Watling Avenue, on Sunday (May 14).
They enjoyed music and dance from around the world as well as a football tournament and stalls and kids’ activities.
But the true unifying part came when dozens of faith leaders came together on stage to read the Barnet Pledge, which begins: "We commit ourselves, as people of many faiths living in Barnet, to work together for the common good, uniting to build a better society in our Borough, in London and in the wider world."
Esmond Rosen, chair of Barnet Multi Faith Forum, which organised the festival, said: “It provided a wonderful opportunity for us to stand together in harmony, unity and enjoyment against some of the hostile challenges we face of those attempting to sow discord and division amongst us.”
Among organisations supporting the festival were Barnet Council, London Fire Brigade and the Met Police.
Dancers from Middlesex University performed in the closing ceremony.
Faith leaders who attended include: Rt Revd John Sherrington, RC Bishop of north London: Fr Alan Walker, Anglican priest from Hampstead Garden Suburb: Canon Colin Davis, RC parish priest from Annunciation parish, Burnt Oak: Rev Nigel Cowgill, leads local Methodist Circuit: Revd Ben Twumasi, Methodist minister: Ravinder Singh, Sikh community leader: Dr Shaikh Ramzy, senior Muslim cleric from Oxford: Madhu Madhusudan, from the Hundu Chinmaya Mission UK: Rabbi Stanley Coten: Rabbi Maurice Michaels: Leonie Lewis, Vice-President of the United Synagogue: Edwin Shuker, Vice-President, Board of Deputies of British Jews: Orca Liew, Buddhist community leader: Warwick Hawkins, Faith in Society: Shahab Meshki, Baha’i community leader: Dr Shamender Talwar Co founder of The Unity of Faith Foundation ( TuFF), Archdeacon of Hampstead The Venerable John Hawkins.