People representing different faiths and beliefs walking together in Burngreave is a familiar sight. Once again, on a very sunny afternoon on 7 January 2018 there they were. This time around there were 40 or so walkers. The date was close to New Year Day and the feast of epiphany tide when Christians remember the visitors who came from the East and the gifts they brought to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. It was an appropriate time to celebrate the rich ethnic, cultural and faith gifts and diversity in Burngreave, and to walk together as an expression of our faith, hope, togetherness and prayer for peace.
The walkers met on the green near the Al Rahman Mosque in Spital Hill, and walked a one mile route. When they passed a centre of worship they paused outside for silent prayer for the community that prays there. The route passed eight local Churches, four Mosques and the nearby Hindu Mandir. The walk concluded back at Spital Hill green. There were no banners, and no speeches, only silent prayer.
Over the last hundred years people have come to live in Burngreave from many parts of the world. After World War Two many came here for work in the steel industry. More recently many have come from counties in or close to conflict and violence, and come here for safety and peace, bringing with them their gifts of faith like prayer. Burngreave is one of the most multifaith and multicultural areas in Sheffield. Our diversity is a gift and enriches us all as a community of communities.
We all need to do all we can to challenge hatred and hostility, to build relationships of mutual respect and trust, and to work and pray together for the safety and welfare of each other.
Look out for the details of the next prayer walk.