Sheffield Interfaith (SIF) are local people who are working together to promote mutual respect and interfaith dialogue in Sheffield. We achieve this by getting to know each other at regular ‘Food and … Read more ...
Benefiting from the publicity of the Nether Edge festival, this event on 22nd September at St Andrews Psalter Lane Church attracted about 70 people, including all the presenters. Not quite a concert, but neither an act of worship, the evening provided insights into different traditions of chanting or repetitive use of music and human voices in spiritual ways.
It started with Sikh Simran (remembrance of God), which included both hymns and sections of the Guru Granth Sahib, accompanied by tabla drums and harmonium, producing a beautiful sound.
The Amida Buddhist tradition contrasted with this by reciting short phrases repetitively, Nembutsu (calling the name of the Buddha), but with various voices creating harmony. They pointed out that their tradition varies around the world, using local music as well as that of Indian origin, and demonstrated this by using a Christian tune from the Taize community in France for one of their chants.
After refreshments we then listened to some more songs from Taize, and joined in with ‘Bless the Lord my soul, and bless his Holy name. Bless the Lord, my soul, who leads me into light’- English words that summarise the role and thoughts of chanting and recitation in many faiths.
The final presentation was Islamic Nasheeds (spiritual songs) which, like the Sikh Simran, were longer songs involving epic poems and hymns, some very ancient, others more modern.
The whole evening was a moving and spiritual experience, a beautiful musical concert and an opportunity to learn about the practices of other faiths and to see how much we have in common.
1st-8th October Quaker Week- look out for publicity
10th October, 6.00-8.00 pm – Food and Friendship Bring and Share dinner, Shirley House Interfaith Centre, Psalter Lane, S11 8YL (Number 4 bus leaves Sheffield Interchange at 17.35)
What more do we need but food and friends to eat with? September is for many a time of new studies and jobs, so whether you are new to Sheffield or have always been here, come and share a multi-cultural meal. Bring some of your favourite food, perhaps a traditional food from your family or culture, if you are able. We like to learn about each other and would like to learn about you.
We welcome everybody who would like to come
24th October – SIF committee meeting 4.30 pm SHU multi faith chaplaincy New members welcome
Thursday 27th October 7.30 pm ‘My Sufi Faith Journey’ (Talk) Shirley House Interfaith Centre, Psalter Lane, S11 8YL
4th November- Chris Hewer’s talk ‘Quranic insights into a society fit for humans’, Islamic Mission, Abbeydale Road
Wednesday 9th November– Book Evening. 7.30 pm. Sharing about books that have influenced your spiritual or faith life: biographies, fiction, scriptures, poetry or any book. Why recommend them, what they mean to people of a certain faith etc. Shirley House Interfaith Centre, Psalter Lane, S11 8YL
*** Interfaith Week 13th-20th November *** – More details to follow shortly
Tuesday 15th November ‘Love Your Neighbour’-7.30pm Show and Tell stories from your scriptures, faith traditions or personal experience that represent ‘loving your neighbour, especially those of other faiths. Shirley House Interfaith Centre, Psalter Lane, S11 8YL
19th November- Interfaith Walk, Lower Don Valley (Ahmadiya mosque, Gurdwara Temple, St Charles Church, Bodmin Street Mosque) Time and meeting place to be confirmed later
The meeting was held at the Multifaith Chaplaincy at Sheffield Hallam University on 21st September.
Members will receive a copy of the minutes via email.
Andrew Crowley welcomed those present to the meeting and explained that, appropriately, it was ‘World Peace Day’. He shared some photographs of a peace demonstration by women and children in India, some children scavenging rubbish in a bombed-out city and a group of leaders from different faiths holding a meeting.He gave the following report:
Last year I reported that Sheffield Interfaith was going in a new direction – we had set ourselves the responsibility of organising Food and Friendship meetings, developing our website and organising at least one interfaith activity throughout the year.
Our food and friendship meetings are going well – I am not sure how many we have had but they are about every two months. We always welcome new people as well as the new culinary delights. The meal table is a good place to meet new people but it does not allow a safe space in which we can ask the more difficult questions of each other. Towards this we are planning to create a series of meetings which will allow us to deepen our conversations in an atmosphere of trust, where we can be more honest and open. We are making contact with someone from the Who is My Neighbour project who could act as a facilitator for us.
Our interfaith walk last November was along London Road, starting at the Mother of God Catholic Church, and going to the Madina Masjid, the Airey Fairey pagan cafe and temple, and finishing at Cemetery Road Baptist Church. Perhaps it was the first time that 4 such diverse places of worship had been connected to each other. The range of religious practice was very different yet my experience was that in each place I recognised something that was familiar to me and resonated with my own faith tradition. My understanding of my faith was broadened just that little bit more.
Making such visits raises lots of questions – what was familiar, what was different and what was challenging? This year we are addressing this by having some time at the end to say what we liked and what we found challenging. This year’s interfaith walk will be along the first part of the 5 weirs walk along the lower Don. We are negotiating visits the to Ahmadiya Mosque, the Sikh Gurduwara, a church and a mosque. Once the details have been confirmed then they will be posted on our website.
Use of the website continues to grow and we now have 78 people who are regular subscribers. The use of the website is replacing the newsletter that we used to prepare and send out. I am not sure how that has left members who do not have access to the internet. The site is visited about 10 times a day and over the last year has had 3600 visits. We would like to see the website used for any event in Sheffield to which people of other faith traditions are invited.
Our membership is 23 individuals and 1 organisation.
For the coming year
1. Make Sheffield Interfaith better known by all the places of worship in our city by undertaking a publicity campaign.
2. Consider how we can develop our activities to better fit with the needs of Sheffield.
3. Increase the membership and at the same time have a better relationship with our members.
4. Having recently found a copy our constitution we need to make sure that it is fit for purpose. We do need to consider holding the AGM in the April or May next year to be compliant with what was agreed in March 1997.
5. The work of committee is not that demanding but we do need to increase the numbers to develop our work and to be more effective. Sometimes there are only 3 of us who meet. We will look at the needs of the committee later in this meeting.
6. I would like to thank those members of the committee who have been faithful in their commitment. On a personal note this coming year will be my third as Chair and according to the recently rediscovered constitution this should be my last. We need consider this.
“If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” Desmond Tutu.
Business and discussion
We noted especially:
The website is receiving a good number of visitors; we would like to advertise more events organised by any faith group or of interest to our readers.
At present we have only 23 paid up members; we believe this is partly because many people do not know about us, we need to become known more widely. We need to increase the membership and communicate with them more.
Possible future directions discussed: Could we run a ‘faith and religions course’ through the Sheffield College?
Andrew thanked the committee for the work they have contributed during the year; and the committee thanked him for all his work.
General discussion (committee to pursue these at future meetings)
We need to update our constitution.
Should there be topics for discussion at ‘Food and Friendship’ dinners or not?
If not, should there be another (SIF) forum where people can deepen their understanding of each other?
Sharing stories of what inspires us in our interfaith journey.
Young people (especially) joining in to sort donations for refugees. The fact that many people from different backgrounds, nationalities, faiths and parts of Sheffield both contribute goods and come together to send these donations to Calais, Syria and Lesbos, through ‘Sheffield Donations for refugees’.
Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, which tells us everybody is our neighbour, not just those of the same faith or ethnic group as each of us. We noted that this story has given the world the word ‘Samaritan’ as someone who puts themselves out to help those in trouble, whereas originally they were looked down on as less trustworthy.
Muslim friends. Especially a doctor who sat with her when she was very ill in hospital; who turned out to be the nephew of some former pupils of hers in another town in Yorkshire.
It’s a bad time for good relations between different groups of people, and we need to work together and believe that we can make a (small) positive difference.
In the late 1960s the Catholic Church produced some good teaching about Interfaith relations, the value of dialogue and the fact that the word and concept of ‘God’ does not belong to ‘one club’.
The story (and film) ‘Of Gods and Men’ reminds us how people of different faiths can live together for mutual benefit, but that sometimes our faith can cost us (even our lives).
Mindfulness is a way of living that brings joy; paradise is within human beings.
Further to our brief mention a couple of weeks ago of this event, I now have more details.
Unfortunately you are probably too late to book a place by now, but contact firstname.lastname@example.org to check, as BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.
Tackling Antisemitism & Islamophohobia
Organised by the Council of Christians and Jews but hosted by Leeds Makkah Mosque, this important meeting will be chaired by Dr Jane Clements, director of CCJ and will feature the following distinguished international speakers:
Imam Qari Asim MBE, Leeds Makkah Mosque
Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz, Assistant Rabbi, Sinai Synagogue
Ustadh Adam Aslam, Leeds Muslim Youth forum
Rabbi Jason Kleiman, Rabbi, Beth Hamidrash Hagadol
Canon Sam Corley, Rector Designate of Leeds City
Sadia Akram, Manchester Women’s Sports & Women’s Voices
Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Deputy Director, CCJ
A similar event was recently held in Manchester – It is clearly a topic of huge importance throughout the UK and internationally – What should Sheffield be doing???
Who am I? What gives my life meaning?
The OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation offers a two year cutting edge experiential programme creating your unique path to wholeness and service, weaving together living community, spiritual leadership, social action, ritual and spiritual counselling.
OneSpirit Interfaith Minister Training programmes commence each autumn.
Join us at our introductory event in Manchester
(Friends House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS)
on Saturday 17 September 2016
(1pm to 4.30pm)
For further information or to reserve your place, call our administrator:
0333 332 1996
Friday 30 Hope in the Holy Land 7.30pm
Songs and stories from Garth Hewitt and Robert Cohen in Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB.
Tickets £8 in advance: contact email@example.com or £10 on the door.
Tickets can also be purchased by https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hope-in-the-holy-land-tickets-25323630661
This event has been advertised via Interfaith mailings, but we are sorry to note that it is arranged for a Friday evening, a time when many Jews traditionally stay home with their families or attend religious services to celebrate the beginning of Shabbat, thus making their attendance at Victoria Hall impossible.
Thursday 29 Evening Reflections 7.30 – 8.30pm
Music, words and times of silence at Underbank Unitarian Chapel, Stannington Road, Stannington S6 6AP
COUNCIL OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS event to be held on 29th September 2016, hosted by Leeds Makkah Mosque at 36 Thornville Road,Leeds LS6 1JY.
This has been organised by the Head Office of The Council of
Christians and Jews and the national Director and the deputy Director will be
An event run along the same lines in Manchester recently proved to be a huge
success for inter-faith relations and Leeds is the obvious place to hold another .
Pre-registration is essential so please e mail the organisers at
without delay to secure your place !!
Best wishes !
Tim Friedman – Joint Publicity Officer, Leeds CCJ August 2016
The 2nd of August marks Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. Join Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians and many others as they show their solidarity with the Roma community as they mark the anniversary of the Porajmos. Representatives will be gathering at noon in Hyde Park, London, at the Holocaust Memorial Garden. We hope you will be able to join us in support. René Cassin will be organising Jewish representation; do let us know if you can join us.
Campaigns and Programme Manager
Sheffield Interfaith would like to publicise and support this event, but only heard about it today
On the 4th Thursday of each summer month, from 7.30 -8.30 pm there is a time for Music, words and times of silence at Underbank Unitarian Chapel, Stannington Road, Stannington S6 6AP
Next one is Thursday 28th July
followed by Thursday 25th August
The Chapel is a lovely building in a beautiful location – an ideal place to spend a peaceful summer evening