Thursday, 22 November 2012


Emma Craig-West, Gurbz, Sheri Paige
Fourth day of our week-long exhibition in Highcross for Inter Faith Week.

First volunteers on the display this morning are Emma Craig-West, one of my longest-standing and supportive friends from the earliest days of Creative Coffee Club onwards (on the left in the photo above) and Sheri Paige, Vice President, Student Welfare at De Montfort University Student Union (on the right). Standing between them is a visitor to the exhibition this morning - Gurbz (AKA Mistah G). He and his sister, Anita Kang, will be holding a fashion show charity event in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, in July 2013. I chat with Gurbz about their proposed fundraiser, and about how things went down at Choice Unlimited II in the Tigers Stadium at Welford Road yesterday.

It's a busy morning, especially around the little white tree. Emma's good at drawing people in and encouraging them to write their dreams, hopes, prayers and wishes on the labels. In the photo above, she's with boys from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.

John Florance, from BBC Radio Leicester, arrives around 1100 to do a feature about the exhibition. He records a few minutes with me and with Sheri (photo below). Emma has conveniently gone off to the Post Office. John asks me for a quote about the Church of England Synod's vote on women bishops. After stalling him for a while in the hope that Emma (a church-going Anglican) will come back in time to say something interesting on the subject but it falls to me after all. When I tell John that there are eight different religions represented on the display, and that for seven of them (and for a lot of the Christians too) the vote on women bishops isn't of much importance, he switches off his microphone and asks if I could say something a little more interesting that he can use in a segment that he'll be doing at noon on the topic with Barbara Butler and Stephen Foster live in the studio. So I tell him that, as a discerning consumer of social media, I've found the blogs and tweets about the subject over the past day or so very interesting. When he asks me to pick out the most interesting, I reference Ruth Gledhill and Giles Fraser on Twitter, with brief mention of what they said.

Sheri Paige, John Florance
I'm not on the rota for this morning and came down so I could be here when John turned up. While I'm happy for him to record stuff with the volunteers, but it wouldn't be right to leave them alone to do a radio interview. Neither am I on the rota for the 1200-1400 slot, but one of the volunteers has cancelled, so I stay on to provide cover.

Dr Angela Jagger, member of the Board of Directors and former Secretary of Leicester Council of Faiths is on duty here for the next couple of hours. Angela was my tutor on an Open University Course that I took way back in 1992, "The Religious Quest". Next time I met her, some 15 years later, she was a member of the interview panel for this current post.

Sherry Fulloway, Angela Jagger (and John Coster)
Angela is on the right in the photo above, along with Sherry Fulloway, whom I know from the Christians Aware Monday evening courses at Christchurch, Clarendon Park (and John Coster, Editor of Citizens' Eye Community New Agency lurking in the background).

Angela is on the right in the photo above, along with Cherry Fulloway, whom I know from the Christians Aware Monday evening courses at Christchurch, Clarendon Park (and John Coster, Editor of Citizens' Eye Community New Agency lurking in the background).

Malika Kraamer (who curated the marvellous Suits and Saris exhibition at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery earlier this year) and Kate Dawe (from Victim Support) are volunteering on the exhibition from 1400 till 1600. Kate has brought some leaflets about Hate Crime which we put out on the table.

Ruth Fraser, Noel Singh
Kate and Malika hand over to Ruth Fraser of Leicester Quakers (whom I first met on the recent Walking Pilgrimage round Clarendon Park) and Noel Singh, Policy and Partnerships Manager at at Leicestershire County Council (photo above) at 1600. I pay a flying visit to the exhibition on the way to a meeting of Leicester SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) at Mayflower Primary.

When I return from SACRE, Bev Farrand and Angela Lynn Hunt (from Leicester Cathedral) are on the final shift. They might have been talking about the women bishops vote; but then again ...

Beverley Farrand, Angela Lynn Hunt
Here are some of the messages that visitors and volunteers have hung on the tree today:
I would like my daughter to grow up as a Christian. I would also like my family to succeed in most things
All faiths please get together
Doesn't matter if you're black or white, just smile
Society to work together in peace and harmony - one LeicesterI pray for peace and good health to all people
We teach our children that we are the same on the inside. When the world remembers this lesson, wars will finally end and we will find peace.
Hope my son has a good safe future
Wish peace and prosperity in our family
Happy Christmas from PJEA young boys
I wish health, wealth and peace for my family and the world

1 comment:

  1. This blog post was picked up and reposted by DMU & Leicester - a daily that collates tweets about De Monfort University (in particular) and Leicester (in general), compiles them in an online magazine format which are then tweeted to more than 640 followers.

    Follow this link to see the post in the archives section. It can be found in the Monday 3 December edition under two headings: Society and #Leicester: