Wednesday, 12 December 2012


It's been quite a few years since I last picked up a copy of the Rutland Times. I lived in Oakham for 16 years (1987-2003) and during those years the Rutland Times and I were on very good terms. I used to write regular small pieces about the sizeable and active Bahá'í community we had there at that time, as well as about the business of the Bahá'í Publishing Trust, where I worked then. I also wrote obituaries for the paper of John and Vera Long (who pioneered for the Bahá'í Faith in 1963, when they moved from Leicester to establish a new Bahá'í community there) when they both passed away in 1992. The Rutland Times also used to have occasional pieces about my Creative Writing classes and it once ran a profile piece about me. I don't have a copy of that any more; it would probably be embarrassing to read now. Those were more innocent times, in many ways.

Arriving at Launde Abbey today for the Christians Aware Christmas lunch, I find a copy of this week's edition of Rutland Times (edition published Saturday 8 December 2012) in the bar. Flicking through it, I'm glad to read the following short but pleasing article:
Inter-faith forum proves a success
A church welcomed people of several religions for an inter-faith forum.
Christians, Sikhs and Muslims joined together at St Andrew’s Church in Lyddington at the invitation of the Rev Jane Baxter.
Faith representatives included the newly-elected police and crime commissioner for Leicester and Rutland, Sir Clive Loader, and Judge Saleem Ahmed. 
Penny Escombe from Northamptonshire gave the opening address on spirituality in public life, followed by a talk from Chioneso Kulwant Kaur.
Former High Sheriff of Leicestershire, Resham Sandhu, said: “We are very fond of Rutland, and I hope we can repeat this successful event in Wing next year.”

Coincidentally, Resham's wife Surinder is here for the Christmas lunch, so I'm glad to be able to show the article to her.

Considering how much effort and resources we threw into Rutland promoting inter faith activities during the years I lived there (never mind the by the Bahá'ís who were there before and after that time) I am glad to see that the flame is being kept alive. I also joined in a Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer in Rutland, that was run by a small group of women from All Saints Parish Church in Oakham, that had an inter faith dimension. We once used extracts from Bahá'u'lláh's Hidden Words as the text for a session of contemplative prayer. I don't think that is still going, but it was a joy while it lasted.

Photo of St Andrew's Church, copyright Julian Dowse and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1 comment:

  1. This blog post was picked up and reposted by The Oakham Tioes - a daily that collates tweets about Rutland, compiles them in an online magazine format which are then tweeted to more than 1,170 followers.

    Follow this link to see the post in the archives section. It can be found in the Friday 14 December edition under the heading "Society":