Tuesday, 19 March 2013


At St Martins House this evening for a seminar accompanying the display of winners and finalists of the national photographic competition, Faith Through a Lens.

The seminar, entitled Seeing is Believing: Exposing Themes for Dialogue, is led by Revd Canon Dr John Hall, Director of St Philip's Centre for Study and Engagement in a Multi-Faith Society, which is hosting the Faith Through a Lens exhibition (under the title Faith in the Community) for a week here in Leicester.

John walks the group around the exhibition, leading and encouraging discussion and reflection on the twelve photographs in turn and how each of them fits into the three themes of the competition: Moments of Faith; Community Spirit Against the Odds; and A Year of Service.

John explains that this is the third in a series of touring exhibitions that St Philip’s Centre has put on in 2012-13 (one per academic term). The previous two were Religious Tolerance - Islam in the Sultanate of Oman (July 2012) and Multi Faith Spaces (October 2012). The Centre hopes to make this a regular part of its public programme.

In the photo above, Revd Canon Dr John Hall and Maureen Hebblewhite (Centre Manager at St Philip's) are shown with the overall winner of Faith Through a Lens Photography Exhibition 2012, “Brothers in Arms” by Paul Tiller.

I'll pick out a couple of the photos we looked at and talked about this evening.

by Ronnie Bindra

This photo was taken at the National Bahá'í Centre in Knightsbridge during Ayyám-i-Há, a short period that precedes the Bahá'í period of fasting every March. During Ayyám-i-Há, acts of charity, generosity and hospitality are emphasised. In this photo, people of many faiths and traditions are collecting toiletries to distribute to vulnerably homed people as part of a Year of Service project. I spoke about Ayyám-i-Há to the group this evening - and the Fast that follows it and Naw-Rúz that brings the Fast to an end. Perfect timing too, as we were looking at this photo if not right on sunset, as close to it as makes no difference. So I said that it was Bahá'í New Year right now. Everyone was very nice and wished me Happy New Year. Except I realised soon after that I was a day early! I didn't own up though; didn't want to be a buzzkill!

Helping Hands
by Bobbie Cook

This one gave me pause for thought. When I was younger, I hoped I would be the guy on the left, lending a helping hand. Nowadays, I begin to hope that when I'm the guy on the right, someone else will be there to lend me a helping hand!

As I do at the end of all my blog posts referring to St Martins House, I refer any reader wondering about the omission of the possessive apostrophe from the building's name to a letter from Rev. Peter Hobson, Director of St Martins House, published in the Leicester Mercury, 29 March 2011.

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