Sunday, 12 May 2013


A short road trip with Rosemarie Fitton today, to take part in Peterborough Inter-Faith Council's annual "Faith Festivals & Food" event.

Rosemarie and I hosted a visit to Leicester by Peterborough Inter-Faith Council on behalf of Leicester Council of Faiths in September 2012. We said then that we'd be happy to join in any activities on their home ground, should the occasion arise. So here we are, in Peterborough Town Hall!

First item of business today is the Annual General Meeting, which is done and dusted in 15 minutes - including approval of accounts, appointment of new officers and all necessary vote of thanks! Then it's on to the presentations - ten of them in all, each of us having ten minutes each to speak. Rosemarie, being keynote speaker, gets five minutes extra. The theme is how form and function are related in places of worship of the different faiths. Speakers and topics are shown below, just as they're listed in the programme.
Welcome and Introduction Dr Jaspal Singh, Chair of Peterborough Interfaith Council
Keynote Speech- Religious places of worship and how their structure is related to function Rosemarie Fitton, Programme Leader Interior Design, De Monfort University
Bahá'í places of worship George M Ballentyne, Equality & Diversity Officer, Leicester Council of Faiths
Buddhist Temples and how they operate Dr Hung, Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Centre Peterborough (unfortunately, Dr Hung was unable to attend)
Christian Churches; how their structure is related to function Dr Clive Morton, Civil Engineer, Churches Together Peterborough
Hindu Temple and their diverse structure Dr G.L. Bhan, MBCHB, FRCS, Chair of World Council of Hindu Temples, Vice chair of Interfaith Network for UK
Jewish Places of Worship (Rev. Malcolm Weisman, OBE, QC, Minister for Jewish Memorial Council) 
Sikh Gurdwara; Their Structure and Operation Dr Daljit Singh Virk, Prof of Agricultural Genetics Bangor University, TV Presenter
Muslim Mosque; Their Structure and Function Dr Musharraf Hussain, CEO, Chief Imam
Local Places of Worship, Past & Present Gillian Beasley, LLB OBE, Chief Executive of Peterborough City Council
Multi faith Skyline of Peterborough Mayor of Peterborough Cllr George Simons, Mayoress Sylvia Simons
Thanks, presentations & buffet Lunch

Jaspal Singh, Chair of Peterborough Inter-Faith Council, ends the formal part of the meeting by quoting Harbhajan Singh Yogi: "If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all." How very fitting.

At the close of proceedings, each of us is given a small commemorative cup in thanks for our contribution today. I haven't received anything like this since I was Dux of Bankhead Primary at age 11 in 1971. I feel inordinately pleased.

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