A belated note about last Saturday's St Albans Interfaith Group's reception at the Civic Centre. St Albans is special in so many ways, and the longstanding interfaith group (which predates 9/11) is evidence of that. The initiative came from the Rev Tony Hurle of St Paul's Church, who wanted to create a regular dialogue between the local religious communities.
On Saturday we had speeches from Kevin Walton, the Canon Chancellor at the Abbey, who made the point that our city's origin stemmed from Alban, then a non-Christian, reaching out to protect a persecuted Christian; a luminous talk from Dr Khalid of the Islamic Centre, St Pauls' close neighbour in Hatfield Road; speeches from the United Synagogue in Oswald road and the Masorti congregation; the Bahai; and the Society of Friends, who are currently hosting the Masorti congregation at the Friends Meeting House in Upper Lattimore Road. Also spotted were friends from Marlborough Road Methodist Church, as well as other Anglican churches in town. My apologies if I have omitted anyone. They are all Abrahamic faiths, and there is far more that unites than divides us. I found this event an uplifting and moving experience.