Message from IFN Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs to member bodies 8 Jan 2015
8 January 2015
Dear Inter Faith Network contact,
The New Year brings fresh possibilities and opportunities.
It has also, this year, brought news of disturbing demonstrations in Germany and yesterday's murders in France.
In the UK, we are fortunate to have a generally strong record of community relations and inter faith engagement but this can never be taken for granted and echoes – from near as well as far – of destructive responses to dealing with difference are always of concern.
IFN's vision is of a society where there is understanding of the diversity and richness of the faith communities in the UK and the contribution that they make; and where we live and work together with mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good. With our member bodies, we work to that end, like many others here, elsewhere in Europe and around the world.
Some of you will have seen the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day. This year it had reconciliation and understanding as its core theme. We were struck by the reference in this to the importance of respect for people of all faiths and none. We share it with you.
With every good wish for your own work in the coming year: both to foster understanding and cooperation and to dispel misunderstanding, combat prejudice and develop ways to work together to tackle areas of difference peaceably and effectively in ways which respect the integrity of our different faith traditions.
Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE (Co-Chair)
Vivian Wineman (Co-Chair)
Dr Girdari L Bhan (Vice-Chair)
Mohinder Singh Chana (Vice-Chair)
Maulana M Shahid Raza OBE (Vice-Chair)
The Ven Bogoda Seelawimala (Vice-Chair)