Faith leaders gather for multi-faith conference

AROUND 60 people representing many of the faith communities across the borough came together at The Barn, High House Production Park, Purfleet. Speakers included Cllr’s John Kent and Phil Anderson together with David Jonathon from the Luton Inter-faith forum.

The Conference concluded with the formal launch of ‘Thurrock Faith Matters’, the newly established borough wide forum for dialogue and activity between the many different faith communities. The conference was a partnership event between Thurrock Council and Thurrock Faith Matter.

There has for some time been a desire to establish a Thurrock wide network across the various different faith communities. There have been several attempts to get this off the ground but for various reasons, they have not proved to be successful. Twelve months ago a gathering took place at the Beehive Centre in Grays where the idea was once again raised. It was agreed that the time was now right to move this forward and so a small steering group was established to develop the concept further. Help has been provided by the East of England Faiths Council together and Thurrock Council.

The steering group has met regularly through the last year and has developed a draft Constitution (see attached). It was decided to hold a Thurrock Faith Leaders Conference that would take place during the National Inter-Faith week (20-26 Nov 11). The conference was arranged for Thursday 24 Nov at The Barn, High House Production Park, Purfleet. Invitations were distributed widely across the borough and around 60 people representing the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christian faith communities gathered for the Conference. The programme included various speakers (see attached).

The feedback at the end of the conference was very positive and we have a number of ideas to take forward into the new year with many more people wishing to be involved.

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