mutual respect, shared values


Saturday 15th July 2023 - Walk For Peace

Saturday 2nd July 2022 - Walk For Peace

Sunday 14th November 2021 - InterFaithWeek

Saturday 4th September 2021 - MIFA Walk for Peace 2021

Sunday 8th November 2020 - InterFaith Week 2020

Saturday 6th July 2019 - Walk For Peace

Thursday 9th May 2019 - EnvironmentalResponsibility

Saturday 21st July 2018 - Walk of Peace

Thursday 10th May 2018 - Anti-semitism

Thursday 12th April 2018 - An Audience with George Fox


19 November 2016: Pilgrimage of Faith & Friendship

After the successful Walk for Peace, Medway Inter Faith Action is organising another event where people from different faiths can meet each other.

The Pilgrimage of Faith & Friendship will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016, from approximately 11 am to 2 pm.

We will visit different places of worship in Gillingham, among others the Sikh Gurdwara where we will enjoy a nice lunch.

Full Programme & Map

Thursday 10th November 2016: A.G.M. and Shinto

You are warmly invited to attend the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and share your views about Inter Faith and Inter Faith activities.

Our learning about other Faiths continues with the guest speaker Taishi Kato (a Shinto Priest from Japan) giving a short presentation on Shinto religion, the old and modern, and their relation with interfaith.

Shinto is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people and remains Japan's major religion alongside Buddhism.

An informal discussion followed by Q&A.

13 October 2016: Forum meeting about weddings

Speaker: Rev Bonni-Belle Pickard – North Kent Methodist Superintendent.

With many years of her working experience in an interfaith setting in South India and more recently in London, Bonni-Belle explores what weddings mean to various people!

Do weddings have their roots in religion? Wedding and Marriage; are they the same? What do you or your faith say?

Thursday 8 September 2016: The Meaning of Prayer

14 July 2016 - Judaism old and new

The Jewish faith is one of the oldest of the world religions, over 3300 years old. But how much do we know about the Jewish faith? Are there different forms of Judaism? What are they? Why?

These questions were addressed by David Herling in a very interesting presentation at our Forum meeting on Thursday 14 July.

Walk for Peace Medway 2016 - a great success!

On Saturday 2 July 2016, we organised the Walk for Peace Medway. It was a beautiful day and we were all inspired by the messages of peace that we heard from different parts of the community. We started in Gillingham High Street, where Ingrid sang a beautiful Song of Peace. The imams from the mosque in Canterbury street and the Ahmadiyya mosque shared verses from the Qu'ran and extended words of welcome to anyone who is interested in what is going on in the mosque. A prayer from Saju from St Marks Church and a Hindu prayer set us on our way.

We passed through the Great Lines Park and paused briefly at the Naval Memorial. Then we continued to the Chatham Memorial Synagogue. The group filled up the beautiful house of worship and received a blessing. David Herling shared his thoughts about peace and said that peace is dynamic, so walking is a good way to promote it.

Our last stop was at the War Memorial in Rochester. We heard from various people with different faith backgrounds. Accompanied by a saxophone, we sang some songs. Neil Wood led a mindfulness session, which was a good opportunity to find the peace that we experienced in ourselves.

All in all, it was a friendly, informal event, where people met each other and new contacts were made. It was very nice to see all the different placards representing groups who are committed to peace in Medway. Keep watching this space for pictures!

9 June 2016 - Soul & Spirit

A Forum meeting about Soul & Spirit - Perspectives from different faiths and beliefs.

12 May 2016: Freedom of Religion

Thursday 14 April 2016: Community involvement

During our meeting on 14 April 2016, Ian Garcia told us about the work of the community wardens in Medway. This is a team of officers who are helping to keep Medway clean, safe and green.

An activity like cleaning the street together makes it easier for people to make contact with each other. It serves the double purpose of keeping the streets clean and building the community.

We talked about the opportunities for MIFA to plan a litter picking event and also donate a tree to one of Medway's green spaces.

Climate Change - What does my faith say?

On 10 March 2016, we had another inspiring MIFA meeting. We exchanged ideas about the relation between our faiths and the current climate change crisis. The evening started with a little game that was all about using natural resources in a sustainable way.

After that, Maaike shared something from a Christian viewpoint. Faran presented a Bah�i Perspective on Environment, as well as a range of faith-based organisations who are making a stand for the environment (find the list here).

All religions have a message about caring for our natural home. In Judaism for example, the kosher species of fish are the ones who live in large schools so that populations can easily recover. Taking too much from nature is linked to greed. In this context our discussion touched upon the question why economic growth is always taken as an imperative by policy makers.

We also talked about listening the cry of the Earth, a concept from Thich Nhat Hanh. If we are aware of everything that the Earth gives us - food, water, air - we can also pray for her.

All in all, there were a lot of contributions from different angles. It is encouraging to see that so many people are making conscious lifestyle choices because they realize that we cannot go on like this. This evening also made it clear that our faith is a strong driver for those choices.

11 February 2016: Presentation about the Parliament of the World's Religions

Sally told us about her work as a university chaplain and her experiences during the Parliament of the World's Religions. She shared quotes from various speakers around the theme "Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity". Women played an important role at the Parliament. It is embarrassing that while 80% of the people practicing religion are women, only 1% of the current religious leaders is a woman!

We were inspired by the concepts that Sally brought to the table: Acts of Random Kindness, the idea of the circle as the organic shape that brings us together, the ancient wisdom from wise women. We also had a chance to get creative and we made some beautiful origami hearts.

6 February 2016: Bring & Share Lunch

We had a lovely Interfaith lunch at the Old Vicarage in Gillingham. We had nice food and 10 people attending. Chris and Una Mayes shared something about the 50th anniversary of the "Nostra aetate" (In our time) - a declaration by the Catholic Church about relations with other religions. This document from 1965 shows a very respectful and open attitude towards other faiths. It inspired us to have an open discussion about different paths to God, prayer and gratitude.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

21 January 2016: Discussion about women's rights and religion

MIFA Pilgrimage Sunday 20 September
MIFA organised another annual pilgrimage between local faiths, including joint prayer gatherings at key landmarks. There were also food refreshments en route. The weather was good and all those asked said it was a very enjoyable day.

Magna Carta 800 Years - Conference and Exhibition 15 to 19 June
Organised by the Human Rights Office

The Magna Carta of June 1215 was a peace treaty between King John and the rebelling barons. It was not meant as a lasting declaration of rights and principles. But the concessions the King had to give and the rights he had to recognise reveal an underlying principle: those in a position of power cannot maintain absolute power over others for ever, nor at all costs. This is why the Magna Carta can be considered as a root document for our human and civil rights to this day.

MIFA attended this event, to be held at the Ward Room, University of Greenwich, Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime, Kent. It was organised by the Human Rights Office and supported by the Magna Carta Trust's 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee*

Monday 15 June and Tuesday 16 June 2015: Main Conference in the Ward Room
Wednesday 17 June and Thursday 18 June 2015: Workshops in the Syndicate Room
Friday 19 June 2015: NGO Market and Historic Tours
Exhibition all week

For more information on what happened at this historic event:

11 June, MIFA Forum
Chair of MIFA Faran Forghani gave an interesting and moving account of the Baha'i Faith.

Islam Awareness Week 16 to 22 March

The theme for the 2015 Week is 'Give a Little of Yourself'.

Further information about Islam Awareness Week can be found online at

19 February: The Coexist Pilgrimage, London

12 February, MIFA Forum
MIFA were given an informative talk by member Emma Carr on Paganism and Wiccan.
Medway Council Offices, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent.

27 January, National Holocaust Day Memorial, Chatham Memorial Synagogue
A service was given and presentations by local schools on the Jewish and other genocides.

3 December - Community Fun Day, Mid-Kent College, Medway Road, Gillingham
11am to 2pm.
The purpose of the day was to bring together different faiths and the community, as a whole, join together to learn about the different faiths, what they believe in and what they do as a community and for the community. The main goal of this community fun day was for people to play, learn and unite, as well as to understand more about your faith.

There was also a panel discussion in the style of the TV show, Question Time; where students could ask more in-depth questions. This will be chaired by Adriana Temali-Smith; Midkent college's own Diversity and development adviser.

In Medway, the Inter Faith Week culminated in the MIFA Inter Faith Diversity Party on Saturday 22 November at the Sunlight Centre, Gillingham.

The party was from 7-10pm, where we celebrated our common ideals and our differences. Good food, good entertainment (musical) in a good environment with friendly people of all faiths and none.

Medway Inter Faith Action commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the Week of Prayer for World Peace
A gathering of people of all faiths who met to say prayers together for world peace.

The meeting on on Tuesday 14th October was from 7:30-8:30, at the newly formed Meditation/Quiet Room at the council offices (Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham)

Bodhicharya Kent - Visits by Tsering Paldron: 14th and 19th October
Tsering Paldron visited in October on Tuesday 14th during the Meditation Evening and also on Sunday 19th for a Day Retreat.

Tuesday 14th October, 8-10pm - The Four Seals. Tsering was teaching on the Four Seals, which from the Buddhist point of view highlight the key features of reality and existence and are also what distinguish Buddhist from non-Buddhist teachings.

Tsering's last visit to Bodhicharya Kent February 2014, Quaker Meeting House, Rochester, Kent

Sunday 19th October, 10-5pm - Chenrezig, The Practice of Compassion. Wayfield Primary School, Nursery Unit & Children's Centre, Wayfield Road, Chatham

B'Nai B'Rith European Days of Jewish Culture & Heritage 14-21 September
A series of events which started in 2000 and have proved popular way to increase interfaith understanding and a worthy addition to the communal calendar. The theme this year is 'Women in Judaism'. Details of events can be found on

In Medway, the Chatham Memorial Synagogue opened its doors to visitors on Sunday 21 September from 10am to 12 noon, and from 2pm to 5pm. Gabriel Lancaster MBE was the host.

The Medway Inter Faith Pilgrimage 22 June
This was a fantastic event, very successful with great weather and a good turn out. Thanks to all who organised it. Photos to follow.

A goodwill message received just before the event, from the Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester

"I am very pleased to greet all those taking part in this year's Medway Inter Faith Pilgrimage. I pray that you will be enriched as you share today's journey with each other, and are welcomed within your different places of worship. As you walk and talk together, may you come to understand one another more fully, sharing your insights, rejoicing in unity and difference, and striving together for the common good of all within our society."

With my prayers and good wishes to you all,

World Religion Day 20 January

National Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January

Climate Week 3-9 March
A speaker will addressed MIFA during this week.

Workers Memorial Day 28th April
Castle Gardens, Rochester.

MIFA Medway Pilgrimage 22 June
This was an event involving many faiths and places of worship. Details to follow.


November 23: MIFA Annual Diversity and Interfaith Party:

18 November: The Annual Kent Peace and Unity Conference:
This successful annual event was organised by the Christian-Muslim Forum and Kent Muslim Welfare Association, and had talks by various faith groups, and from the local community such as the Council, the Police, Education and others. St George's Centre, Gillingham, Kent.

17 November to Saturday 23 November: Interfaith Week:
MIFA faith communities hosted various events during this week. National Inter Faith Week details can be found at

11 November: Remembrance Day Service
Gary Colville, Kent Workplace Mission Chaplain to Medway Council and Gabriel Lancaster (from the local Jewish community) lead the Remembrance Day Service for all staff. Mayor�s Parlour at Gun Wharf.

Gary asked that a representative from each faith community attended to read a short passage from their own holy writings.

24 October: United Nations Day:
Part of One World Week.

13 October to Sunday 20 October: The Week of Prayer for World Peace :
This took place from Sunday

The first community to offer an event/service was the Unitarians with a service at the Chatham Unitarian Church co-hosted with the North Kent Humanists on Tuesday 15 October, 7.30pm - 9:00pm , address: Hamond Hill, corner of New Road Avenue, Chatham.

The Baha'i programme for The Week of Prayer for World Peace took place on Saturday 19 October, 4:30 pm at the usual Baha'i venue for this event; Centre Mind Body Spirit at Medway Services (London-bound).

Interfaith on the Radio
The Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs would like to draw to member bodies� attention an important reflection this morning on Thought for the Day on Radio 4, by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, about the importance of inter faith dialogue in this context. In it, he talks about how atrocities in other parts of the world have the capacity to affect how we relate to each other in our own communities, and about the corrosion of trust that can ensue between, and within, nations and faith communities in such contexts. He underlines the importance of inter faith discussion and friendship in developing and maintaining trust, and as a vital safeguard against gradual, unnoticed erosions of tolerance within ourselves. He speaks, at the close of his piece, about how the Inter Faith Network for the UK has allowed him and many others to have meaningful inter faith encounters, but could equally well be speaking about the work of every inter faith initiative in this country and around the world that contributes to this hugely important work. You may be interested to listen to this piece online: click here.

Best wishes, Harriet Crabtree
Inter Faith Network Circular 19/13
24 September 2013

Archbishop Justin on inter faith relations

Dear colleagues,
I am writing to let you know about a visit that the Archbishop of Canterbury made yesterday in Southall, West London to a Church, a Hindu temple, a Gurdwara and a Mosque. During presentations about inter religious work given by the community, he spontaneously volunteered a donation from a discretionary charitable fund to found a new inter religious centre on the site of the old St John's Church.

In his speech, see link below, Archbishop Justin stated: "Diversity is a gift, not a threat; it is a hope, not a danger. The kind of country I want to live in has as one of its best examples what goes on in this area. I don�t want to live in something that is mono-cultural."

After his visit to the Central Jamia Mosque, the Archbishop also condemned the recent wave of attacks on Muslims following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby. He said, "I want to acknowledge the pressure that our Muslim friends and colleagues have faced over the last few weeks. There have been terrible attacks, I know that the vast majority of those in this country and especially people of faith would join me in condemning utterly any act of violence against anyone because of their faith."

More information about the visit is available on his website: click here

A selection of pictures from the day on the Lambeth Palace Flickr account can be viewed here: click here
(photo credit: Marc Gascoigne/Lambeth Palace)

I would be grateful if you would share this news as appropriate with friends and colleagues.

With warm good wishes,


The Revd Dr Toby Howarth
Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury and
National Inter Religious Affairs Adviser for the Church of England
Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU
23 July 2013

Inter Faith Week 2012
England, Northern Ireland and Wales: Special extended Jubilee Inter Faith Week 18-27 November
In the Diamond Jubilee year, there was a special extended Inter Faith Week running from 18 - 27 November, reflecting the fact that there were additional activities taking place, including some linked both to the Week and to the A Year of Service programme. The opening Sunday of the Week again coincided with Mitzvah Day.

Scottish Inter Faith Week: 25 November - 1 December
Scottish Inter Faith Week has to date, since its establishment in 2004, fallen at the turn of November and December because it is linked to St Andrew's Day which is on 30 November.
In 2012 the Week began on Sunday 25 November.

Further information is available from the Scottish Inter Faith Council

World Interfaith Harmony Week
A resolution on an annual World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) in February was put by Jordan and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010. While in the UK the Government does not formally mark this Week and the national Inter Faith Weeks in the nations of the UK fall in November/December, a number of events happened here to mark WIHW. In particular, the branches in this country of international inter faith organisations played a special role in marking this important World Week, focusing on the vital issue of global inter-religious harmony.

Details of WIHW events can be found at:

The Week of Prayer for World Peace 2012

The Week of Prayer for World Peace ran from Sunday 14th October until Sunday 21st October.

As usual, faiths hosted prayer meetings which were open to everyone.

Each of these hosts went to a special effort to organise their prayer meetings, and particularly welcomed followers of other faiths to join them, so they could see how they worship.

Sunday 14th

A service was held at 10:30am in Chatham Unitarian Church, on the corner of New Road and Hammond Hill in Chatham, ME4 6AP. This small, quiet church has been a supporter of Interfaith in Medway for over 20 years (long before MIFA was formed!).

Wednesday 17th

The New Medway Towns Gurudwara Sabha hosted a meeting; Prayers started at 6pm and Hymns at 6.30pm.

Prayers for World Peace were included with the prayers of the day and they provided a written translation of the prayers that have been dedicated to the Prayers for World Peace.

While they have also been supporting Interfaith for over 20 years at their previous location in Cossack Street, this was the first time that MIFA had visited the Gurudwara in their new location behind Rochester Airport. See INFO page for venue details

Thursday 18th

Gillingham Mosque in Canterbury Street invited people to join them for prayers. See INFO page for venue details.

Friday 19th

The Medway Hindu Sabha invited people to join them at 361 Canterbury Street. See INFO page for venue details.

Their Pooja ceremony started at 6pm and visitors congregated in the lower hall to join them at 7pm for hymns, starting with the Hindu Shanti Path (Prayer for Peace).

Sunday 21st

The Baha'i Faith booked the surprisingly tranquil 'Centre-Mind Body Spirit' at Medway Services on the M2 (their usual Venue for this event) for a prayer meeting at 3pm. See INFO page for venue details.

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