mutual respect, shared values
The Inter Faith Network for the UK has a calender of religious festivals.

Below, you will find some useful information for each faith or world view.
Click on each to see the detail.


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To follow…

Christianity has its roots 2,000 years ago in the land now called the Holy Land. Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, at once human and divine; that His death by crucifixion redeemed the sins of the world; and that His resurrection to eternal life opened that life to all humankind.

There are over 2,000 million Christians worldwide - one third of the global population, with many different churches and denominations. Christianity has been the main religion in Britain for over 1000 years. Today there are 42 million Christians in the UK .

Christians believe that there is one God, the creator and sustainer of all things, and that God is known to us in a threefold way, as the Father, the Son who is incarnate in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The title Christ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, the one who would be sent by God to redeem and renew the world. Jesus' early followers proclaimed that He fulfilled this role, and the prophecies in the Jewish scriptures.

Jesus taught that the criterion of judgement would be how we have cared for each other. The Bible and Christian tradition teach that Jesus will return again one day to judge all humanity and bring about a complete renewal of all creation.

Different ways of reading the scriptures and different forms of worship and authority have given rise to different churches and other Christian organisations. In England the Church of England is the national church and is governed by the Queen and led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and an elected General Synod.

To follow…

Humanism is the outcome of a long tradition of free thought that has inspired many of the world's great thinkers and creative artists and gave rise to science itself.

The fundamentals of modern Humanism are:

1. Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others.

2. Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world's problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.

3. Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.

4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism imposes no creed upon its adherents. It is committed to education as a free inquiry of truth.

5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world's major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process. of observation, evaluation and revision.

6. Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.

7. Humanism is a life-stance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.

Our primary task is to make human beings aware in the simplest terms of what Humanism can mean to them and what it commits them to. By utilising free inquiry, the power of science and creative imagination for the furtherance of peace and in the service of compassion and empathy, we have confidence that we have the means to solve the problems that confront us all. We call upon all who share this conviction to associate themselves with us in this endeavour.

Chris Watt, Chair
Alan Trevethan, Secretary

The word Islam, from Arabic, means submission to the one God al-Ilah (or ), and one who submits to God is a Muslim. The word Islam also comes from the same root as the Arabic word for peace.

Islam is a monotheistic religion as revealed in the Qur'an, the holy scripture of Islam.

Muslims also live by the teachings and example of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), who is also considered to be the last messenger and prophet of God; the 'Seal of the Prophets'.

Muslims believe that God is one, incomparable and transcendent and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, through messengers and prophets including Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace upon them all). They believe that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both the word and the unaltered (and final) revelation of God.

To become a Muslim, the Shahada is spoken: "I bear witness that there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God". The saying of these words from the heart is alone sufficient to make the speaker a Muslim, though often the words are spoken in the company of Muslims. The Shahada is the first of the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship. The other pillars are: Salat, performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day; Zakat, paying a charity tax to benefit the poor and the needy; Sawm, fasting during the month of Ramadan; and Hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca.

Muslims combine faith and action in everything they do, in doing and thinking good deeds, in striving for social justice for all, and that everything in life should be at the service of God.

Kent Muslim Welfare Association meet at the Jamia Mosque, 114 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 5UH
Telephone & Fax: 01634 850878 ~ Mobile Contact: 07957150869 / 07739008000

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The Religious Society of Friends - more commonly known as Quakers - is a group of some 25,000 worshippers in the UK and around half a million worldwide.

Quakers share a way of life rather than a set of beliefs.

The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity and finds inspiration in the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus. Quakers also find meaning and value in the teachings of other faiths; we acknowledge that ours is not the only way.

Our sense of community does not depend on professing identical beliefs, but from worshipping, sharing and working together.

The silent gatherings started by George Fox in the mid-1600s are still the centre of Quaker life. Meeting is open to everyone and is a quiet hour. Anyone present may speak, if led by the Spirit. Meeting is based on silent waiting, and the shared silence can be very moving. The silence may be broken if someone present feels called to say something which will deepen and enrich the worship. Anyone is free to speak, pray or read aloud, as long as it is done in response to a prompting of the spirit which comes in the course of the meeting. At the end of the hour, two people, called elders, shake hands to mark the end of worship. This is followed by a short period called 'Afterword'. Notices will then be read out by the clerk of the meeting. There will always be time after Meeting to chat to those present over a cup of tea or coffee and we particularly like to welcome newcomers.

To follow…

Below text is copyright

Sikhism, is barely five hundred years old and its founder, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469. Guru Nanak spread a simple message of "Ek Ong Kar": we are all one, created by the One Creator of all Creation. This was at a time when India was being torn apart by castes, sectarianism, religious factions, and fanaticism. He aligned with no religion, and respected all religions. He expressed the reality that there is one God and many paths, and the Name of God is Truth, "Sat Nam".

Guru Nanak taught his way of life:
Nam Japa - To get up each day before sunrise, to clean the body, meditate on God's Name and recite the Guru's hymns to clean the mind. Throughout the day, continuously remember God's Name with every breath.
Dharam di Kirat Karni - To work and earn by the sweat of the brow, to live a family way of life, and practice truthfulness and honesty in all dealings.
Vand Ke Chakna - To share the fruits of one's labor with others before considering oneself. Thus, to live as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.

The foundation of Sikhism was laid down by Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak infused his own consciousness into a disciple, who then became Guru, subsequently passing the light on to the next, and so on. The word "Guru" is derived from the root words "Gu", which means darkness or ignorance, and "Ru", which means light or knowledge The Guru is the experience of Truth (God).

Each one of the ten Gurus represents a divine attribute:
Guru Nanak - Humility, Guru Angad - Obedience, Guru Amar Das - Equality, Guru Ram Das - Service, Guru Arjan - Self-Sacrifice, Guru Hargobind - Justice, Guru Har Rai - Mercy, Guru Harkrishan - Purity, Guru Tegh Bahadur - Tranquility, Guru Gobind Singh - Royal Courage

Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru, exemplified the Sikh ideal of the Soldier-Saint. He was also an inspired and prolific writer, courageous warrior, and a source of Divine Wisdom to his Sikhs. "When all other means have failed," he said, "only then is it righteous to take up the sword." He was the defender of the poor, the meek, and the oppressed masses of India.

The Making of the Khalsa
Guru Gobind Singh was the last Guru of the Sikhs in human form. He created the Khalsa, a spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood devoted to purity of thought and action. He gave the Khalsa a distinctive external form to remind them of their commitment, and to help them maintain an elevated state of consciousness. Every Sikh baptized as Khalsa vows to wear the Five "K's".

Kesh - uncut hair and beard, as given by God, to sustain him or her in higher consciousness; and a turban, the crown of spirituality.
Kangha - a wooden comb to properly groom the hair as a symbol of cleanliness.
Katchera - specially made cotton underwear as a reminder of the commitment to purity.
Kara - a steel circle, worn on the wrist, signifying bondage to Truth and freedom from every other entanglement.
Kirpan - the sword, with which the Khalsa is committed to righteously defend the fine line of the Truth.

The birth of the Khalsa is celebrated by Sikhs every Vaisakhi Day on April 13.
Khalsa vowed to follow the basic tenants of Bana (uniform), Bani (scripture), Simran (meditative recitation), Seva(service). Khalsa also vows to refrain from any sexual relationships outside of marriage, and to refrain from taking meat, tobacco, alcohol, and all other intoxicants.

Then Guru Gobind Singh infused his own being into the Khalsa, declaring that the Khalsa was now the Guru in all temporal matters. For spiritual matters, the Guruship was given to the "Siri Guru Granth Sahib", a compilation of sacred writings by those who have experienced Truth. For Sikhs, "Siri Guru Granth Sahib" is the living embodiment of the Guru, and is regarded with the utmost reverence and respect wherever it is found. Sikhs all over the world took to the "Siri Guru Granth Sahib" as their living Guru, as the source of spiritual instruction and guidance.

Below text is copyright of MTGS, Rochester

Medway Towns Gurudwara Sabha
1-5 Lancaster Parker Road
Tel. Mr. Parminder Singh Upple (Office) - 01634 685 629

Manpreet Singh Marway (07809 457548)
MIFA Representative of Sikh Faith

Inter faith groups provide an ideal opportunity for people of different ages, backgrounds, genders and faiths to learn and share from each others' experiences, knowledge and teachings in order for a wider multi-cultural community to become tolerant of one another's beliefs, traditions and practices.

Vaisakhi is celebrated every year at the Gurudwara in Rochester, and all are welcome to attend.

Within our congregations you will find people who describe themselves as Christians, earth-spirit worshippers, Buddhists, Jews, humanists, agnostics and atheists. You will also find those who prefer to have no label and those who identify with the term 'seeker'. While each individual takes responsibility for their own spiritual journey, we unite to celebrate the great mystery that transcends all traditions, all categories and all words.

A POEM: This is Faith

To walk where there is no path,
To breathe where there is no air,
To see where there is no light-
This is Faith.

To cry out in the silence,
The silence of the night,
And hearing no echo believe
And believe again and again
This is Faith.

To hold pebbles and see jewels
To raise sticks and see forests
To smile with weeping eyes
This is Faith.

To Say:
'God, I believe' when others deny,
'I hear' when there is no answer,
'I see' though naught is seen-
This is Faith.

And the fierce love in the heart,
The savage love that cries Hidden
Thou art yet there!
Veil thy face and mute thy tongue
Yet I see and hear Thee, Love,
Beat me down to the bare earth,
Yet I rise and love Thee, Love!
This is Faith.

(Ruhiyyih Rabbani, written on April 4th, 1954)

Readings from different Faiths and Beliefs

Download Readings from different Faiths and Beliefs

See the following for the key events throughout the year:
BBC Interfaith calendar

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