Celebrating National Interfaith Week 2017

Redbridge Faith Forum celebrated National Interfaith Week with  a social evening including sharing a two course vegetarian buffet meal at the Ilford Islamic Centre on Tuesday evening 14th November.

The evening proved to be very enjoyable with delicious food attractively presented by Capital Banquets (www.capitalbanquets.com) and wonderful entertainment from the East African Ashaad Group plus a fun interactive quiz.

Some of the feedback from guests:-

“I’ve had a really lovely evening.  The food was very good as was the entertainment. thank you to everyone who helped to organise the event”.

“Great event should have more like it.”

“What a warm welcoming event.  Food = excellent. Lovely way to network and make new friends”

“Fabulous evening of good food and good company”.

“Interesting, enjoyable interactive with new people I had not met before.  Food outstanding, learnt about other faiths through the quiz”

“Brilliant evening, very friendly learned a few things from Phil’s quiz.  Lovely food”

Click here for the press release.



Women’s Interfaith Workshop 22nd November 1pm

Thirty five Women from a range of faith communities met for a lively and informative workshop at the South West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue  (SWESRS) on Wednesday 22nd November. The theme for the workshop was ‘Weddings~ ceremony, custom and tradition’. Excellent presentations were given from two faith communities: Jewish and Sikh. This session of the Redbridge Faith Forum’s (RFF) Women’s Workshop followed an earlier one on the same topic with presentations from the Baha’i, Buddhist and Hindu Communities.  It will be followed in February  with a session from the Christian and Muslim traditionsAll women are warmly invited to attend our next workshop which continues the theme of Weddings:- Ceremony, Custom & Tradition and on this occasion we will be hearing from our Sikh and Jewish friends.  The last workshop focussed on Hindu, Buddhist and Bahai weddings and the next will feature Muslim and Christian weddings.

Please click here for a report including photographs of the event.




Building Bridges – NETWORK MEETING 31.10.2017


The October network meeting took the form of a facilitated workshop continuing the theme of peace and reconciliation on from the July network and the September Multi-faith Walk of Peace as it is acknowledged that recent tragic terrorist incidents can have the effect of increasing fear between communities.  The July network meeting focused on what the  different faith communities in the borough are already doing to lessen fear and build trust.  The Multi-faith Walk of Peace was a practical way of building trust and the purpose of the October network was to focus on what we as individuals can do in our own local neighbourhoods to increase trust by building bridges across our differences.

We heard three different encouraging accounts from three Redbridge residents who had reached out to their neighbours and successfully built bridges and brought communities together – one example was setting up a women’s walking group of neighbours who would go for a walk together in the evening after work, another was a food festival where neighbours donated fruit from their garden to be juiced, and the third was how an initial tentative suggestion of neighbours meeting together to share refreshments outside their homes has developed into an annual street party.

Round table discussions then took place where people shared their ideas for small specific actions that would really make a difference to community cohesion in their streets.  Followed by the opportunity to report back one idea from each group.  All ideas were displayed on flipcharts and proved interesting reading.

The evaluation forms were all very positive with 100% of those attending agreeing that they had the opportunity to share their ideas for building bridges in the community and many people commenting that hearing and sharing ideas with others had been most interesting and informative part of the workshop.

Redbridge Faith Forum would like to thank Ruth Musgrave for leading and facilitating the workshop and Dr Suhasini, Ros Southern and Ghazala Navaid for sharing their stories of bridge building.





Redbridge Faith Forum was delighted to welcome so many participants to the Multi-faith Walk of Peace held on Sunday afternoon in Central Ilford.  This year the event started at the Holocaust Memorial Garden in Valentines Park where 70 assembled walkers heard a very moving talk from Rabbi Michael Pertz who spoke about the need for forgiveness and reconciliation and the need to move on from atrocities such as the Holocaust which had affected his family personally.

 A booklet (to view click here) was given to each participant which included a map of the route to be walked, a description of the venues and information about the different religions including prayers for peace. 

More participants joined the Walk as it progressed and some of the original walkers left before the end due to other commitments – overall over 150 people participated and venues visited were

  • the Buddhist vihara in Balfour Road
  • the Hindu Temple in Cleveland Road
  • Ilford Islamic Community Centre in Albert Road
  • Saints Peter’s and Paul’s Catholic Church in High Road
  • and the Karamsar Gurdwara in High Road

Inspirational talks were given at each venue and refreshments were enjoyed at the Vihara, the Islamic Centre and at the Gurdwara where everyone was invited to stay on to attend the Langar  to enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal.                                                                                                                                    Click here for the transcript of the Buddhist talk and click here for the transcript of the Sikh talk.  

The Walk proved to be a wonderful time of sharing and Redbridge Faith Forum is very grateful to all the faith communities who graciously opened their doors in welcome and to everyone who participated including police Faith Community Liaison Officers Shaz and Kaser who kindly provided an escort.  A fuller report including photographs is available by clicking here

The theme of peace will be further continued at the next Network Meeting on 31st October at 12.45 pm in the Central Library when “Building Bridges” will be the topic we will be discussing in depth and all are welcome.

Comments received in feedback about the Walk of Peace included:-

“It was wonderful to take part in this Redbridge Peace Walk.  I feel that we are bringing communities together, which will make our society more peaceful”

“Very interesting.  I have lived here all my life and this is the first time Redbridge really felt like one community”

“A very refreshing experience, positive conversation, listening to others.  Each place of worship gives a very good account of itself”

“It was a great event and my father and I learnt a lot.”

“So good to hear young people’s thoughts”

“A wonderul time. Great chance to speak and share.  Thank you very much”

“A great success – year on year the numbers increase – the joy of people coming together in warmth, peace and goodwill is something wonderful to witness.  Great to see the regulars and great to see those new to the walk.  May the message of community cohesion continue to spread”

“It was a wonderful experience meeting the old and the new participants of different faiths and sharing the word of peace at the walk.  We are so lucky to have Redbridge Faith Forum.  Everything is good about the walk.  Everyone was enjoying the spirit together.  Many thanks to all faith places of worship for refreshments and all.”






WEDDINGS – Women’s Interfaith Workshop held 10.8.2017

30 women enjoyed sharing refreshments and hearing from speakers from Hindu, Baha’i and Buddhist communities on the topic of weddings.

Everyone agreed it had been an excellent event – very informative and interesting.

The speakers were happy to answer questions and discussion was flowing and plentiful on the topic of marriage and not just actual wedding ceremonies in different faith communities.

The group look forward to continuing this theme in November when Jewish and Sikh speakers will share their knowledge and experience on weddings – ceremony, custom and tradition.

As one participant remarked “if you don’t talk and don’t share you don’t know”!

A full report is available report 9.8.17