As part of interfaith week, Our lady and St Joseph Catholic School in Poplar hosted a multi-faith gathering at which presentations from Jewish, Christian and Muslim speakers were followed by refreshments. The well attended event focussed on the history of the Abrahamic faiths and discussions took place around how faith is a unifying factor and a catalyst to achieving service to communities based on a common good.
The evening of discussions was opened by Sister Christine Frost, who also introduced the three guests: teacher and chaplain Father John Moffatt SJ; Leon Silver, leader of the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street; and myself. The short presentations were followed by discussion and a Q&A. Our Lady & St Joseph headteacher Patrick Devereux concluded proceedings by thanking Sister Christine for arranging the event, along with the guest speakers and attendees.
Other activities planned by the St Matthias community centre include a Fast and Pray Day for Peace on Friday 18th, when members of the community will fast and pray as they wish through the day and then come together at 4pm at St Matthias to break bread together, in the style of the Muslim Iftar gatherings. Everyone of all faiths and none are encouraged to do something positive together. To finish off the week a “Families Together” fun afternoon will take place at St Matthias on Sunday, 20th November between 3pm and 5pm.
Sister Christine also announced plans to serve and deliver Christmas and Boxing Day meals to those in need, with the usual preparations beginning on Christmas Eve. This service will be repeated on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. This year there may be carol singing outside Poplar DLR station too.
•Neighbours In Poplar, founded in 1969, is a registered charity providing practical support to older, frail and/or isolated people of all cultures and faiths living in Poplar and the Isle of Dogs. Neighbours In Poplar has been contracted by London Borough of Tower Hamlets to deliver the LinkAge Plus programme in LAPS 7 & 8. For more information, go to: www.neighboursinpoplar.com