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Faith Leaders from across Sussex and Hampshire gather at Chichester Cathedral for International Day of Peace (posted 4 Oct 2017)

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Faith Leaders from across Sussex and Hampshire gather at Chichester Cathedral for International Day of Peace

The Revd Dr Andrew Wingate and Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
The Revd Dr Andrew Wingate and Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo

Faith leaders from different religions across Sussex and Hampshire came together at Chichester Cathedral on 21st September 2017 to participate in an event celebrating the International Day of Peace.

'Live Better Together' was organised by the Cathedral to commemorate the Peace Day, first established in 1981 by the United Nations.  The day-long gathering was an opportunity for anyone to explore what peace means in their own lives, the local community and the wider world today.  A broad range of thought-provoking events took place, including talks on creating peace within communities, art workshops and a peace trail.

An inter-faith discussion included leaders from regional Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Christian communities.  Contributors included Abbot Ajahn Karuniko of Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, Baljit Kang from Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sikh temple in Crawley, Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo, Imam of the Al Mahdi Centre in Fareham, Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral, the Reverend Canon Dr Anthony Cane and the Reverend Canon Dr Julie Gittoes from Guildford Cathedral.

Sheikh Datoo commented, "To be part of the Interfaith panel was a humbling experience.  It enabled me to be witness to my faith spreading salam, peace, to my neighbours.  The event provided an opportunity to send a powerful message that as people of different faiths we appreciate our gifts of diversity in faiths and that we can live side by side."

The Sheikh continued, "The benefit of the event is that people of different faiths or no faiths were able to connect, meet each other and talk to one another.  This leads towards a better understanding of each other.  This enhances our living together for the wellbeing of all; which as the theme for the event."

Within the Cathedral there was a peace trail, candle lighting and prayers, with one visitor commenting how the "trail was very thought provoking, using the beauty of the Cathedral and the depth of its spirituality."  In the afternoon all visitors were encouraged to contribute to a hand-printed community banner which is now hanging in the Cathedral as a symbol of hope and peace.

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