Good Neighbours

by Gerry Lynch last modified 23 Oct, 2017 12:00 PM

Bishop meets leaders of West Wiltshire Muslim community at parish church

Good Neighbours

Photo (C): Glenn Phillips/gphillipsphotography.smugmug.com

Bishop Nicholas met leaders of the Muslim community in West Wiltshire at a Trowbridge church on Saturday. 

The meeting, involving both leaders and worshippers at the mosque in Wiltshire’s county town, took place at St James’ Church. Bishop Nicholas was accompanied by the Rector of St James’, the Revd Rob Thomas, and his Adviser on Inter-religious affairs, the Revd Canon Guy Wilkinson. 

Bishop Nicholas said, “It is more important than ever that people of different faiths meet one another in an atmosphere of friendship. We live in a world where suspicions between people of different faiths or no faith can and does have terrible consequences. So, I was delighted to have the chance to get acquainted with friends from the local mosque. 

“Everyone benefits when people who are near neighbours build relationships of trust, and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.” 

The Revd Rob Thomas added, “Having been getting to know our Muslim neighbours through the Mosque Open Days we were delighted to welcome them to visit us in the parish church.  

“The presence of our bishop today is a sign of the importance we attach to our developing friendship and our growing understanding of one another’s faith. 

“We have been interested to learn more about Islam through the hospitality we’ve received in the Mosque, and we are delighted to have the opportunity today to reciprocate with our own hospitality and to share something of the Christian faith with our Muslim visitors.” 

Canon Guy Wilkinson concluded,  “We Christians should always be ready to give an account of our faith in Jesus Christ, and we must remember also that people of other faiths are also loved by God. 

“Inter-religious understanding and engagement is just as important in areas like this where minority faiths are a small proportion of the population. Stereotypes arise more easily where people those of other faiths rarely have a chance to explain their position.”

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