Together in different faiths – Lambeth peace and harmony event

23 November 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

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Five faiths came together in Lambeth to celebrate community, peace and harmony.

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Together in different faiths – Lambeth peace and harmony event

Faiths Together in Lambeth and Lambeth Council shared a message of peace and harmony in the Council Chamber on Thursday November 16.

Representatives of Lambeth’s five most widely-practised faiths  – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism – made a gesture of community by pouring individual glasses of water into a communal bowl, as a symbol of how we all practice our own faiths but come together, shoulder to shoulder, when we need to.

From the Mayor of Lambeth

Cllr Sarbaz Barznji, Mayor of Lambeth, said: “In turmoil, we must remain firm in our belief that peace is not a lofty ambition, but an achievable goal. It is imperative that we move forward to a world where no-one has to flee their home.”

Meditations and prayers

Cllr Sadiwal pours a glass of water into the shared bowl on behalf of the Hindu community

Representatives of five faiths share a gesture of pouring water into a bowl to represent togetherness

Each speaker shared prayers, meditations on peace and harmony, or teachings and words of wisdom from their faith:

  • Jo Backus said: “Buddha gave us many teachings about peace and how we should strive to encourage wisdom and compassion. Kindness, generosity of thought and truth speaking are all part of Faiths Together in Lambeth.”
  • Bishop Martin Gainsborough said: “As I draw closer to my neighbours, the closer I come to God. This gathering of diverse voices is a reassuring step towards a world of peace. Peace is accessible, right now and here”.
  • Cllr Deepak Sardiwal said: “I want us to acknowledge the backdrop to this inter-faith week and the Anti-Semitic, Anti-Islamic – and Anti Hindu – hate crime. Peace is at the heart of Hinduism. We do no harm because Karma means any harm we do to others will come to us. There is no room for dividing lines.”
  • Mohammed Ijaz “We the public have failed to stop the leaders we elected to protect us before the fire got out of hand. Let us not talk of ‘them’ and ‘us’, let us find ways to help each other.”

    Faiths Together in Lambeth share a message of peace

    A message of peace from Lambeth’s most-practised faiths

  • Roger Bowdery read out a prayer including the words “All that has been divided will merge, and everywhere will be called Eden once again.” He added: “I am proud to stand with you of all faiths and none. It is not enough to pray for peace, we have to work for it.”

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr Claire Holland, Leader of Lambeth Council, said: “We are proud that you came to the Council Chamber today. You are here as community leaders and we need to follow you. We are a wonderful, beautiful borough because we celebrate our differences. Religion is not just for Sunday, or Friday, or Saturday – it comes into your life and work everyday and you do it day in day out – understanding and respecting one another and proving that our strength genuinely comes from diversity.”

Peace walk

The event ended with an invitation to write messages of hope for peace and for the future on postcards, and people of all faiths and none walking together in the town centre carrying a message of peace.

More information

For more about Faiths Together in Lambeth see their web pages