Inter-faith relations in Wokingham

This week I attended a public meeting called to look at starting an inter-faith forum in the Wokingham Borough. I ended up being one of the two guest speakers in place of Malcolm Duncan of Faithworks because he was unable to make it for some reason! I spoke about how faith communities can all too easily simply co-exist leading parallel but disconnected lives and what a  missed opportunity this is. In a world where violence seems to be increasingly prevalent faith communities which share a common commitment to the message of peace and harmony need to come together to witness for peace in the world.  The other speaker was Dr Indarjit Singh, BBC broadcaster and editor of the Sikh Messenger, who highlighted the need for perople of faith to reject the idea that one faith is inherently superior to the other and to commit to gretaer understanding and appreciation of one another’s faiths.  Dr Singh’s presence ensured a large representation from the local Sikh community and there was also good representation at the meeting from voluntary and statutory organisations, including Cllr Angus Ross, Mayor of Wokingham Borough. Christian representation appeared rather limited I am afraid to say. More work needs to be done in highlighting the need for this in Wokingham. This borough is overshadowed in this respect by its larger and more culturally diverse neighbour, Reading. The absence of any public worship centre of any major world faith other than Christianity in Wokingham itself also hinders awareness of the presence of members of different faith communities in the Wokingham population.


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