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To celebrate diversity and build bridges with the community, Nottingham Trent’s faith team scheduled an interfaith walk around the city. Visiting 4 different places of worship, we got an insight into other spiritual practises in Nottingham.
The first port of call was Quakers, a division of Christianity that began 400 years ago.
Unlike other Christian places of worship, Quakers’ differed from typical Christian places of worship as the building was quite sparse. Much like Islam, they believe all that’s needed in order to worship is being present with God.
“Quakers believe that if you want to find out what God has to say, you need to listen. And so we spend a lot of time listening in quiet prayer. That quiet prayer time, which can happen anytime, anywhere, is the heart of the Quaker religious experience.”
We all walked out of the Church with many questions and a fascination to know more.
We then made our way to St Barnabas Catholic Church, which opened in 1843. It is a grand Cathedral, proudly displaying stained glass windows and Gothic architecture. Saints are highly revered in Catholicism, which is why Saints are depicted all around the church, alongside esteemed figures like Mary and Jesus. The tomb of Mary Potter also lies at St Barnabas, who dedicated her life to helping the sick and needy.
We then made our way to Nottingham Islamic Centre where we toured the facilities and Saima, female Chaplain for Nottingham Trent University, explained the Mosque facilities and talked the students through the beliefs of Islam.
Our last stop on our interfaith walk was Pilgrim Church.
Pilgrim Church was the first black-led church in Nottingham and remains as such today. They have adorned the walls with paintings detailing black figures in Christian history. They have a real community focus, working closely with young people and wider citizens of Nottingham. In commemoration of Windrush day, which fell on the 22nd of June, they hosted a tour around Nottingham to commemorate the Windrush generation and to keep their legacy alive.
It’s great to learn about different practices and beliefs. When we look closely, it’s easier to see the similarities in our belief systems than the differences. It’s a great way to build bridges within the community and work towards a more central, community-centric society.
Trustbuilding is an important part of rebuilding the harmony with our society, and beginning dialogue is the first step to achieving this. Nottingham Trent University has partnered with Karimia Institution to relaunch the trust-building project, HumanKind. This project aims to tackle this issue and bring us together despite our differences. You can read more about the project here.
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