Canon Mandy Coutts and Bradford Cathedral’s Director of Education and Visitors Maggie Myers accepted an award at Bradford City Hall on behalf of the Cathedral as members of places of worship across Bradford gathered together to celebrate how they all work together in their local community.
The certificate, which marks the work that St. Peter’s Church; the Abu Bakr Masjid; Bradford Cathedral; Bradford Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple; and Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara do together as part of the monthly faith trail, is now proudly on display in the cathedral.
“The awards were about recognising relationships and friendships that are already in place and those that were aspirational friendships. Some people who got awards were just beginning their journey: how they can get to know other faiths close to their vicinity. Some were about groups praying together, and looking for those commonalties.
“For us at the cathedral, it was all about the Faith Trail, which has been taking place for ten years. The relationships that exist between the different part of the trail enable people to get a feel of what it’s like to have all these different faiths within a very short geographical distance – it’s less than a mile long, along the same road – and what it’s like to live beside each other to share really good things, with a strong sense of friendship. It’s all about what connects us rather than what divides us, and how that’s a hope for the city of Bradford going forward, and how we can find new ways to have friendships that bridge divides that are present in many other places in the country.”
“It was a real pleasure to go to City Hall and to have the opportunity to mix with people of different faiths, who represent the Bradford and Keighley communities. There was a real drive to build even stronger links between faiths [as well as] celebrating the links that exist. It was also lovely to see West Yorkshire Police represented at the event, as the police really support the Faith Trail in Bradford.”
The event also included a one-minute silence for the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, alongside other conflicts and incidents of persecution across the globe.
“Again people coming together to pray and remember religious persecution in the world is a very important thing to do.”
“It’s all about unity with diversity, in peace time, so when there is a challenge, or conflict, whether that’s locally, nationally or internationally, those bonds of friendship are already in place. There were stories told of faiths visiting other faiths at the time of tragedy to say that ‘we are here for you’. It’s all about bringing peace as a result of those friendships.”
The Bradford Faith trail returns on Saturday 1st June, starting at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Leeds Road and visits all the venues listed earlier, and includes a talk by faith leaders at each building, as well as a free vegetarian lunch. Following the April Faith Trail those who took part were asked about what they took away from the day:
“It’s a tremendous offering to Bradford to have this trail; to appreciate all the cultures and religions here.”
“We very much enjoyed being part of the event. It was good to be able to visit different worship centres and we were warmly welcomed. We especially enjoyed the lunch at the Gurdwara as well as learning more about faiths we really know little about in a relaxed way.”
“You see what the buildings are like inside; you see the way they are used; you get to know the people; and hopefully make some new friends!”