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Faiths gather to plant a tree in Bromsgrove

Published: 12th November 2023

Group of people from different faiths gathered around the tree which has just been plantedA group of people of different faiths gathered in Sanders Park in Bromsgrove this afternoon to plant a tree as a way of reaching out to each other and committing to work together, as well as marking the start of Interfaith Week.

The idea to do something came from Munirah Hafidz, a practising Muslim living in Burcot. She approached a friend who she knew was involved with interfaith work and suggested that people of different faiths might gather together. She said: “I had been feeling sad about the conflict between faiths in the world and I wanted to reach out and offer a hand of friendship.”

Munirah Hafidz speaking at the event in BromsgroveA small group got together to plan what might happen and it was suggested that they could plant a tree to mark the friendship between the faiths locally. County Councillor Adrian Kriss, who is also a member of the local Jewish Community, arranged for the tree planting to take place in Sanders Park. He said: “Recent events have been shocking for Jews and it is important to try to quell any hatred. Trees are so important and planting one in the park is a wonderful image for our friendship together.”

People gathered in the bandstand in Sanders park in BromsgroveThe group gathered in the bandstand in the park where the Chair of the Worcestershire Interfaith Forum, the Revd Catherine Lack, led a short reflection about trees. There were also prayers from each of the religious traditions. Catherine said: “Our vision is a world where the people of different faiths and no faith live together in peace and harmony. To achieve this, we believe in working together and building friendships between different groups. Trees are mentioned in all of our scriptures, and they have so much to teach us.”

Catherine, Yvonne and Munirah put earth on the new tree as Munirah's son holds it in placeYvonne Stollard is a member of the Worcestershire Interfaith Forum and Vice President of the Birmingham Progressive Synagogue. She said: “We were delighted that Munirah put out the hand of friendship and suggested that the different faiths get together. There is so much division in our world currently and it is important to show that locally we continue to meet and work together.”

Interfaith Week runs from 12 – 19 November. The different faith communities in Bromsgrove are also planning a vigil together in St John’s Church in two weeks’ time.

Page last updated: Sunday 12th November 2023 8:52 PM

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