Recently I had the privilege of being appointed the new ‘Faith to Faith’ worker, at Touchstone, in Bradford. My role is to work with people (particularly women) of different faith backgrounds to enable them to understand each other better and to work together to build a peaceful and just community. I have lived and worked in Bradford for nearly twenty years and one of the things I love about this city is working and living alongside people from many faiths; my life has been greatly enriched by the friendships I have formed with those from all faiths during this time.
My faith has been greatly shaped by two particular Bible verses. Firstly, by Jesus’ command to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. This is an often quoted verse, so perhaps it is important to look at it a little more deeply. The theologian Miroslav Wolf has stated that, “love is not a soft and nebulous emotion but a tough, practical virtue of benevolence and beneficence, a virtue of which justice is an absolutely integral part”. In other words, love demands that we recognise the inherent value of each and every person, whoever they might be and, correspondingly, it should lead us to help those in need. Jesus’ command means, therefore, that we are called to actively cooperate with our neighbours, whatever their faith, in order to meet those needs.
This leads on to the second Bible verse that has been hugely influential to me - ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’. Peaceful coexistence and active cooperation between those of different faiths are both necessary to make the 21stcentury work more humanely and the earth a better place for all its inhabitants. Therefore I have a deep concern for the peace and wellbeing of the community of which we are a part.
If you would like to know more about my role, or are interested in working together, then please contact me on 01274 721626, or e-mail faith2faith(@)touchstone-bradford.org.uk. Thank you.
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