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Inter-faith leaders share experiences of Gaza conflict

Around 50 civic, community, and faith leaders met on Sunday 9 June, hosted by Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. The aim was to build relationships and share local insights and experiences to mitigate the impact of the Israel-Palestine conflict on the diverse communities of the Thames Valley region. This collaborative approach has a broader goal of fostering understanding, trust and friendships as a model approach that promotes safe, open and inclusive communities.

The meeting was convened in partnership with the Lord-Lieutenancies and Shrievalties of the Thames Valley. The Lieutenancies and Shrievalties were represented, alongside Thames Valley Police, Civic, Community and Interfaith leaders from across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire.

Imam Monawar Hussain, Founder of The Oxford Foundation and Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, welcomed the attendees by lamenting the impact of the war and loss of lives in Gaza and Israel. They shared their hope and anticipation of what a foundation of strong relationships across civic, community, and faith spheres could achieve locally. 

The discussions focused on the local impact of the conflict, with deep hurt and sadness felt by many groups of people across the region. The group acknowledged the need for action, particularly mutual support, as well as dialogue.

Attendees commended how communities have been working together, as in the Oxford Vigil for Peace event last November. There was a sense of solidarity, a determination to work together for the common good, and an anticipation for new activities that would bring mutual support and alleviate any sense of voicelessness.

The group will continue to convene as a collective voice in promoting understanding, peace, and strong community relations across the Thames Valley region. They also looked ahead to the annual Oxford Interfaith Friendship Walk on Thursday 27 June 2024 providing an opportunity for people of all faiths and none to meet and walk with individuals from many different faith communities.

Read more about the inter-faith communities working together. 

Page last updated: Thursday 13th June 2024 12:06 PM
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