UAL Carols raises £220 for Winter Night Shelters

Many UAL students and staff, along with their friends and family, attended UAL Carols at 6pm on Thursday 12 December in St George’s Bloomsbury. The beautiful Hawksmoor church was candlelit, and a professional choir helped us sing traditional Christmas anthems and carols, with readings by UAL staff and students. £220 was raised for CUF’s Homelessness campaign, and the evening ended with mulled wine and mince pies in the church hall.

CSM students dressed for the occasion (looking quite Narnian even!)

In our prayers we remembered the following students and staff who we have lost this year:

February 2019 – Liam Hall, LCC BA Graphic Branding and Identity student

June 2019 – Julius Little, CSM BA Fine Art 4D student

June 2019 – Tii Ansio, CSM BA Fashion Communication & Promotion student

July 2019 – Giovanna Cappiello, Chelsea FdA Interior Design student

July 2019 – Menelik Mimano, CSM MA Acting student

July 2019 – Jonathan Adebanjo, Camberwell BA Illustration student

November 2019 – Teresa Mitchell, CSM Fashion technician

November 2019 – Henderson McCue, LCF Womenswear 3D Development and Realisation lecturer

£10K Chaiya Art Awards now open

The biggest biennial art awards in the UK exploring spirituality through art is now open for submissions.

The Chaiya Art Awards is open to any artist, including art students and covers all mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, glass, textiles, mixed media, photography and video. We have also introduced an additional category for Community Groups, who can submit a collaborative piece.  Entrants are invited to be authentic and daring as they respond to the theme.

Top prize: The Chaiya Art Award £10,000
Public Choice: £1,000
plus other prizes to be announced
A selection from the longlisted finalists will be invited to exhibit their submitted work as part of an exhibition at London’s prestigious South Bank gallery@oxo from 10-19 April 2020.

The first Chaiya Art Awards proved hugely popular, with over 450 entries and more than 2,700 exhibition visitors.  New to Chaiya 2020 will be an ‘affordable art fair’ over two days of the exhibition. We will invite artists in the exhibition to be present, to discuss, promote and sell their work.

A respected panel will anonymously judge entries on Originality and Technical Excellence, Theme Interpretation and Emotional Impact .

Full details of the awards, theme, criteria, deadlines and how to enter can be found at: chaiyaartawards.co.uk

Ramadan by Najia

As Muslims throughout the world prepare to observe Ramadan, UAL lead chaplain William Whitcombe talks to Najia Ahmed, UAL Student Services Information Helpdesk officer about what it all means …

Can you tell us a bit about what Ramadan is all about?

Ramadan takes place every year for a month. Its a month of fasting, so no food or water from sunrise to sunset. The start date depends on the cycle of the moon, so each year Ramadan starts roughly 10 days earlier than the previous year (for 2019 it runs from 5 May to 4 June). Over the course of your life time, you will find yourself observing Ramadan in all four seasons. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam which is one of the main fundamentals of being a Muslim. It’s obligatory to observe Ramadan for every able Muslim. Its not all about abstaining from food, it’s a time of reflecting and taking stock of the past year, counting your blessings and an opportunity to start new and positive habits. Giving charity is another pillar in Islam and you will find in the month of Ramadan many Muslims giving back to those in need and working on bringing the community together. The other 3 pillars consist of stating your belief in Allah, praying, and performing Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

What does it mean to you, and what’s the most rewarding and most challenging aspect to Ramadan?

Ramadan for me is a time to reconnect to my faith; as the days and months roll by, you tend to fall off the wagon so to speak. It’s about working on myself so I become a better version of myself, to be a better Muslim. Being a better Muslim is not just about the physical actions of praying 5 times a day or learning prayers off by heart, but it’s also about working on your soul, getting rid of negative energy in your life or negative influences and putting out positive energy. I like reading the Quran more in Ramadan, all your good deeds are said to be exemplified during this month and as I believe in life after death, it’s good to have those good deeds piled up. Every Ramadan I try to set myself a goal of what I would like to accomplish; last year was a small goal of trying to memorise a prayer which I did and which I am proud of. I am hoping to set myself a bigger goal this year as I have more time. When the fasting days were shorter, we would get together with the rest of the family to break our fasts. Breaking your fast together feels like you’re part of something bigger than just you.

The biggest challenge for me is the lack of sleep. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my sleep and my ability to snooze anywhere. When you’re fasting you have to wake up before sunrise and have breakfast to get you ready for the day ahead. Depending on the time of year, breakfast can either be 2am, 4am or 6am. You then finish your morning prayers and go back to sleep before having to wake up for work.

The most rewarding for me is accomplishing the fast. You feel like you have achieved something and when you do finally eat, you feel so grateful you can eat and have the ability to prepare so many delicious type of food, you truly do feel blessed for all that you have. You also realize how much you eat unnecessarily and how much time is spent thinking about and preparing food. During Ramadan we tend to cook and eat simple foods that doesn’t take long to prepare and you realize you have so much spare time!

Are there any practises in Ramadan that non-Muslims could implement into their lives, and how might it be beneficial?

Ramadan is a time of thinking of others, giving back to the community, whether it’s with money or volunteering your time. It’s about being grateful and happy for the things we have and spending time thinking about how to improve our lives for the better. Setting goals and motivating yourself to do more. This is something we can all do.

Lastly, do you have any advice to UAL staff when it comes to students and the sort of understanding and support they may need while observing this period?

I think encouragement is always good and to also be open to talk about it and acknowledge that Ramadan is taking place. I personally don’t mind talking about it and if any one has questions, I am more then open to answer them. For me the worst thing someone can say is ‘I could never do it’, which is fine because the thought of not eating or drinking for 17 hours seems hard, but in actuality the body can achieve a lot. For Muslims, we are fasting for spiritual reasons which goes beyond our day to day lives.

 

Palo Santo: Solace at St Peters

In search of Palo Santo – photo: Ingrid Pumayalla

Final workshop and launch event:
Saturday 6 April 12-3pm
St Peter de Beauvoir Town
Northchurch Terrace
Hackney
London N1 4DA

Palo Santo is an organic art installation made during the course of Lent, with UAL alumni Sophie Alston & Ingrid Pumayalla, working with UAL students  Kemi Ajose and Anna Marsh, alongside the community and congregation of St Peter de Beauvoir Town in Hackney. The title comes from Palo Santo, the name of a Peruvian tree that is considered to have mystical properties. The Spanish translation means ‘holy stick’.

Sophie working with Kemi and Anna – photo: Miriam Sedacca

Sophie Alston and Ingrid Pumayalla have previously collaborated on Solace Project, artworks co-produced by participants across two hospices and culminating in an installation in Central Saint Martins Windows Gallery.  Solace at St Peter’s: Palo Santo is a further exploration of the consoling nature of making in a spiritual community setting.

Ingrid Pumayalla’s current relocation to her home country, Peru, has created an unexpected opportunity to work in a trans-national way. While Sophie has been gathering sticks and weaving exotic new forms in Hackney, Ingrid has been travelling in Trujillo in search of her own Palo Santo rituals. Ingrid’s video will be screened at the launch event on 6 April.

Sophie Alston explains the process: ‘This project was intended to be organic, with the idea that the pieces made have space to breathe and become items of contemplation within the church and crypt setting. As with the way Peruvians harvest only fallen Palo Santo branches, we have only used fallen branches. It has been extremely fortuitous that just before this project commenced Storm Gareth has caused many branches to fall from the trees, meaning that the materials used to make this installation have, in effect, been given to us. The use of these natural materials, at this time in the church calendar, in these two different ways have given opportunity for the people involved in the project to reflect on the universal nature of faith, creation, rebirth and spirituality’.

For the congregation, ‘observing the work emerge as they journey through Lent, the fallen branches strewn around the church, are a reminder of the dead wood we clear away from our souls in preparation for the Easter feast. The transformation of the sticks into intricately woven mobiles – made with leaves, fabric scraps, leftover wool, old buttons – evokes the strangeness and wonder of new life.’

Solace at St Peter’s: Palo Santo has been developed in association with Arts Chaplaincy Projects, a partnership between University of the Arts London and the Diocese of London, connecting arts practitioners with a range of spiritual communities, and creating mentoring opportunities for students.

Christchurch Attack: messages of support

William & Mark, UAL Chaplains, would like to offer our prayers and friendship to our Muslim brothers and sisters at UAL at this time of horror and sorrow, in the aftermath of the Christchurch attack.

As people of faith we stand with you in solidarity and are committed to working to bring about peace and respect between people of all faiths in our communities.

Prayers for peace were said on Wednesday 20 March in a special service in the Activities Studio at 272 High Holborn where we were joined by members of UAL Islamic Society and many other staff and students.


An open letter from clergy and faith representatives in Westminster, London to the worshippers of the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand

We are a group of clergy and faith representatives from seven world religions, including Islam, in Westminster, London that have been meeting regularly for over three years. Members of our interfaith forum meet in each other’s centres to foster good inter-religious relations and promote community cohesion. Our meetings are convened under the auspices of Interfaith Matters, a United Kingdom based registered charity.

All members of our forum categorically condemn the murderous and merciless attack on Muslim worshippers attending their Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers.

We express our respect to the emergency services and gratitude to all who have offered sympathy and support since. At this time of suffering and sorrow, we add our heartfelt comfort and condolences to all that have been touched by this tragedy.

As clergy and faith representatives, this heinous act of hatred does nothing other than reinforce our resolve to work together. We ask only that the memory of those who died serves as a blessing that we may all live by the ways of peace.

They are us

Bhava Bhakti devi dasi, Radha and Krishna Temple, ISKCON London
Brother Ivan Vodopivec, Notre Dame de France Roman Catholic Church, London
Canon Pat Browne, Roman Catholic Duty Priest to the UK Parliament and Parish Priest of the Holy Apostles Church, Pimlico, London
Fr Michael Donaghy, Chaplain, Westminster Cathedral, London
Imam Abdul Haque, former Imam to Westminster Muslim Cultural Centre, London
Jai Nitai dasa, Radha and Krishna Temple, ISKCON London
Lesley Taherzadeh O’Mara, Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Westminster
Meeno Chawla, City Sikhs Ambassador
Rabbi (Emeritus) Dr Thomas Salamon, Westminster Synagogue
Rabbi Barry Lerer, Central Synagogue, London
Rabbi Benji Stanley, Westminster Synagogue
Rabbi Helen Freeman, West London Synagogue of British Jews
Rabbi Sam Taylor, Community Rabbi, Western Marble Arch Synagogue
Sheikh Alomgir Ali, Founder, Tawfiq Online Learning and former Imam of the Victoria Islamic Cultural and Education Centre
Sister Catherine Jones, Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary, Notre Dame de France Roman Catholic Church, London
The Revd Anthony Ball, Canon Steward and Almoner, Westminster Abbey
The Revd Catherine Duce, Assistant Curate, St Stephen’s Rochester Row
The Revd Matthew Catterick, Vicar, St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico
The Revd Graham M Buckle, Vicar of St Stephen’s with St John’s, Westminster
The Revd James Johnston, Assistant Curate, St Matthew’s Westminster / St Mary le Strand, London
The Revd John Pearson-Hicks, St Barnabas Pimlico
The Revd Jon Dal Din, Director, Westminster Interfaith
The Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector, St James’s Church Piccadilly, Westminster
The Revd Mark Dean, Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor, University of the Arts London
The Revd Michael Redman, Anglican Bishop’s Interfaith Adviser for City of Westminster and City of London
The Revd Owen Higgs, Vicar, St Gabriel, Pimlico
The Revd Philip Chester, Vicar of St Matthew, Westminster and Area Dean of Westminster (St Margaret)
The Revd Ralph Williamson, Vicar of St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London
The Revd Ru hai Shi, International Buddhist Progress Society UK
The Revd William Whitcombe, Priest in Ordinary to HM The Queen and Chaplain University of the Arts London
Veronica Wetten, London Fo Guang Shan Temple
Steven Derby, Director, Interfaith Matters

March 2019


Pancakes in the Parade Ground – UPDATE

Pancakes in the Parade Ground at Chelsea this Shrove Tuesday raised £50 to help end food poverty – thank you! If you missed the pancakes this year, but would still like to donate, please visit cuf.org.uk/donate/the-big-pancake-party


We will soon be mixing up the batter for Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, on 5 March from 3pm in Chelsea Parade Ground. In the meantime have a think about what you might give up (or alternatively, take up) for Lent, which begins the next day and runs for 40 days before Easter. We will be holding a special reflective service for Ash Wednesday, 6 March at 1.05pm in High Holborn. All welcome as ever. For more information please contact the chaplains.

Pastiche Mass

Pastiche Mass consists of five video and sound works by Mark Dean, corresponding to the choral parts of a mass setting. The work will premiere in the context of a reflective Arts Chaplaincy service, in which people will be invited to receive communion, or remain seated, as they prefer. The event is free and all are welcome, regardless of faith affiliation. Please stay afterwards for refreshments.

Thursday 21 March at 6pm in the Banqueting Hall, Chelsea College of Arts, 45 Millbank, London SW1P 4JU

Free tickets bookable via eventbrite.co.uk/e/55337870059

Co-hosted by Arts Chaplaincy Projects and Art + Christianity

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, when we remember the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, along with victims of subsequent genocides. At a service at West London Synagogue, young people read accounts of the White Rose, a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in the Third Reich led by a group of students and a professor at the University of Munich:

‘Cast off the cloak of indifference you have wrapped around you. Make the decision before it is too late!’  More than half a century has passed since the White Rose called out these words before their arrest and death. . . . Each new generation, including our own, realizes that those words are really addressed to us.  Again and again, we feel their deep echo. . . . Each person is responsible for what he does and for what he allows to happen.  In the darkest moment of 20th century history, the White Rose demonstrated this truth.

– Richard von Weizsaecker

The whole world
is a narrow bridge
– but the essential thing
is never to be afraid

– Rav Nachman of Bratslav

“It’s only because of your support that I’m not dead”

“Dear Friends

My name’s Terry, and I want to thank you for the way you have previously supported winter night shelters [at UAL Carols and Pancakes in Chelsea Parade Ground].  Because without that support I wouldn’t be here today.

I was helped to get off the streets by a winter night shelter in Great Yarmouth. This was set-up by the Together Network and supported by Church Urban Fund. It was literally a life-line for me.

Watch my story in this short video here

I was one of the lucky ones. But there are many who weren’t so lucky. Over the past year, nearly 500 homeless people have died on our streets. And there are many people right now, on our streets who are cold, and tired, and running out of hope. And I know what that was like… so thank you again for your gifts.”

If you would like to make a donation to CUF Winter Night Shelters please  visit donate.cuf.org.uk/campaigns/advent-appeal

 

UAL Carols raises £315 for Winter Night Shelters

Many UAL students and staff, along with their friends and family, attended UAL Carols at 6pm on Monday 10 December in St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SA

The beautiful Hawksmoor church was candlelit, and a professional choir helped us sing traditional Christmas anthems and carols, with wine and mince pies to follow.

£315 was raised for the Church Urban Fund’s ‘Matching that Matters’ campaign, which means that £630 will go to fund night shelters for the homeless this winter.

 

 

Pancakes in Chelsea Parade Ground raises £50 for Winter Night Shelters

disclaimer: this picture is from a previous pancake day as I haven’t got any pictures from this time!

Find out more about Winter Night Shelters

 

Interfaith visit to Chelsea Space



Steven Derby (Director, Interfaith Matters), Veronica Wetten (London Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple), Imam Abdul Haque (Westminster Muslim Cultural Centre and Masjid), Revd Jon Dal Din (Director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster Interfaith), Revd Mark Dean (Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor, University of the Arts London), Cherie Silver (Programme Curator, Chelsea Space) 
Picture credit: Steven Derby/Interfaith Matters

We recently hosted a gathering of Interfaith Matters Westminster Forum at Chelsea, and afterwards some of the members visited the exhibition ‘Astro-poems and vertical group exercises’ at Chelsea Space . This fascinating show focuses on Concrete poetry at Chelsea School of Art in the 1960’s, and members noted correspondences between the works on show and the calligraphic traditions of Buddhism and Islam, as well as the numerological tradition in Judaism.

Meditation is the mother of invention

We can’t use naked flames in our meditation services any more so we have to use LED candles instead. On the face of it these may not seem as conducive as real candles, but they do have the advantage of being able to be combined with a wide range of materials. We have been giving meditation participants LED tealights to take home and experiment with – here is CSM student Zhelun Wang’s beautiful sand candle:

and here is Ann Marie Newton’s lovely candle holder made of tissue paper and thread:

 

 

£300 raised for Shelter at:

On Wednesday 6 December, a full house of students, staff and friends of UAL gathered for carols by candlelight at St George’s Bloomsbury, the last London church to be built by the great late 17th century architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The beautiful church interior glowed with candlelight as popular carols were sung, alongside performances by professional singers of early medieval European Christmas songs.

There were readings of the Christmas story given by the Vice Chancellor, Nigel Carrington, students and staff, while the Rector of Bloomsbury, David Peebles, spoke of the message of Christmas in terms of the challenges facing our world today, and the ongoing need for justice and peace.

In our prayers to address these needs, we also remembered  those who have died within our University community over the past year:

Ebony Daley (LCC student, January)
Drew Goorney (CSM student, February)
Manfei Zhu (CSM student, February)
Ying-Cheng Lai (LCF student, March)
Zachary Geddis (LCF student, March)
Renata Rusieska (CSM student, May)
Kylie Simpson (Chelsea student, July)
Professor Chris Wainwright (September)
Ines Peixoto (Wimbledon student, October)
Paulo Souza (Camberwell recent graduate, November)

During the last carol, and before refreshments were served, £300 was generously raised for the London based homeless charity, Shelter, for their Christmas appeal.

CSMITF

an exhibition of work by ten recent art and design graduates
from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

The Crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JH

5 October – 4 November 2017

Monday: 8am – 8pm
Tuesday: 8am – 8pm
Wednesday: 8am – 10.30pm
Thursday: 8am – 9pm
Friday: 8am – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

St Martin’s School of Art was established in 1854 by St Martin-in-the-Fields church. The Revd Henry Mackenzie and others were concerned that art and design training should be developed alongside the religious and general education already provided by Church schools, to ‘extend the influence of science and art upon productive industry’ following the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The art school soon became independent, eventually merging with Central School of Art, and now part of University of the Arts London. Central Saint Martins is an internationally recognized centre for art and design education and research, now based in Kings Cross. However, in their different ways, Central Saint Martins & St Martin-in-the-Fields share a common concern for social responsibility based on the belief that the creative growth of individuals, within a supportive and challenging community, can lead to the renewal of society.

curated by
Angela Sanchez del Campo and Mark Dunhill

organised by
Mark Dean, UAL Chaplaincy and Jonathan Evens, St Martin-in-the-Fields

supported by
University of the Arts London and Diocese of London University Chaplaincy

special thanks to
The Vicar and Churchwardens of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Allyson Hargreaves, Paul Haywood, Anne Smith and Andrew Willson

press and sales enquiries
exhibitioncurators@gmail.com

Pancakes in the Parade Ground Raises £65 to help the hungry

Thank you for your generosity. Your donations will be used to support the work of Church Urban Fund and the Together Network, changing lives and communities together.

Together we can make a huge differences to the lives of families across the country who are struggling to feed themselves.

Here are some ways your donations will eat away at hunger:

£3 will help provide lunch for a child at a holiday club during the schools holidays

£9 will help to cover the cost of an emergency food parcel for a family for a day

£25 will help to provide a slow cooker and larder pack for a family struggling to prepare nutritious meals

 

St Paul’s Cathedral prays for U(AL)


Over 60 students and staff from across UAL attended a special service of Choral Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral on 23 Feb where prayers were said for all at the University. This is an annual event, so if you missed it, be sure to come along next year! In the meantime, why not join us at one of our regular visits to St Paul’s – contact the chaplains for further details.

Evensong St Paul’s Cathedral 23/2

On Thursday 26 Feb we will be attending a service of Choral Evensong, where special prayers will be said for the staff and students of UAL.

Evensong is a traditional cathedral service which is led almost entirely by music, sung by the choir, and so is particularly accessible and inclusive as people can simply sit and enjoy the experience.

It takes place in the stalls of the quire, towards the high altar, a space which allows the music to resonate perfectly and foster a sense of calm.

You can read more here https://www.stpauls.co.uk/worship-music/worship/choral-evensong

If you and any friends would like to join us you would be very welcome – we are meeting on the steps at 4.45.

RSVP to William or Mark

Korea Day at Wimbledon

KOREA DAY AT WIMBLEDON COLLEGE OF ARTS

Sat 4th Feb at 2pm

Please join us for a unique celebration of Korean culture at Wimbledon College of Arts.

This is a special kind of Open House event linked with Richard Layzell’s exhibition Korea Town – Noraebang at the Wimbledon Space Gallery, our connections with the Korean University of the Arts in Seoul and our nearby Korean community in New Malden. It is also a chance to experience the reconstruction of a Noraebang karaoke room from New Malden and a homage to Korean sijo poetry.

There will be special guests, including Prof Ko Heesun from K-Arts in Seoul and artist Jina Lee, an optional Anglican Communion service (all welcome) in English and Korean, where prayers will be said for peace in the world, led by the Revd Mark Dean, Chaplain to University of the Arts London, and Revd Soon-han Choi, Chaplain to University of West London, and refreshments.

Most of all this is a celebration of the uniqueness of Korean culture and our Korean friends who live and study in London.

We very much look forward to welcoming you.

WIMBLEDON COLLEGE OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON

MERTON HALL ROAD

LONDON SW19 3QA

UAL Carol Service Raises £400 for Shelter

carols-web-2

On Thursday 8 December, students, staff and friends of UAL gathered for carols by candlelight at St George’s Bloomsbury, the last London church to be built by the great late 17th century architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The beautiful church interior glowed with candlelight as popular carols were sung, alongside performances by professional singers of early medieval European Christmas songs.

Familiar Christmas stories from the Bible of the journey to Bethlehem, the shepherds, wise men and Jesus in the Manger were read by the Vice Chancellor, Nigel Carrington, students and staff. David Peebles, the Rector of Bloomsbury, challenged our understanding of power in today’s world, by reminding us that God came to us at Christmas as the seemingly powerless baby Jesus.

In our prayers  we remembered  those who have died within our University community over the past year:

Jessica Cook
Henry Curtis Williams
Diana Aronstam
Fauzia Akbar
Dave Hendley
Khadija Otero Khabsy
Alex Hosking
Grace Green

We also remembered former members of staff who have recently passed away

Chris Sell
Mike Kellaway
Tony Carter

During the last carol, and before refreshments were served, £400 was generously raised for the London based homeless charity, Shelter, for their Christmas appeal.

Westminster faith leaders unite in condemning racist abuse

Westminster-South-Interfaith-Forum

The United Kingdom has a proud history of valuing diversity. Westminster is the tenth most ethnically diverse place out of 455 local authorities where over 170 different languages are spoken.

Following the recent EU referendum we have witnessed greater division and a surge in hate crime.

At the same time there are new interfaith friendships, dialogue and cooperation. Located in the heart of London, Interfaith Matters convenes a forum of 25 clergy and community leaders representing seven world religions. All members are committed to a common vision of social integration and cohesion, to a society in which diversity is valued and celebrated.

The Forum’s unanimous and unambiguous reaction to the recent rise in hate crimes was emphatically expressed by Mariano Marcigaglia, of The Buddhist Society, “Out of sincere and compassionate concern for all involved, we need to speak out and stand by the most vulnerable, the ones who are subject to abuse, appealing to our shared humanity. Only unconditional love can conquer hatred.”

The strength of feeling was resoundly echoed by Revd Jon Dal Din, Director at Westminster Interfaith, “In this climate of racial tension, confusion and division, we need to continue and redouble our efforts to reach out to one another in a spirit of friendship, compassion and understanding in order to maintain peace and harmony within our local communities and in society at large, because, although we are different, people of faith all agree, that the future of humanity and the planet lies in unity not division and separation. Love conquers all.”

Speaking from experience of a community that faces discrimination, Imam Alomgir Ali, former Imam of the Victoria Islamic and Cultural Education Centre was unequivocal, “The rise in xenophobic and racist attacks after the referendum is indeed very worrying and alarming. All communities must stand together to reject and aspire to remove such despicable behaviour from our communities.”

Steven Derby, Director at Interfaith Matters, credited clergy for their commitment, “We believe in community cohesion, and there are many and growing threats to this at the present time. Faith leaders are increasingly responsible for healing division.”

Meeting regularly, and most recently just after the referendum, faith leaders were reminded of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s salutary lessons; speaking truth to power, standing up to racism and working for unicity. It was entirely appropriate that the meeting was held in a Francophone Church located in the heart of London’s West End close to Leicester Square. As clergy affirmed their commitment to Niemöller’s lessons the Church’s Refugee Centre welcomed some of the capital’s dispossessed so that they too could “play a full role in society.”

We are faith based but not faith biased. As leaders, we call upon, and will work with, all political and civil society groups to write the next chapter in the United Kingdom’s proud history of valuing diversity.

Ends

Picture: Members of the Westminster Neighbourhood Interfaith Forum meet at London Fo Guang Shan Temple

More information 

Steven Derby, Director Interfaith Matters

07932 631 252

Notes to Editor

Westminster Neighbourhood Interfaith Forum is an initiative of Interfaith Matters. Registered charity 1150839.

Reporting Hate Crime:

http://www.report-it.org.uk/your_police_force

https://cst.org.uk/report-incident

http://tellmamauk.org/submit-a-report-to-us/

Signatories

Imam Alomgir Ali (former Imam of the Victoria Islamic and Cultural Education Centre)

Canon Patrick Browne (Priest, Holy Apostles, Westminster)

Fr Matthew Catterick (Vicar, St Saviour’s Church)

Fr Owen Higgs (Vicar, St Gabriel’s, Pimlico)

Lesley Taherzadeh O’Mara (National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom)

Mariano Marcigaglia (The Buddhist Society)

Rabbi Dr Thomas Salamon (Westminster Synagogue)

Rabbi Sam Taylor (Western Marble Arch Synagogue)

Rajpal (Raj) Singh Ghataoura (City Sikhs Network)

Revd Ari Cohen (Minister, West End Great Synagogue)

Revd Cath Duce (Curate, St Stephen with St John)

Revd Jon Dal Din (Director, Westminster Interfaith)

Revd Graham Buckle (Vicar, St Stephen with St John)

Revd Kevin Mowbray (Priest, Notre Dame de France)

Revd Lis Goddard (Vicar, St James the Less, Pimlico)

Revd Mark Dean (Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor, University of the Arts London)

The Revd Philip Chester (St Matthew, Westminster and St Mary le Strand)

Revd William Whitcombe (Lead Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor, University of the Arts London)

Shaista Miah (Victoria Islamic Cultural and Education Centre / Bangladesh Welfare Association)

Ven Chueh Yun (IBPS UK London Fo Guang Shan Temple)

Steven Derby (Director, Interfaith Matters)

Shrove Tuesday (AKA Pancake Day)

Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent. Traditionally, pancakes are eaten before the fasting season begins. Come and get your freshly flipped pancake in Chelsea Parade Ground at 3pm on Tuesday 9 Feb.

Followed by our Ashing Service at High Holborn on Ash Wednesday – all welcome. Contact the chaplains for details

UAL Carol Service Raises Over £300 for Shelter

On Thursday 10 December, students, staff and friends of UAL gathered for carols by candlelight at St George’s Bloomsbury, the last London church to be built by the great late 17th century architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The beautiful church interior glowed with candlelight as popular carols were sung, alongside performances by professional singers of early medieval European Christmas songs.

Familiar Christmas stories from the Bible of the journey to Bethlehem, the shepherds, wise men and Jesus in the Manger were read by the Vice Chancellor, Nigel Carrington, students and staff. David Peebles, the Rector of Bloomsbury, challenged our understanding of power in today’s world, by reminding us that God came to us at Christmas as the seemingly powerless baby Jesus..

In our prayers  we remembered  those who have died within our University community over the past year:

Jim Pearson
Kristina Kurkina
Synestra de Courcy
Francois Alexis
Min Kyoung Kim (known as Zia to her friends, and Clara to her family)

During the last carol, and before refreshments were served, over £300 was generously raised for the London based homeless charity, Shelter, for their Christmas appeal.

 

University Carol Service


Thursday 10 December at 6 pm
St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SA

followed by mince pies & mulled wine
all welcome – free event

The church is fully accessible from street level. The church has an external lift in the front driveway entrance for disabled patrons. Access to the lift is via the front left (west) driveway entrance in Bloomsbury Way.

Meditation East/West

Chelsea MA Graphic Design student Xiyu Zhao’s current project explores the cultural stresses experienced by international students – you can see a great example of her work above, and more on her blog at xiyuzhao.tumblr.com.

In the meditation sessions provided by the chaplaincy across the university, rather than seeking escape from the world, we seek peace within it.  This week we held a meditation session in the Cookhouse gallery as part of Xiyu’s  Work in Progress Show :

Carols by Candlelight Raises £300 for Shelter


© Ros Elwes

On Thursday 4 December, around 200 students, staff and friends of UAL gathered for carols by candlelight at St George’s Bloomsbury, the last London church to be built by the great late 17th century architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The beautiful church interior glowed with candlelight as popular carols were sung, alongside performances by professional singers of early medieval European Christmas songs.

Familiar Christmas stories from the Bible of the journey to Bethlehem, the shepherds, wise men and Jesus in the Manger were read by the Vice Chancellor, Nigel Carrington, students and staff. David Peebles, the Rector of Bloomsbury, challenged our understanding of power in today’s world, by reminding us that God came to us at Christmas as the seemingly powerless baby Jesus, who would change the world.

At the end of the service, and before refreshments were served, £300 was generously raised for the London based homeless charity, Shelter, for their Christmas appeal.

 

All Revd Up & Ready To Go

mark-william-by-tim-marshallTim Marshall, Photography Technician at CSM, publishes Kings Cross Stories where a recent post features your friendly neighbourhood chaplains. More of Tim’s work can be seen at behance.net including these images taken for a Guardian article on the 59 Club, the largest motorcycle club in the world, started by ‘Ton-Up’ vicar William Shergold …being that he was a motorcyclist himself, Father Bill decided to hold a church service for motorcyclists in 1962. He finally plucked up courage and visited The Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road and handed out leaflets about the service. He had an immense reaction. The church was full of Rockers. Even some of their bikes were brought into the church to be blessed.

photographs above by Timothy Hadrian Marshall