On Sunday, 14th May, more than 3,000 people attended the Unity Festival of Faith and Culture, organised by the Barnet Multi Faith Forum, at Burnt Oak Leisure Centre. Its aim was to provide an occasion where the huge diversity of faiths in Barnet could be celebrated.
The festival featured music and dance from around the world, a football tournament, and stalls and kids’ activities. The highlight of the event occurred when many faith leaders stood together to recite the Barnet Pledge, a commitment ‘to work for the common good’ and to unite ‘to build a better society’. Representing the Catholic Church was Bishop John Sherrington.
Canon Colin Davies and parishioners of the Annunciation, Burnt Oak, showed their support by participating in the day’s activities.
Deacon Anthony Clark, who is a member of the Barnet Multi Faith Forum and was involved in the organisation of the event, said: ‘It was real privilege to us that Bishop John came and I was very proud of the way he made a point of talking to everybody.’
Esmond Rosen, Chair of Barnet Multi Faith Forum, added: ‘It provided a wonderful opportunity for us to stand together in harmony, unity and enjoyment against some of the hostile challenges we face of those attempting to sow discord and division amongst us.’
The Barnet Pledge
We commit ourselves, as people of many faiths living in Barnet, To work together for the common good, uniting to build a better society in our Borough, in London and in the wider world, Grounded in values and ideals we share:
Community, personal integrity, a sense of right and wrong, Learning, wisdom and love of truth, care and compassion, Justice and peace, respect for one another, for the earth and its creatures.
We commit ourselves, in a spirit of friendship and co-operation, To work together alongside all who share our values and ideals in Barnet and beyond, To help bring about a better Borough, a better capital and a better world Now and for generations to come.
Above: L-R Deacon Anthony Clark, Bishop John and Canon Colin Davies
Main photo: Bishop John with Edwin Shuker of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Dr Sheikh Ramzy.