Inter Faith 2018 at London Buddhist Vihara

Photographs by Tissa Madawela

Under the able guidance of Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera, the Head of the London Buddhist Vihara & Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain friends and co-ordinators of the Vihara, organised a meeting on the 10th November, to celebrate this years Inter Faith week.

The event brought together many dignitaries and representatives from several religions. Deputy High commissioner for Sri Lanka Mr. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna and Mrs. Gunarathna, Mr. Matthew James Offord, FRGS the Member of Parliament for Hendon in North London, The Worshipful The Mayor of Harrow Council Councillor Kareema Marikar. The Worshipful The Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Samia Chaudhary and Dr. Desmond Biddulph, Chairman of Buddhist Society and many other dignitaries attended the meeting.

This year’s theme was “ Reflections on Peace & Reconciliation in Society”.

The Inter Faith Network for the UK was founded in 1987 to promote good relations between people of different faiths in the country. Its member organisations include representative bodies from the Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities; national and local inter faith bodies and academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter faith issues. Former Head of the London Buddhist Vihara, Late Most Ven. Dr Medagama Vajiragnana Nayaka Thera, was a founder member of the Inter Faith Network. The Network's way of working is firmly based on the principle that dialogue and co-operation can only prosper if they are rooted in respectful relationships which do not blur or undermine the distinctiveness of different religious traditions.

Dr. Harriet Crabtree OBE, Director of the Inter Faith Network, UK, Charanjit Ajitt Singh,MBE and Mrs. Singh of Hounslow Friends of Faith, Father Edward Barlow, St. Michaels & All Angels Church, Chiswick, Dr. Zara Johnson Elsheikh, Mukesh Malhotra and Ven. Kalugamuwe Kassapa Thero from London Buddhist Vihara delivered speeches. A panel discussion on Peace & reconciliation in Society followed. Maha Sangha from London Buddhist Vihara performed ceremonial Buddhist Chanting. Ven Goyoro Nagase Head of Japanese Peace Pagoda in Battersea performed a special Japanese Blessings. Ven. Tawalama Bandula Thera delivered the vote of thanks and all those attended were treated to a sumptuous array of Refreshments, which was generously provided by the Vihara's co-ordinators.