RfPUK has had an active and fruitful year, and we would like to share some of the highlights with our readers and followers.
2017 had been a year of much planning, restructuring, and action. Trustee Dr Stephen Herman took the Executive Committee members through a Strategy Day, where by RfPUK was able to refine our focus and action plans, as well as clarifying our modus operandi as we face new development and growth with our youth and women networks. Anticipating increasing activities in the future, RfPUK decided that it is time for us to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Our Chairman Mr Jamie Creswell and Secretary Mr David Horner are working toward this change and we look forward to furthering the promotion of peace in the UK.
Dr Herman is also our Director of Multifaith Committee on Shared Security. He has been instrumental in connecting with interfaith partners to further our nuclear disarmament programme. Meetings were held in London and Birmingham, aiming at promoting the awareness of nuclear weapons in our society and highlighting the lack of willingness of UK to engage. A London event in late October celebrated the Nobel Peace Prize conferred upon one of our partners, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). During the meeting we discussed next steps for faith communities and action plans were made. The Committee will continue its commitment to educate, mobilise, and engage religious communities in UK.
RfPUK is happy to report that after the formal establishment of RfPUK Interfaith Youth Network with much cordial support from European IYN in late 2016, Chairperson Gabrielle Westhead has been managing a vibrant Facebook page, thus creating a network through which news of peace efforts from all walks are disseminated. She represented RfPUK as a panellist in Coexister Europe’s inaugural event “When Youth Innovate in the World of Interfaith” and also met with a visiting delegation from the Singaporean Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, sharing her views on youth participation in promulgating peace in our society. Other members of the UKIYN have also been participating in peace meetings, deepening ties with friends and colleagues. We at RfPUK look forward to supporting them onto more exciting new ventures in 2018.
In the past year, under the direction of the Chairperson Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, RfPUK Women of Faith Network celebrated Interfaith Harmony Week with the generous support of the UK National B’hai Centre, featuring an evening discussing the advancement of gender equality and the role of education. An exhibition named “The Dignity of Women – Scriptural Reading” was displayed at the event. It is hoped that this display may visit other institutions in the course of bringing gender equality issues to a wider audience. UKWFN also participated in the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” event, and renewed their dedication towards reaching out to the marginalised, including refugees, migrants and minorities.
RfPUK would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new trustee Mrs Khushnuma Anklesaria and to congratulate Dr Stephen Herman on being elected to the board of trustee at Interfaith Network UK. We mourn the sad loss of our former Vice-chair and Executive Member Mr. Sewa Singh Mandla OBE who passed away recently. He had served RfPUK for over 10 years and will be keenly missed. We would also like to acknowledge a generous gift left by Miss Helen Mayer who was a former member and Secretary of Religions For Peace (formerly World Conference of Religions for Peace). We are grateful for having loyal and dedicated friends and we hope that we are able to motivate more volunteers to join us in our quest for a peaceful world.
RfPUK wishes you all a healthy and happy 2018 ahead. We sincerely hope to hear from you or see you at one of out events in the near future!