Concord is one of the oldest interfaith groups in the UK, founded 40 years ago. It exists to foster friendship, trust, tolerance, understanding and co-operation among members of the faith communities of multi-cultural Leeds.
The group also works closely with the Leeds Faith Forum
and is affiliated to the national Interfaith Network for the UK.
Concord is a registered Charity with a secretary, treasurer and executive committee.
Some of the faiths Concord brings together:
Baha'is, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Sikhs and others.
Its aims are:
- to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in the Leeds Metropolitan District, and to nurture respect and friendly relations by facilitating interfaith dialogue and organising educational and cultural events;
- to promote and to work for justice, peace and social harmony for the public benefit in the multi-cultural Leeds Metropolitan District by advocacy, by focused public events and projects, and by co-operating with other organisations that have similar objectives.
and Recent News
Faith Perspectives on
September's meeting broke with
tradition and brought together four speakers from our
Executive Board to outline and discuss their varied faith
perspectives on gender issues. Jay Anderson discussed the
wide variety of pagan taditions, and how they may perceive
gender issues across a wide spectrum, from traditional roles
for the sexes, with binary opposition of gender, through to
the more liberal traditions that atre fully inclusive of
those who identify as LGBT+. Ustadh Adam Aslam acknowledged
that the majority of Muslims hold traditional views about
ther distinct roles for men and women. However, he went on
to say that in universities the topic of sexuality is being
hotly debated amonst Muslim students, and that there is room
for a diversity of views on gender issues, where the
scriptures are not always seen as absolute, and open for
interpretation. Gurmukh Singh Deagon said that Sikhs do not
talk about private sexual matters, so LGBT+ identities are
not acknowledged, but that there should be respect and
dignity for all. Dr David Goodman explored Brahma Kumari
understandings of the relationship between the soul, which
is genderless, and the body through which it has to
function. When we get beyond gender we can be respectful of
all gender differences and similarities and transcend them.
The subsequent discussion covered a wide range of related,
and pertinent topics. There was general agreement, by the
end of the evening, that this session had been a good
starting point for a bigger discussion that is needed, and
to which we must return.
An Afternoon in
On 9th August, eleven members of
Concord boarded a minibus for a visit to two of Sheffield's
interfaith buildings, Burngreave Ashram and Shirley House.
At Burngreave Ashram we were welcomed
by Revd Deacon Andrew Crowley of Sheffield Interfaith,
Nirmal Fernando and the Revd Dr John Vincent. We were taken
into their multifaith library in the basement, where we had
tea, biscuits and a talk about the Ashram and it's wide
variety of activities.
We then made our way across the city
by minibus to Shirley House, on Psalter lane, next to St
Andrew's, an Anglican-Methodist Church, where we were met by
the Revd Gareth Jones, Caroline Cripps (Chair of the Shirley
House Interfaith Centre), and several of the Christian,
Jewish. Muslim and Pagan members.They talked about the
diversity of faiths and faith buildings in the city, as well
as the various events held at Shirley House. We were well
fed with Pizza, salad and desserts before we headed back to
Faith, Refugees and
On 10th July, the Revd Dr David
Randolph-Horn chaired the meeting looking at personal
experiences of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. His introduction
to the evening brought the work of AJAR (Asylum Justice and
Release) to the attention of those present. Our first
speaker was Ntambwe Nkomo (from the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC)), who told his harrowing tale from university
activist in his home country in the late 1990s, through his
journey to England and the subsequent long drawn out process
of seeking asylum, which even now is still ongoing! The
second story was not of a first hand account from a refugee
and asylum seeker, but from Ustadh Adam Aslam recounting the
journey made by his grandfather from India in the late 1940s
to the newly created Pakistan, and then onto England. Our
final, short contribution came from Mustafah who is
experiencing continued difficulties with the Home Office
including them placing him in Leeds miles away from his
friends and his support network in London. He is also
awaiting their decision about his latest claim for asylum,
following earlier claims being denied.
As is often the case, the
contributions inspired some probing questions - of us, this
time rather than our speakers. How do we respond to people
with "bad attitudes" towards refugees and asylum seekers?
How do we dispel the myths and give correct information?
What was the purpose of this meeting? Are we just listening
to stories, or are we prepared to help? Food for thought.
Women Peace-ing Together
Our Women Peace-ing Together Project
continues, and has had a webpage revamp - Check it out
Baha'i Ethics in Contemporary Society
On 29th June, Dr Shahin Fatheazam
spoke, to a packed meeting room of Concord members and
guests, about Baha'i Ethics in Contemporary Society. An
engaging presentation that led to lots of discussion in the
subsequent Q&A, and during refreshments afterwards.
Salaam at Concord's AGM 2017
On 17th May once the formal matters
of the AGM were over, including re-election of the Executive
Board Members and minor amendments to the constitution, we
were joined by Hilary Curwen and Salma Arif of the Leeds
Branch of Nisa-Nashim (Jewish Muslim Womens Network) whose
talk "Shalom - Salaam" described the branch's formation and
the events and initiatives they have been privileged to
participate in since. They also looked to the future and
what increased dialogue and understanding between the two
faiths could mean, including the possibility of discussing
the "difficult" questions.
Anniversary commemorative book available to purchase
A Leeds Interfaith Story 1946-2016
Written by a team including Trevor Bates, Primrose Agbamu, Cynthia Dickinson , John Moreton & John Summerwill (with contributions from Concord members)
283 A5 pages in full colour - 238 illustrations
This substantial and unique book, published to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Concord, tells the story of the different faith communities in Leeds and of the key individuals who have promoted interfaith relationships.
Copyright ©2018 Concord (Leeds
Inter-faith Fellowship). All Rights Reserved.
Registered Charity No.: