|Latest Newsletter - January 2020
Pictures and readings from the Annual Peace Service in October 2019
|Joyce Sundram, one of our oldest and most loyal and vigorous members, has died of cancer after about six months of illness. Our sympathies are with her daughter, Ramola, who has nursed her through her illness. She will buried in a private ceremony on 14th April at 11.10 in her husband's grave in Lawnswood. There will be a memorial service when restrictions are lifted.|
Following on from several successful years of Light for Leeds during Interfaith Week, museum curator and event organiser Patrick Bourne suggested that the multi-faith planning group could put on a year-long exhibition in Abbey House Museum. There would be displays of artefacts representing light in our faith traditions, a film on the subject, featuring local faiths and places of worship, plus a specially commissioned art installation. Throughout 2019 the planning group, including several Concord members, met to discuss and choose the film-maker and artist as well as select and label our chosen items for display.
The exhibition, with the new Light for Leeds logo, was installed in early February, launched on February 13th with a preview for contributors, then opened to the public the following day.
The ‘light’ items can be seen in cabinets in the upstairs community area of the museum; the film, including interviews with people you might recognise, features Concord’s Walk of Friendship that took place in Beeston on June 16th last year, and the art installation, Islanded, is based on a lighthouse, a universally positive symbol of light for guidance and safeguarding.
I mentioned in the previous newsletter that the exhibition will be there for a year, until 24th January 2021 .... I just hope there will be opportunities for you to pay a visit before this year is out. The Abbey itself is well worth seeing and Abbey House is a delightful little museum. Our Light for Leeds exhibition is the icing on the cake.
Click here for a slideshow of images
Joyce Sundram has been a member of Concord since 1983 and has been an outstanding advocate for interfaith dialogue. On the 8th December the Co-Chairs of Concord presented her with a certificate on behalf of Concord as a way—albeit very inadequately—of saying ‘thank you’ to her. The citation, composed by the Executive Committee, is as follows:
This certificate is presented with affection and gratitude to Joyce Sundram for being such a good friend, providing guidance and encouragement to many, and in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to inter-faith relationships in Leeds, particularly her extraordinarily loyal, effective, enthusiastic and generous service to Concord over many years.
The presentation was made privately because Joyce is, alas, terminally ill and largely confined to her home. With support from her daughter, Joyce is facing her illness with extraordinary courage and good humour. We assure her of our love and prayers as well as our gratitude and admiration.
Concord has set up a special fund to provide grants to enable young people to engage in interfaith dialogue by, for example, attending conferences, workshops and lectures in Britain or overseas, such as the youth events organised by the Interfaith Network of Great Britain.
The word ‘namaste’ refers to the form of greeting commonly used in India, illustrated here. It is a respectful, peaceful way of recognising the divine in another person, which encapsulates the spirit of true interfaith dialogue.
The fund is administered by the registered trustees of Concord.
Young people aged 14-21 can apply for a grant of up to £100. Click here for more details.
Donations to the fund would be welcome. Click here to donate online You can also donate:
A Light for Leeds Event took place at Kirkstall Abbey on Sunday 17th November, which draw in many visitors from a range of faiths. Concord members played a large part in organising and running it.
The event was again well supported and very enjoyable. As well as faith and interfaith stalls, there was carol singing, music and a meditative walk.
We finished with a candle-lit peace walk to the Chapter House where throughout the afternoon visitors had put their 'wish' candles on the tree of hope.
Pictures by Cynthia Dickinson: Full house; carol singing; Sikh music; meditation by candlelight in the Chapter House (click on a picture to enlarge it)
Participants in the Annual Peace Service held in the Banqueting Room of the Civic Hall in Leeds, 23rd October 2019. See link above for more pictures and the readings used.
Those taking an active part included the Lord Mayor, Cllr Eileen Taylor, and the Children's Mayor, Wania Ahmed (next to the Lord Mayor in the picture). Young people from the Harehills-based Leeds Street Team talked about the teachings of several famous peacemakers and related these to their own experience. Sue Owen introduced the World Peace Flame. Candles were lit on behalf of nine faiths in Leeds, and readings were given from each of the faith traditions. The Lord Mayor's Consort lit a candle for all of the people of Leeds. The Wesley Singers sang three anthems.
A retiring collection raised £160 for the Lord Mayor's Charity, Support After Sexual Rape and Violence, Leeds.
Concord is one of the oldest interfaith groups in the UK, founded over 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.
Some of the faiths Concord brings together:
Baha'is, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Sikhs and others.
Its aims are:
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.
Very few copies available
Copyright ©2019 Concord (Leeds Inter-faith Fellowship). All Rights Reserved.
Registered Charity No.: 516339