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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.

Recent News and Events

David Randolph HornJohn SummerwillThe Executive has appointed the Revd Dr David Randolph-Horn (left) and John Summerwill (right) as Acting Co-Chairs of Concord, following the retirement of Simon Phillips as Chair.

Inter Faith Network Statement on the Referendum Result - June 2016

Latest newsletter - April 2016 with report of book launch

16th July 2016

In Response to Military Intervention in Turkey - Statement from the Dialogue Society

On July 15, Friday, Turkey witnessed a coup attempt by sections of the military, which has left dozens dead and injured. The attempt has been successfully put down and the government is back in control of the country. At the Dialogue Society, we condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey and reiterate that there is no place for military interventions in democracy.

Turkey has long suffered from the anti-democratic reflex of the military. The achievement of free and fair elections where governments are accountable to the public and power changes hands through the ballot box has been Turkey’s most valuable achievement, which should be protected and cherished at all time.

While admitting the scarcity of information at the early hours of the night, President Erdogan and figures close to him were quick to lay blame on the Hizmet movement. This is a predictable pattern, as Erdogan blames almost all oppositional development in Turkey on Hizmet as a pretext to purge state and civil society. Gulen issued a statement early in the night condemning this coup in the strongest terms, adding “[a]s someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations.” Leading Hizmet NGOs in Turkey and abroad also issued condemnatory statements last night. Hizmet participants have consistently demonstrated categorical condemnation of such anti-democratic practices and showed strong commitment to the rule of law and functioning democracy. Both Fethullah Gülen’s teachings and the Hizmet participants’ works around the world on dialogue, democratic engagement, active citizenship and social cohesion is the embodiment of this commitment.

We hope those accused with trying to overthrow the government will be tried in courts of law and this incident becomes a source of motivation for strengthening Turkey’s democracy. We are particularly concerned that Turkey’s domestic troubles are used as a source of polarisation of the Turkish-speaking communities overseas and have already received reports from members of hate crime originating out of the UK. We encourage anyone who witnesses hate crime to report it to the police immediately.

 

15th July 2016

Bastille Day Attack in Nice - Statement from the Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Inter Faith Network

Our neighbour France has again suffered an atrocity which leaves in its wake dozens dead and injured and a community and country in mourning. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this cowardly and horrendous attack.

Such attacks are designed to rupture the fabric of civil society - not just in France but throughout Europe and beyond: to create suspicion, fear and hatred.

It is vital that in the UK we continue to work for a society which is marked by commitment to tackle tough issues with honesty and constructiveness and to work peacefully to resolve disagreement. Extreme voices and actions have no part in this.

Communities will, and must, continue to reject and stand against brutal violence where it is claimed by perpetrators to be in the name of their religion.

It is vital, too, that we support communities that may be rendered vulnerable by events overseas or at home. There must be no room for prejudice which singles out any community because of criminal actions carried out by a few in the name of its religion.

Our thoughts turn back to France and indeed to all countries around the world affected by terrorism. In the UK, many will be holding vigils and times of prayer. We join our prayers to theirs.

 

Walk of Friendship 2016

On Saturday 9th July, Concord Interfaith Fellowship and friends were joined by Councillor  David Balckburn of Leeds Peacelink on the Annual Walk of Friendship, around the Burley/Hyde Park Area of Leeds.

Starting at the Quaker Meeting House on Woodhouse Lane, we took a wet walk through the University, visiting St George's Field cemetery, and across Woodhouse Moor to Hyde Park Terrace and St Augustine's Church, Wragthorne. After that, the weather picked up and we made our way down Hyde Park Terrace, Midland Road and Brudenell Road, where we were subsequently welcomed into the Makkah Masjid (Mosque). Finally we made our way to the Hindu Mandir (Temple) on Alexandra Road, via Thornville Road.

The photographs from this year's walk can be viewed here.

News of this year's Walk even made it into the Yorkshire Evening Post. The article can be viewed here

 

Concord's new book now available

A Leeds Interfaith Story 1946-2016

BookWritten 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
Index of surnames

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.

Publication date: 5th April 2016

Purchase

Women Peace-ing Together

Women Peace-ing Together continue to meet and make things.

At our first meeting In April we had been asked to contribute to a Poppy Display going in the Museum's Brodrick Hall on July 1st. Some ladies started straight away.

Sewing Poppies

 

28th June 2016

The EU Referendum - supporting one another and bridge building: Statement from the Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK

On Friday, the results of the European Union Referendum were announced. The UK has voted, by a majority of overall numbers of votes cast, to leave the European Union. 

There are rapidly moving discussions and strongly held views on the issue.

An immediate need is extending support to those who have been targeted with abuse in the wake of the vote, including some members of the Polish community and also people from other ethnicities and of a number of faiths, including Muslim and Sikh. This abuse and hostility is entirely at odds with the values of tolerance, valuing of diversity, and mutual respect.  IFN’s member bodies, like many others around the UK, will no doubt be finding ways to reach out and to be supportive at this difficult time.

We are entering a period when the need for bridge building within society will be more important than ever. Faith and inter faith organisations have an extremely important role to play in this as well as in contributing to the debate about future identity of the UK.


©2016 Concord