John Woodhouse has lived in South Norwood for 44 years. He is Roman Catholic and serves at Westminster Cathedral but also plays the organ at St John Caterham Valley (C of E). He founded the Westminster Cathedral Interfaith group 13 years ago and it meets monthly to discuss papal documents and visit mosques, synagogues, temples and exhibitions. They have been fortunate to have speakers from different faiths and a humanist. He has been on Faiths together in Croydon walks in the past and been involved with the group about combatting hate crime.
John has taken over as chair of South London interfaith group this year. The groups meets for lunch on the last Thursday of the month normally in Brixton and shares information. The meetings continue on zoom and anyone is welcome to join. The group aims to be a link between interfaith groups http://www.southlondoninterfaith.org.uk/.
The aims are
- To gain a better knowledge of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in the UK.
- To advance understanding between people of different faiths particularly in the South London area, and to overcome prejudice and ignorance concerning these faiths.
- To be a vehicle to promote friendships between people of different faiths whether or not those people are members of the Group.
- To support each other on issues of common concern such as religious discrimination and justice and peace in the community.
With this in mind the AGM featured a zoom about Black lives matter with Lorraine Jones from Brixon (https://www.dsfcic.co.uk) and they plan to continue this discussion.
They would very much like to have a youth worker or teacher on the committee so they can involve more young people.
They also need a Jewish representative.
Next year the group will be 40 years old and happily the original founders Revd Ivor Smith-Cameron and Bryan Pearce are still with them so the plan is to get young people to interview them along with Revd Alan Gadd and others and produce a history with ideas for the future.
In the past interfaith walks arranged by Sarah Thorley, MBE were very popular. In recent years the group has put on events to mark Remembrance Sunday and the birthdays of the prophet Muhammed and Jesus. Events have focused on mental health and helping those with disabled children. John is keen to strengthen links with groups like Faiths together in Croydon. Some areas like Lambeth, Lewisham and Kingston have very active interfaith groups.
John Woodhouse 02.08.20