Altrincham Interfaith Group Cultural Entertainment Evening July 6th 2017

The Hall at Timperley Methodist Church was filled to capacity on the occasion of AIG’s Cultural Entertainment Evening which was a rousing success. Ably hosted by Ann Angel, we saw the Hindu Community present a Devotional Song in Hindi performed by Piyush and Mana followed by a Kathak Dance performed by Sunita, Sadhna and Poonam in glorious traditional dress. Then we saw two young dancers, Aahi and Rijuta, who were amazingly skilled as they whirled and spun around in their yellow and orange dresses, performing a Sargam Dance. Ann then took to the stage to tell us a moving story from the Jewish Folk tradition which held us all spellbound, after which there was a break for refreshments – very welcome on a hot and humid evening.

The second part of the evening comprised a contribution from the Muslim community, reading and singing poems and songs composed by Rumi, a famous writer in the Sufi tradition. This was beautifully and movingly performed by Daniel and Saimma Dyer on guitar and frame drum and then we heard the Manchester Stake Choir of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sing a selection of well-known songs. The evening was rounded off with everyone joining in with the Beatles “All You Need is Love!” – what a perfect end to a fantastic evening!

Thanks to all who helped to make this evening a spectacular success, especially all the performers, Timperley Methodist Church for the venue, Cath Pridgeon and her team for refreshments and Ann Angel for her meticulous planning of the event.

Carolyn Jones

(Hon. Sec., Altrincham Interfaith Group)

 

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An Evening of Cultural Entertainment, Thursday 6th July

 

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Altrincham Interfaith Group visit to St Peter’s Church, Hale, May 10th, 2017.

It was a beautiful Spring evening when over 40 members of Altrincham Faith Group, comprising various faith traditions, descended on St Peter’s Church, Hale, as the guests of the Minister Rev. Keith Addenbrooke and his congregants, to learn about the history of the Church and its traditions.

We were given a very warm welcome, and Rev. Keith began his talk by describing some of the meanings of the word “church” before telling us about the history of the actual building itself – how the coming of the Cheshire Midland Railway meant that the area around Peel Causeway station was ripe for urbanisation and local people therefore got together to build a place of worship. Meetings began in 1889 and the foundation stone was laid on November 29th 1890, with St Peter’s Church being finally dedicated in 1892. He went on to describe the Church’s “DNA” – various key events that characterised the church which now can be said to be “middle of the road” as far as the spectrum from low to high church is concerned. He then showed us various features of the church – the candles and processing cross which had recently come from St John’s Church, now closed, and the platform which was put in in 2011 and allowed the minister to engage more fully with the congregation. We were invited to walk around in order to admire the many beautiful features of St Peter’s – the stained glass windows depicting angels, the marble pulpit and golden lectern in the form of an angel. After a lively question and answer session we were invited to the adjoining building where a lavish spread of cake and biscuits (including kosher varieties), fruit, and hot and cold drinks were laid out for us, and people could sit down together and chat. The evening closed with the AIG Chairman, Gordon Levy, giving a vote of thanks.

It was a delightful and informative evening and we are most grateful to Rev. Keith Addenbrooke for hosting the event and to the congregants for their kind and generous hospitality, especially for providing kosher biscuits and milk which was much appreciated by the Jewish members of the group.

Carolyn Jones

(Hon. Sec., Altrincham Interfaith Group)

 

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Annual Shared Meal on 11th February 2017

Altrincham Interfaith Group Shared Meal Success

Once again, Altrincham Interfaith Group showed that it is possible for people of many faiths to get together, share food and have a really great time. On Saturday 11th February, around 150 people enjoyed the Annual Shared Meal at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. The evening was led by Gordon Levy, Chair of Altrincham Interfaith Group, with guest speaker the Worshipful the Mayor of the Borough of Trafford, Councillor Judith Lloyd, who was accompanied by the Mayoress, Ms Noelle Ryder. Representing Trafford Police was Inspector Faz Naman and his partner Ann Cooper-Poole. The Mayor addressed the group, saying that the best way to break down barriers was by listening and talking to each other, and that the work of Altrincham Interfaith Group needed to be replicated across Trafford. Interfaith teaches us that we are all brothers and sisters, we are all linked together, and she thanked the group for all that they do, which hopefully will stop anything like what is happening in the USA from occurring here. People shared Kosher food prepared by the Jewish community, curries from the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association, vegetarian dishes prepared by Hindus, a delicious selection of samosas from the Ahmadiyya community, topped off by a vast selection of fantastic desserts prepared by the Christian and Unitarian churches in the area – a truly grand spread! In this time of division and hate across the world, it was very uplifting to see so many people participating in such a united and happy event.

Carolyn Jones

(Hon. Sec., Altrincham Interfaith Group)

 

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Altrincham Interfaith Group Interfaith Week event: visit to the Shaare Sedek Synagogue.

Our visit to the new Sephardi synagogue in Hale Barns, Shaare Sedek, was one of the most successful organised by Altrincham Interfaith Group., with over 100 people attending. It was made especially noteworthy by the warm welcome we received from Rabbi Amir Ellituv and his congregation, and the beauty of the new building which had only been open for one month. During the visit, Rabbi Amir described the history of the Sephardi Jews in Manchester and also that of the congregation in Hale Barns which resulted from the merger of two Sephardi congregations in Didsbury. Some features of the synagogue – the three everlasting lights hanging in front of the Ark, and the two beautiful stained glass windows – were originally from those synagogues. The Bimmah, or raised platform in the centre of the synagogue from where the Rabbi would address the congregation during a service, also combined features of the old synagogues, with delicately patterned metalwork. The ceiling was of special note, being gently curved with symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel depicted in the centres of many “Shields of David” in natural wood, blue paint and gold leaf.

What was striking, however, was the commonality between features here and those pertaining to the Muslim tradition – women covered their hair, worship was conducted facing Jerusalem, and the names of the great teachers from the Old Testament – Joseph, Moses etc. This was commented on by many Muslims who attended, who seemed genuinely interested in the proceedings.

We were shown around the synagogue and then treated to refreshments of delicious cakes and savouries before Azhar Rasul gave a vote of thanks, thanking the Rabbi and his congregation for a wonderful visit.


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