8th February 2014
Annual Shared Meal
On a pleasant Saturday evening AIG gathered for the annual shared meal at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. After a brief introduction by Father John Rafferty, the Chairman of AIG, prayers were said by representatives of the various faith communities. Kosher and Halal starters and main courses had been prepared by the Jewish and Moslem ladies – perhaps some men had helped ? As always, this was wonderful homemade food that looked, smelt and tasted delicious. At the end of the evening a warm round of applause was given to all the people who had prepared the food, especially mentioned were the Moslem ladies who had worked hard together to feed so many people even though they were unable to attend the dinner because they were at a family wedding.
Father John introduced Chief Superintendent Jim Liggett, the Police Divisional Commander for Trafford. He said how wonderful it was that a community could come together to share in a meal in such a way. The previous weekend he had been in Paris for the rugby international and that evening supporters of each side gathered together in the bars to discuss the match and previous games without any animosity just as good neighbours can.
The Mayor of Trafford, Councillor Dylan Butt, congratulated Interfaith Group on their activities throughout the year. Appreciating that he had gone to some trouble to attend the dinner, the gathered group gave him a very warm round of applause.
The main speaker for the evening was The Reverend Bill Darlison, President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. He spoke of his experience of interfaith communities and the way that they build on trust and deepen understanding.
The young people had been occupied with coloured scraper boards on which they produced elaborate and interesting pictures.
After the speeches, desserts were served. These had been prepared by the Christian community and each dish was carefully labelled with its ingredients so that everyone’s dietary needs were cared for. At the end of the meal, the evening ended with groups of people from various groups in conversation with each other.