Altrincham Interfaith Group’s Alf Keeling Memorial Lecture 2015

This year, we were especially privileged to have the first woman Bishop in the Church of England, the Right Reverend Libby Lane, address us on the occasion of the Alf Keeling Memorial Lecture.  This was held at St Ambrose Preparatory School on the evening of December 3rd, 2015, and the Hall was packed with over 80 people attending.  Gordon Levy, Chairman of Altrincham Interfaith Group, welcomed the Bishop who spoke about the Role of Women in Interfaith Relationships. Her talk described the activities of five remarkable women who challenged the ideology that religion is the domain of men only, and showed how they could bring in qualities which, though often present in men, were generally more developed is women such as sensitivity and compassion,  and could enrich texts with their female perspective. She stressed that religion should not be closed off to women, who can contribute so much, and can help to bring diverse communities together.  There was a very lively discussion afterwards, with several questions including the reaction of the media to the consecration of a women Bishop, the language of gender in religious texts, the gifts that women have respecting reconciliation in areas of strife, as well as the design and source of the Bishop’s episcopal cross and ring.  The evening closed with drinks and biscuits and a chance for everyone to socialise.  Thanks go to Mr Driscoll and the staff of St Ambrose Preparatory School for making the hall and facilities available to us.

Carolyn Jones (Hon. Sec., Altrincham Interfaith Group)

Interfaith week: Tree planting in memory of Rev Brian Jackson

About 40 people gathered at Timperley Congregational Church on the afternoon of Sunday November 22nd, during Interfaith Week, to witness the planting of a tree in recognition of the life and work of Rev Brian Jackson, one of the founding members of Altrincham Interfaith Group, who passed away last year.  AIG Chairman Gordon Levy welcomed everyone and spoke about Rev Brian and showed us the plaque that had been made to fasten onto the exterior church wall. Then Iftikhar Awan of the Altrincham Moslem Association spoke warmly about his association with Rev Brian and also about many aspects of his life and work.  The tree, an acer with leaves of orange and gold, was then planted in the ground by Rev Brian’s two daughters, Sue Henstock and Karen Tully after which everyone was invited into the church for drinks and a delicious selection of cakes, for which we thank Rev David Gould and members of the congregation.  Finally, Louis Rapaport, a long-standing Jewish member of Altrincham Interfaith Group, spoke about Rev Brian, the establishment of Friendship Circles and the importance of Interfaith Week in Britain today.  We are most grateful to Timperley Congregational Church for allowing us to remember Rev Brian in this way and also for their generous hospitality.

Carolyn Jones (Hon Sec., AIG)