Interfaith thrives in Altrincham
On Saturday 15th February an important event took place in Altrincham – 150 people of all faiths braved the wind and the rain to meet and share food and friendship under the auspices of Altrincham Interfaith Group. When our newspapers and the media appear to full of division in society, whether it be Brexit, HS2 or just politics in itself, it is heartening to see people of all faiths getting on together and having a good time. The event was attended by Mayor of Trafford Councillor Rob Chilton and his Chaplain Reverend Barbara Sharp and the Chief Inspector of Police in Trafford, Zeashan Nasim with his wife Dawn while the guest speaker was Hindu Ghanshyam Nabar whose work involves creating commercial links between India and Greater Manchester. He talked about the origin of Hinduism and how interfaith is so important in maintaining co-existence and social integrity.
Adults and children from different faith traditions offered prayers to start the evening and then the “Bring and Share” meal began, comprising Kosher and vegetarian starters provided by various Jewish communities, the main meal by the Hale and Altrincham Muslim Association with contributions from both Hindus and Ahmadiyya Muslims while delicious desserts were provided by the local Christian and Unitarian Churches and Chapels. It was a great example of togetherness and the room buzzed with chatter and enjoyment. Thanks go to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys for use of their dining hall for the occasion and to Trafford Council for a Community Cohesion grant to help fund the event. Part of the money raised will go towards to Mayor of Trafford’s Charities: Manchester Foundation Trust Charity, in particular Wythenshawe, Altrincham and Trafford hospitals, the Alex Hulme Foundation and the Society for Abandoned Animals.
Group photo from left to right: Mayor of Trafford Councillor Rob Chilton, AIG Chair Ruth Neal, Ghanshyam Nabar (guest speaker), Radhika Nabar and Chief Inspector Zeashan Nasim ©Paul Fertig 2020.
Carolyn Jones (Hon. Sec., Altrincham Interfaith Group)