Our Meetings

Bexley Interfaith Forum Held at 8pm on 24th November 2020 via Zoom
Tips for using Zoom in SGI's webinars – Seventh Generation Interfaith  Coalition for Responsible Investing
Apologies
Paul Ayliffe (URC Geddes Place) and Di Sprowles (Bexleyheath Methodist Church), Rev Paul Prentice
(St Paulinus Crayford)
Attendees
Dr Faz Rashid and Mrs Rashid (Crayford Mosque), Bhavan Phatak and Pritesh Bhudia (Hindus/The
Yog Foundation), Asif Hassan Ali (Green Acres Kemnal Park and Cemetery), Fr Douglas Bull (St John
Fisher R C Church), Angela Merrit (URC, Geddes Place), Tony Creed, Sharon Willetts (Salvation
Army Bexleyheath), Kate Foot (Transforming Bexley Borough), Sophie Organ (NHS South East
London), Chellaian Lawrence (Methodist Church Bexleyheath), Jayne Garfield (Healthwatch Bexley),
Sukh Singh and Sophie Organ (NHS Commissioning Group), Hilary (Sidcup Baptist Church), Kulvinder
Singh (Belvedere Gurdwara/Sikhs), Bryan Young (Police), Michael Percival (St Andrew Albany Park),
Carol Bates (St Michaels Church of England Welling), Parahat Akmuradov (Dialogue Society), Sami
(Crayford Mosque), Eucharia and Joe Ofodile, Gerald Rose (Catford Synagogue)
Welcome and Introduction
Everybody introduced themselves and the faith groups that they represented.
Prayer
We held silence as we prayed for our time together and each other.
Annual General Meeting of the Bexley Interfaith Forum
The following officers were proposed and seconded by various members who attended to serve for
a further year:-
Rev Trevor Wyatt (Chair) Gerald Rose (Vice Chair) Faz Rashid (Treasurer)
Sabrina Gbemisola (Administration and Secretary)
Review of Accounts: July 2019 to July 2020
There were no accounts as such but Trevor displayed the Metrobank bank statements for the Bexley
Interfaith Forum and all transactions since the account was open in August 2019. Trevor advised
that bank statement are only sent by Metrobank if there have been transactions that month.
• 30th August 2019 – £500 cheque (from Mulligans Funeral Directors – sponsorship for Social
event at Kemnal Park)
• 14th October – cash deposit of £167.85 (monies collected from entrance fees to the Social
event at Kemnal Park)
• 20th January 2020 – Incoming transfer of £500 (to Bexley Interfaith Forum from London
Awards event for our Interfaith work in the Borough of Bexley)
• 13th May 2020 – cheques £333.92 made payable to the Mayor of Bexley – 50% of monies
raised from the Social event at Kemnal Park (667.85)
• 13th May 2020 – closing balance £833.93
There have been no further bank statement issued as there has been no further activity on the
account, so the balance stood at £833.93.
The accounts were accepted by the AGM.
Mr Faz Rashid thanked Trevor and Sabrina who had paid for some small items of expenditure
themselves for the Bexley Interfaith Forum.
Update from Faith Groups on Their Experience During the Covid Pandemic
Many of the attendees updated the Bexley Interfaith Forum of their experience during the
lockdown. Common themes were:-
• The use of social media for religious groups to come together in worship and in prayer
• Provision of care and support to members of religious groups during the lockdown
• Acts of kindness and support to the wider community during this period (e.g. meals on
wheels and provision of food to hospital staff)
• Pressure on burial sites (especially Greenacres/Kemnal Park) during the lockdown when the
death rate was highest
• There was concern raised about the pressure that this has put upon leaders of faith
traditions
Any Other Business
• Jayne Garfield gave an update on her work at Healthwatch Bexley, which was about
gathering the views of residents to shape the provision of health and social care services
that were needed in Bexley. Jayne would welcome the views of members of the Bexley
Interfaith Forum
• Sukh Singh form the NHS Commissioning Group reminded everyone on the importance of
receiving the flu jab this Christmas
• Sabrina requested that faith groups provide her with further information about what they
had been doing during the more recent phase of the Pandemic so that she can produce a
further Newsletter
Date of the Next Meeting
Trevor advised that he hoped to have a further meeting of the Bexley Interfaith Forum in February
2021.
Close
We closed out time together in silence and prayer for each other.

St Michael’s Church in Welling

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On the 25th September 2019 we had our final planned gathering of the Bexley Interfaith Forum for 2019 at St Michael’s Church in Welling.  Many thanks to St Michael’s for hosting us.  We were also treated to some Noah’s Pudding courtesy of the Lighthouse in Welling.  Many thanks to them.

Our theme was “Festivals” and we had representation and speakers from most of the religions across the Borough including Bahia, Islam, Christians/Church of England, Hindus, Judaism, Christian/Orthodox,  and the Sant Nirankari Mission.  The attached photograph shows all of us who were present.

Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Belvedere

The Forum has gathered for the meeting on the 17th July 2019 at the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Belvedere. As always it was beautiful evening of peace and sharing of different faith traditions present in our Bexley borough. We had the representatives from Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, Bahai and Christian Churches including Catholic Church.

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Abu Bakr Crayford Mosque

On the 1st May 2019, our friends from Abu Bakr Crayford Mosque hosted the meeting of Bexley Interfaith Forum

The topic of our discussion was Holly Books. The BIFF chairman, Rev. Trevor Wyatt welcomed leaders of the diverse faith traditions in Bexley. The participants included:

• St. Augustine’s Church Slade Green, Christ Church Bexleyheath and St Paulinus Church Crayford (Church of England)
• Crayford Mosque (Islam)
• Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple Belvedere, (Sikhism)
• Welling Methodists Church
• Our Lady of the angels Catholic Church Erith (Catholics)
• Representative of Bahá’í Faith
• Representatives from Bexley Metropolitan Police
• Representatives from Bexley Council.

The gathering started with the mosque’s imam, Hafiz Rahman telling us about Islamic Holy book-Koran, followed by the representative from the Sikh temple navigating us through Sikhs scriptures, while John Cooper spoke about the Holy book from a Bahá’í perspective. Christian Holy Book-Bible was summarise by Rev Trevor Wyatt.

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Please Note: The last meeting in 2019 will be held on Wednesday 25th September at 7.30pm (location to be confirmed)

Bexleyheath Police Station

The topic of our latest meeting on the 27th September 2018 was Hinduism.

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 Our Lady of the Angels in Erith

On 21 June 2018, Our Lady of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Erith hosted Bexley Interfaith Forum meeting. The topic of our discussion was PRAYER. Br Martin welcomed leaders of many faith traditions in Bexley. The participants included:

  • Christ Church Erith, Christ Church Bexleyheath and St Paulinus (all Church of England)
  • Crayford Mosque (Islam)
  • Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Belvedere, (Sikhism)
  • Representative of Bahá’í Faith
  • Bexleyheath and Welling Methodist Churches
  • Catford and Bromley Synagogue (Judaism)
  • Queen Street Baptism Church in Erith
  • Sergeant Bryan Young – multi faith lead for Bexley Police

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Picture above: Our Lady of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Erith

To find out more about Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Erith please visit:

http://olaerith.org.uk

We heard different perspectives on prayer from Gerald Rose (Judaism), Brother Martin (Roman Catholic), Kulvinder Singh (Sikhism) and Hafiz Rahman (Islam). John Cooper was called upon at the last minute to speak about prayer from a Bahá’í perspective. There was an opportunity for questions and answers. We ended with a time of silence.

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St Paulinus Church in Crayford

The Bexley Interfaith Forum enable people of different faith traditions across the Borough to meet, to build friendships, and develop a greater understanding of each others faith traditions.

It was amazing to see so many faith traditions represented at the most recent Bexley Interfaith Forum on the 8th march 2018 hosted by Rev Paul Prentice at St Paulinus Church (Church of England)

which is more than 1,000 years old and one of the oldest and most historic places of worship in Bexley Borough.St-Paulinus-Church-Crayford-p.jpg

The attendance at St Paulinus from across the faith traditions was best yet with representation from Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, and various Christian denominations including the Roman Catholic Church. It was also good to see the Police represented who intend to join us for future such gatherings.

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Picture above: St Paulinus Church of England in Crayford

To find out more about St Paulinus Church of England please visit:

http://stpaulinus.co.uk

Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Belvedere

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The evening saw a superb turnout from many faith traditions across the Borough, with the Forum warmly welcomed by the Sikh community at the Belvedere Gurdwara.

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Picture above: Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple

Following the first meeting, Rev Trevor Wyatt, Vicar of Christ Church Bexleyheath and Chair of Bexley Interfaith Forum said:
“The evening was a very uplifting experience for everyone who attended. We went into the worship space where the Sikh faith tradition was explained to us, and there was then the opportunity for questions and answers. Throughout the evening we were able to talk together and build friendships.
He continued: “Building relationships with people of other faiths is just another way we can help enrich our communities. You may not have a Sikh gurdwara or mosque where you live, but maybe through your work or your child’s school you will meet someone of another faith. Engaging as a Christian in interfaith work is about us loving and meeting our neighbour.”

There are currently 72 people on the mailing list for the Bexley Interfaith Forum from across the various faith traditions in Bexley Borough. A ‘Steering Group’ has now also been formulated, with one representative from each major faith tradition in the Bexley Borough. The “Steering Group” will meet separately to the Forum, to plan future events and activities.

For more information on the Forum please email bexleyinterfaithforum@gmail.com or call Rev Trevor Wyatt at 07860306746

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