In the latest instalment of our series on the Parkes Institute’s outreach programme, we look at the Parkes Institute’s ongoing commitment to interfaith activities.
The Parkes Institute remains true to the vision of the Reverend Dr James Parkes‘s commitment to interfaith dialogue and relations. To that end, Parkes continues to be involved in interfaith work and hosts activities and workshops throughout the year.
The main interfaith event of the Parkes calendar in 2012/2013 was Interfaith Week at the University of Southampton. Interfaith Week is a national event during the third week of November in which communities across the country come together to celebrate diversity and commonality between faith groups, and to help develop integrated and neighbourly communities.
The Parkes Institute, working in collaboration with the University’s Chaplaincy and Students Union, played a leading role in the organisation of the University of Southampton’s Interfaith Week celebrations in 2012. The programme included a Mitzvah Day bake sale, Sunset Prayers in the Muslim prayer room at the University, Holy Communion, and a talk on James Parkes and his legacy to interfaith relations given by Dr Helen Spurling. Of special note was ‘Conversations for the Soul’, a dialogue project run by St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, which encouraged participants to reflect on difference and the nature and belief in a safe and accepting space. The Parkes Institute was instrumental in curating an interactive interfaith exhibition at the University’s Highfield and Avenue campuses, which featured an interfaith board game and information about the many faith societies present on campus.
Interfaith week 2013 will take place from 17 – 23 November. Find out more at the Interfaith Week website.