All posts by Tony Reese

Honouring Dadi Janki

Dear Friends,

Out of respect for the departure early this morning of Dadi Janki, Spiritual Head of the Brahma Kumaris, for the next three days each evening from 7-8pm you are welcome to join us online for live meditations and sharings about the life of this great soul.
It will be webcast on: CLICK HERE

Our webpage is now open for receiving condolences - please CLICK HERE
Our sincere thanks to those who have already sent messages.

All usual online activities are cancelled during these three days.

News of the Passing of Dadi Janki

Dear friends,

With loving thoughts, we wish to inform you that our beloved
Dadi Janki, Spiritual Head of the Brahma Kumaris, passed on from this physical life, at 2am, India time on Friday 27th March. The soul has flown and is now in God's lap. It is a time to pay silent homage to this tireless spiritual server who has meant so much to so many.  We treasure the wealth of personal lessons in wisdom and courage she shared through her life.  Let us connect in the remembrance of the One to whom she dedicated her life.

BK Jayanti

Imam Monawar Hussain awarded the Sternberg Interfaith Gold Medallion


WCF member Imam Monawar Hussain, Founder of The Oxford Foundation; Muslim Tutor and Imam at Eton College; Muslim Chaplain at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; has been awarded the prestigious Sternberg Interfaith Gold Medallion, for his work nationally, in building relationships between the different faith communities in the United Kingdom.


The Award Ceremony was hosted by The Provost and Head Master at Eton College, Windsor, on 9th March 2020.

Reception for Manowar Hussain          

The Sternberg Interfaith Gold Medallion is awarded by the Trustees of the Sir Sigmund Sternberg Charitable Foundation to those who have 'endeavoured to make an exceptional contribution to the improvement of understanding between the faiths in the United Kingdom, and across the world'. Some of the previous recipients’ of the award include: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, King Hassan II of Morocco, Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Basil Hume, President Mary Robinson of Ireland, Lord Yehudi Menuhin and Cardinal Edward Cassidy.

Imam Monawar Hussain, MBE DL stated:

“I feel deeply moved and honoured, to have been awarded this most prestigious award. I accept this on behalf of my wonderful family, my friends and all those who have supported me in my work, to build deeper understanding between our diverse faiths and cultures, in the United Kingdom.

“At a time when populist and extremist narratives of hate, division and violence, are being propagated by extremists, it is more important than ever, that we continue to stand united in our common humanity, love, compassion, understanding and respect for one another.”

Michael Sternberg QC KCFO
Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Chair, Sir Sigmund Sternberg Charitable Foundation, stated:

“This is a hugely well-deserved award to Monawar, recognising as it does his unique and extensive contributions to interfaith relations over so many years in such an attractive and effective way. We are indeed very lucky to have him.”

Interfaith Harmony Week in Clifton Hampden

Marcus Braybrooke writes...
As you may know, the first week in February is 'World Interfaith Harmony Week' and rather to my surprise it was suggested we had a celebration to mark it in the village.

As part of the international World Interfaith Harmony Week, a service in which people of several world religions will participate will be held at St Michael’s Church, Clifton Hampden on Sunday 9 February at 2.30 p.m. All are welcome and are invited to stay for refreshments.
King Abdullah II of Jordan proposed observance of a World Interfaith Harmony Week at the United Nations in 2010 and it was adopted unanimously within a month. In King Abdullah’s words, “the world's single most important threat is the attack on interfaith harmony, mutual respect, and trust. Every global challenge in this 21st century demands that we resist hatred and exclusion. Economic growth, peace-making, protecting the environment, global security, inclusive opportunity — all these critical goals require that people of faith cooperate and combine our strengths to our common benefit.”
The service on 9 February will be led by Rev Marcus Braybrooke. Also taking part at the service on 9 February will be Monowar Hussein, now Imam at Eton College Penny Faust, a leading member of the Oxford Jewish Community and Philip Koomen of the Baha'is, Sister Georgina of the Brahma Kumaris and others.

Report on the International Conference on Cohesive Societies

Marcus Braybrooke recently visited Singapore for the International Conference on Cohesive Societies.
He reports:
'Many Communities, One Shared Future': Singapore 19-21 June
King Abdullah II says interfaith is top priority

'Every global challenge in this 21st century demands that we resist hatred and exclusion,' King Abdullah II of Jordan said in his opening address to last week’s International Conference on Cohesive Societies (ICCS), held last week in Singapore, 'Economic growth, peacemaking, protecting the environment, global security, inclusive opportunity—all these critical goals require that people of faith cooperate, and combine our strengths to our common benefit. The vast majority of people on earth are members of a spiritual community. Each has its own traditions and convictions. But our world religions also have something profound in common—the commandment to show compassion and respect for others.'

The King denounced those 'who preach a hate-filled message about Islam.' Hate speech and violence is a threat to all humanity, he said, and this is why interfaith co-operation should be a top priority.

The President of Singapore - the world’s most diverse society - stressed the importance that the government attached to social cohesion. The thousand participants from across the world saw many good examples of this.

Karen Armstrong, a historian of World Religions, Lord Alderdice, Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faiths and some members of the Faith and Belief Forum, who took part in the programmes for young people, were among those from Britain who participated.

See further

Interfaith is not about ‘sameness.’

Marcus Braybrooke wrote to the Church Times:


'Religions meet,' Evelyn Underhill wrote in her book on Mysticism, 'where religions take their source: in God.'

For many of the pioneers of the interfaith movement, it was an overwhelming sense of God's universal love that motivated them. They recognised that no language or creed can fully describe the Holy One - they are at best like fingers pointing at the moon. They discovered too that a sharing 'in the cave of their heart' of each other’s different faith and practice was mutually enriching. It also inspired them to work together for a world society committed to non-violence, in which no one is homeless or hungry, and the natural world is treasured.

Such an approach is not, as the Revd Dr Yazid Said suggests an imposition of 'sameness', but a growing discovery of  the unbounded love of God for every person and for all life.

Yours respectfully

Marcus Braybrooke

March 2019 Newsletter

At the end of last year, WCF invited responses to a survey to find out more about what its members and friends would like from the organisation and valued about it.  One matter we noted was an interest in receiving more interfaith comment and news from us, so we have decided to produce a short newsletter on a quarterly basis.  The first one of 2019 is here.  Do let me know if you have any ideas for future issues, and send me items and news you would like us to include.  The next deadline is 10 May for the early June issue. Thank you.

Our newsletter is here