Tea ceremony and interfaith debate in Inter Faith Week 2015
The Fo Guang Shan Temple is in the heart of London’s West End, but one would never guess at its bustling environment once inside, and enjoying the peace of its meditation and meeting spaces. The Humanistic Buddhist Temple was the setting for one of the first events in Inter Faith Week 2015, when jointly with the World Congress of Faiths it hosted a tea ceremony and a debate on 15 November.
Attended by more than 30 people, the tea ceremony offered an insight into the calm and contemplation associated with small but significant acts, such as sharing and appreciating refreshment. After the ceremony, guests were given a new publication of daily reflections, ‘365 days for Travellers’.
They then moved to the Library, where Inter Faith Network UK Director Dr Harriet Crabtree welcomed the first day of Inter Faith Week, a tradition that was moving from strength to strength with more events and support every year.
The debate was chaired by Dr Alan Race, Chair of WCF, and the four speakers were introduced by Jon Dal Din of Westminster Interfaith. They were: Venerable Hui Sheng , of the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Paris; Roman Catholic Archbishop Kevin McDonald of England & Wales; Rabbi Helen Freeman of West London Synagogue; and Jayde Russell of the London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre. Each spoke on the theme of ‘Vision and hopes for the future: What can faiths achieve together in the coming year?’ and delegates then discussed some of the issues and questions arising.