Solihull Faiths Forum meets at Saint Columban’s

14th August 2018 - by James Fleming

Faiths Forum
Solihull Faiths Forum Meeting.
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Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Nicholas Henry Bourne), Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the Wales Office, and Minister for Faith, visited Saint Columban’s in Solihull on 7 August to attend a meeting of the Solihull Faiths’ Forum.

The Solihull Faiths Forum is formed by representatives of various faith groups in the area, who come together to foster mutual understanding and friendship. Lord Bourne requested a meeting with members of the Forum in order to hear about their activities and concerns, and convey the government’s appreciation of their efforts to promote good relations among people of different faiths.

Two Columban priests, Fathers Jim Fleming and Dan Horgan – who have many years of experience of interfaith work in Pakistan and Japan respectively – currently participate in the activities of the Forum, and the Columbans were requested to host the meeting at their house in Solihull.

Annual events include regular meetings of the Forum as well as gatherings from the wider community to discuss Interfaith issues that affect everyone like the rise in hate crime, Islamophobia and terrorist related incidents. Social events are also organised like Quiz evenings and an annual Interfaith concert.

In his remarks to members of the Forum, Lord Bourne paid tribute to their efforts to bring people of different faiths together and foster good relations. At times of social unrest or serious incidents which may give rise to tensions among people of different religious convictions, the government looks to bodies like the Solihull Faiths Forum to bring people together and organise events to mitigate such tensions.

The meeting lasted for one hour, and members of the Forum spoke to Lord Bourne and his staff about some of the events they organise and the problems they encounter.