Building Bridges

We had a Congregational chapel in our village, but in all my 25 years living there I never saw inside it.  We were C. of E.  In my teenage years I had a Quaker girlfriend.  There was never a word of disapproval, but I always felt I was coming close to a line. 

Chatting up the Greci girls would have been a step too far.  They were the only Roman Catholic family in the village and went to a convent boarding school.  Their father had been an Italian prisoner of war and he had stayed and married a local girl.

As students in a fiercely Catholic country in the 1960s, we were used to the annual sermon by Archbishop McQuaid.  In it he condemned Dublin University as a Protestant abomination founded by Queen Elizabeth 1st and forbade any young Catholics tempted to attend it, from do so.

In August of this year the Parliament of the World Religions, first convened in 1893, was called in Chicago.  Over seven thousand participants attended, representing more than two hundred faith traditions in ninety-five countries.  So many people from diverse backgrounds coming together, exploring, sharing, praying and responding to the Call to Action on the final Day.

On Saturday morning I shall be joining the Churches Together carol singing on Davenport Green.  This week I could go a step further and join our Jewish brethren in celebrating Hanukkah.

Chris Dawson

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