Review: Interfaith Walk 2016

IMG_20160529_161112469This was the second year the walk has been held.    The walk was borne out of an idea to bring the various faith and non-faith communities together following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015.  Lewisham police and faith leaders organised the event and the walk was also joined by Mayor Sir Steve Bullock and Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander.  Fortunately the weather was fair, unlike last year, and we enjoyed some of the spring sunshine towards the end of the walk.  We felt the same inclusivity and warmth of feeling this year as we did on the inaugural walk.

The route was similar; beginning at the Synagogue where lunch was kindly provided, organised by the Ladies Society.  We were welcomed by Chairman Joe Burchell, who lit the first peace candle together with one of the younger members. The walk set off for out next stop at the Civic centre where the Mayor presided over the lighting of the civic peace candle.  We carried on along the Bromley Road calling at the Mosque, St Mary’s Cof E, St Saviours RC and the Sivan Temple in Lewisham where peace candles were lit, refreshments offered and words of blessing and friendship said.  The walk concluded at Lewisham police station where all the leaders, including our Ex Chair James Dobson, gathered on the steps to hear the Police Deputy address the walkers.

Although most humanists hold secular views and the majority are atheists, it is important to show that we can engage in dialog with the wider community and work with them to promote and share common ideas and tenets that promote humanitarian values and actions. We certainly found some mutual respect and friendship with our fellow walkers on a sunny Sunday afternoon.