History of Reading Interfaith Group
Reading has a long history of individuals prepared to make great sacrifices for their faith.
The Catholics Hugh Faringdon, Abbot of Reading and two other priests died for their beliefs in our market place. A few years later Reading’s schoolmaster Julius Palmer wrote a book criticising the burning of Protestants and died for promoting toleration.
During the civil wars Reading people raised a regiment “By the People, For the People,” to protect religious freedom.
We have never been afraid of holding a faith strongly, so long as we do so with love and respect for others. In their different forms of expression and belief, all religions can make us better at being human.
The Reading Interfaith Group began as a response to the challenge and opportunities of an increasingly global economy. As inspiration and ideas from all over the world came to Reading, the Reading Interfaith Group aims to challenge fear and prejudice by bringing people together.
The first Reading Interfaith Group meeting was held on Tuesday 23rd April 1985 at the Friends Meeting House. A focus on “Some Spring Religious Festivals” provided an opportunity for members of different religious traditions to meet and explore the possibility of starting a Reading inter-faith group linked to the World Congress of Faiths”
Reading Interfaith Group is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. It remains focused upon its aims and the shared opportunity for friendship.
“Our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian. I broaden my Hinduism by loving other religions than my own…. All religions are true”Mahatma Gandhi – Sacred Longings (Hindu Leader)