Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Spirit of Peace

Celebrating Diversity

Intercultural Harmony, Encounter and Action
In our charity, Spirit of Peace, we have seven main project areas, but our funding from Westhill will contribute to our specific community cohesion work:
Intercultural harmony and exchange

Interfaith action and encounter  

In many of the communities in which we work, there is division between people of different cultural backgrounds and faiths. Our interfaith and bridge-building work contributes to greater understanding and reduces prejudice. There is also a need for integration between refugees and other minorities with majority communities, particularly when it comes to connecting with each other beyond the organisation of the meeting of material needs. We also aim to stimulate joint action between intercultural groups in order to tackle problems that we are facing, including the financial crisis, climate change and biodiversity loss, and growing polarisation.
Intercultural harmony

Our intercultural harmony programme delivers informal learning about diverse faiths and cultures, using the creative arts as a tool for connection, learning and bridge-building. This project brings together majority and minority groups, using music, movement, storytelling and healing community artwork from a wide variety of cultural and faith traditions. We particularly seek to involve musicians from refugee and minority communities, including the learning disabled, aiming to foster equal cultural exchange and appreciation.
Previous events have received coverage on BBC local radio and were designated as official pre-conference events by the Parliament of World Religions. Here is some of the feedback we received:

"It was a beautiful, inclusive, interactive event (filled to capacity)" - Stroud

"We had a wonderful evening and everyone had a lovely time. BIG thank you to all those who attended and participated." - Crawley
"The best interfaith event I've ever attended." - Kensington

"Thank you for coming with your lovely positive messages" - Abingdon

"Thank you... for your warm welcome to the asylum seekers who came along" – Abingdon
Interfaith action and encounter

Spirit of Peace is a founding partner of the Oxford Three Faiths Encounter group which involves members of the three Abrahamic faiths. Our regular online and in person events are open to those of all faiths and none. Since 2018, this partnership has been bringing people together to build positive relationships and encourage joint action. We have been developing a growing community of participants past and present from across the UK.
As far as we are aware, we are the only team which brings together participants from these traditions for a residential conference, which takes the work much deeper than can be experienced in short meetings. Our most recent conference God, Climate Change and Us: from Theology to Action took place in 2022, and tackled the issue of climate change, and our theology surrounding this crucial topic.

Our partnership website
highlights our work and publicises resources from the climate change conference from both theologians and scientists.
We are planning further Encounters, both residential and online, building on the community we have developed. We are currently preparing events in September and October, bringing together past participants and other established interfaith groups to consider the future of interfaith relationships in the UK, and how best to contribute to the development of good relationships and essential action in the face of the polycrisis the world is facing.
Here is some feedback for our previous events:
“A sense of appreciation of the traditions and wisdom of each faith and delight at experiencing as ‘brother/sister’ what the world so easily perceives as ‘other’.” 

“The conference has helped me to engage with the other Abrahamic Faiths, our similarities and our differences. At parish level sharing these experiences with our community I hope will build on existing work in the parish and beyond.”

“I was very impressed by the quality of the speakers and their topics”

“I was impressed by the fact that given the faith context of the conference, issues of religious belief never undermined the integrity of scientific research.”   


More info:

Facebook @spiritofpeaceuk
Instagram @spiritofpeaceglobal
Twitter @pathways4peace
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