I was privileged to be at a fabulous day on Saturday. The National Youth Association and the Church of England had organised a series of sessions entitled "A Sense of Respect - Developing Youthwork across the faiths". It brought together people from across many different faiths including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and even Zoroastrian! Most importantly though, for me,these people were all open to meeting with those of other faiths and considering ways that we can work together with each other in our work with young people. It wasn't all big important types either which was good - there were volunteers, part timers and full time practitioners and also a delegation from an interfaith teen football team.
I've come away with a useful resource, some good contacts and a sense of valuing this as an aspect of future work. Interfaith can sometimes be the thing we think about once we've got everything else sorted but I think people of faith do need to meet together, especially in a country which is increasingly secularised or dismissive of faith and spirituality.
The day also gave me a chance to meet Dean from the Southwark diocese (Hi Dean, if you're reading!) and Maxine Green from the NYA as well as some good local contacts for my new post.
As one of the university chaplains there said at the end of the session. "It was definitely worth getting out of bed for!" As someone who often has a Saurday lie in, I concur wholeheartedly!