Building interfaith community relationships in Southport

Rev’d Jane Morgan shared this great example with us of a growing interfaith and community relationship developing between Holy Trinity, Southport and Southport Mosque.

“How do you get to know and understand someone and see life from their perspective?  You sit and break bread with them, in this instance we sat and shared a vegetarian curry.” 

A group from Holy Trinity church, Southport including Rev’d Jane Morgan, Rod Garner and the Mayor of Sefton, Iain Brodie Brown and his wife Nicola sat down with a group in the Mosque for a shared meal. In this wonderful example of table fellowship, the group were able to sit together, eat together and get to know about each other as neighbours.  Prior to the evening Rod Garner had already met with Soyful, the Imam, on a number of occasions to sow the seeds of a relationship resulting in an exchange of visits between Trinity and the mosque and the next step was to plan a shared meal.

Rev’d Jane continues “We were made very welcome when we arrived at the Mosque and we were seated at tables with our hosts so that we could mix and get to know each other.  We shared a vegetarian meal, good conversation and laughter, and as we talked we realised that we had so much in common.  And we shouldn’t be surprised, after all we are men and women living in Merseyside!  It was good to learn about the Muslim faith, the Mosque and the activities that take place there, and we listened to an excellent presentation on what the two faiths have in common with each other.  And to be able to share what is different in a non-judgemental, peaceful and accepting way.  That evening, it felt as though we were part of history being made!  We’re living in a world that has gone crazy where people are trying to divide, bully and oppress us and make us fearful of each other, so it was like a breath of fresh air to sit and eat with our Muslim brothers, share an evening of fellowship and learn about, and from each other.  It was a fabulous evening and such a contrast to what we see and hear on the media.”

The evening also raised a generous £398 in aid of ‘Samaritans Southport’. It was important for the group that the evening supported a charity in their community so that others also could benefit from this developing relationship. 

One of the parishioners from Trinity said “I thought it was a very worthwhile evening, with the wild, windy and wet weather outside being in complete contrast to the warmth, the calm and the kindness being shown in the Mosque.”

Rev’d Jane added “This really summed up the evening and on leaving, Soyful told us that the door is always open to us, meaning all of us here at Trinity.  It was a privilege to be made so welcome, an enjoyable evening and I look forward to our next shared event and our growing relationship with each other.”