We use essential cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. These will be set only if you accept.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our cookies page.

Essential Cookies

Essential cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. For example, the selections you make here about which cookies to accept are stored in a cookie.

You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics Cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify you.

Third Party Cookies

Third party cookies are ones planted by other websites while using this site. This may occur (for example) where a Twitter or Facebook feed is embedded with a page. Selecting to turn these off will hide such content.

Skip to main content

About us

Inter Faith conversation, dialogue and meeting in Loughborough began soon after the first people from East Africa and the Indian subcontinent arrived. David Paterson was the vicar of St Peter's Church and he invited the Sikh and Hindu people to hold their ceremonies in his church. From that generosity grew a series of informal gatherings every month. We met at different places of worship, sometimes in people's homes, simply to get to know each other. Each meeting began with a question that had been posed at the previous occasion. Our visits included the Spiritualist Church and Buddhists, Shree Ram Krishna Temple, the Mosque, Baha'is, Brahma Kumaris, Geeta Bhawan and the Gurdwara. We were associated with the Inter Faith Network of Great Britain. We linked up with the chaplains at Loughborough University. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints joined us.

After a while it was decided that we could become more formal and the Council was set up with representation from the various faith communities and the current Mayor as our president. 

We have three important events each year. The first is Holocaust Memorial Day which is commemorated each January with a simple placing of pebbles on a granite stone by the band stand in Queens Park. Next is the Pilgrimage of Prayer for World Peace, when we visit a number of places of worship, or an appropriate outdoor space when we meet with the Druids. It's not possible to visit every one so the route changes each year. Originally, the pilgrimage took place in October when it was often miserable weather so now it happens in June or July. The third event is our Feast of Faiths which was initiated by Mike Jones when he was Mayor. On the Tuesday in November after Loughborough Fair people are invited to come to John Storer House for an evening of entertainment, conversation and a delicious meal of curry or baked potato.

Essentially, we are just people. We want to meet and get to know each other. It's not about tolerance. Tolerance means you go your way, and I'll go my way, and we'll get along fine. No, tolerance won't do. What matters is friendship, making friends. Meeting begins a bit like tourism, entering, for instance, into the richness of the Hindu temple followed by the simplicity of one of the mosques. But first we have to cross the threshold and realise that none of us have any desire to convert. Visiting each other's places of worship gives us a flavour, a sense of what is important. And sometimes the flavour is very real when we are offered prasad or tea and biscuits, cake and orange juice. Yes, we are proud of who we are and happy to welcome you and to offer you hospitality. We want you to feel comfortable. We discover our differences. We acknowledge our common humanity. And then the magic happens when we know what we hold in common and yet that we are different. We have become friends.