Castelli Romani Sponsored Walk

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Paul Hendricks    The Christian Muslim Forum - Creating Safe Spaces for Christians and Muslims to meet and understand each other, build relationships, explore differences and work together practically locally and nationally.

I'm planning to do a sponsored walk when I visit the students of the English College in Rome in early July. I'm aiming to raise money to support the work of an organisation of which I'm the Christian co-chair, the Christian Muslim Forum.

As the name suggests, this promotes dialogue and better understanding between our two religions. In recent years we have seen, in this country and abroad, how important it is that people from different religions learn to live together in peace.

The walk is one I used to do when I was a student (about thirty years ago) and it involves visiting thirteen little hill towns in a beautiful area outside Rome, called the Castelli Romani. Amongst the towns are Castelgandolfo (where the Pope goes in summer) and Frascati (known for its wine).

The total distance is about 35-36 miles {this is almost as far as the Director's #pedallingpilgrim2 ride around London on a Barclays Bike}, which is just possible in a day, if you get up really early and keep going steadily right through the day. Even though I'm about twice as old as I was in those days. I still enjoy walking, though I don't often get a chance to do a really long walk like this.

As far as I know the Forum is the only national dialogue body that includes representation from a broad cross-section of the Christian denominations and Muslim traditions. It also has an extensive network at the local level.

The Forum is almost entirely maintained by volunteers and others (such as academics and religious leaders) who can include this as part of their work. The one paid employee is the Director (apart from a part-time webmaster), who really holds the whole thing together. His salary and the modest office expenses (hosted by a church in East London) accounts for a large proportion of the annual expenditure, the rest being focused on events around the country . It is extraordinary how much the Forum has been able to do on such a limited budget.

I’ve very much enjoyed working with Forum, as I find it very interesting to hear about other people’s religious traditions — and it always helps me to take a fresh look at my own faith.

In recent years we have seen, in this country and abroad, how important it is that people from different religions learn to live together in peace. Visiting groups from other countries, where there is great tension and even persecution, are encouraged to see in Britain that peaceful and respectful relations are possible.

I hope to be able to make a modest contribution by this walk, to help this work to continue.

Please support the Forum with a donation here

There are also more details about the walk itself here

Rt. Rev. Paul Hendricks
SW Area Auxiliary Bishop
RC Archdiocese of Southwark
Co-Chair, Christian Muslim Forum
 

A few key articles about the Forum's work

 

 

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