Christian Muslim Forum celebrates Honours and a New Appointment
- Created on Tuesday, 16 June 2015
The national body for Christian-Muslim relations, the Christian Muslim Forum, is celebrating the recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of two of its leading members.
Aliya Azam, who represents one of the Forum’s Presidents, Professor Sayyid Milani, has been awarded an MBE for her voluntary and charitable services to community cohesion, particularly through the Al Khoei Foundation. His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, has been awarded an OBE for his services to international religious freedom. In addition to their many other commitments, Mrs Azam and Bishop Angaelos have been inspirational in their contributions to the work of the Christian Muslim Forum.
This public recognition comes as the Forum appoints a new Interim Director, Catriona Robertson, who took up the post formally on 1st June. Catriona brings with her years of experience in working with churches, Islamic centres and religious communities in London and across Europe. A graduate of St Andrew’s University, she convenes the London Boroughs Faiths Network, which brokers effective partnerships between faith groups and the statutory sector. Her role with Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network is at the forefront of collaborative working.
A co-founder of the European Network on Religion and Belief in Brussels, Catriona now serves as Secretary. She sits on the Council of Faiths Forum for London and is a former national adviser to British Transport Police. She is a regular panellist at faith-related, human rights and academic events and her writing appears in books and online.A regular visitor to Pakistan, Catriona has also travelled throughout North Africa and the Middle East.
Speaking at the Forum’s new offices at Collaboration House in central London, Catriona said, “British Muslims and Christians have much to share and to offer the wider community. Building on the strong track record of the Christian Muslim Forum, we will be working together towards greater understanding and positive change. Our current programme includes innovative work right across the country. One of my top priorities is to ensure that the fullest range of voices from both traditions is heard as the Forum moves forward.”
A wide-ranging consultation exercise is beginning this autumn, with a view to reshaping the focus and structure of the Forum.
The Co-chairs of the Christian Muslim Forum are Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra (Muslim Council of Britain) and the Rt Rev Paul Hendricks (Archdiocese of Southwark). Trustees include the Rt Rev Richard Cheetham (Bishop of Kingston) and Anjum Anwar MBE (Understanding Islam, Women’s Voice). The Forum’s Founding Patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Attached photo: Rt Rev Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston; Aliya Azam MBE, Al Khoei Foundation; Rt Rev Paul Hendricks, Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark; and Catriona Robertson, Interim Director.
16 June 2015