The BATCA Multifaith Peace Ceremony on 7th
November made a powerful impact. Faith and civic leaders joined to affirm our strengths in living well together in Tooting and the need for peace in the wider world. Spokespeople for all faiths and roles stressed the need to live out our values of tolerance, kindness and friendship, and fight those who try to divide us.
Muslim, Christian, and Hindu leaders spoke of their faiths’ approach to bringing peace and offered prayers. The Buddhist monk, Bhikku Nagase, did traditional drumming, and a priest from the Khalsa Centre made Sikh devotions in Punjabi.
Political leaders were there in strength, and the remarks of Cllr Jane Cooper, Mayor of Wandsworth and Rosena Allin-Khan, MP, echoed these themes: our community is an example to others, radiating strength and resilience. Many community groups and their leader also came, together with members of the public pouring out of Tooting Broadway station.
Five girls from Al Risalah Muslim Secondary School spoke movingly of their desire to see a better world. They condemned the ever present wars in many countries, the poor example that adults often set them and called for us all to take the lead in working to break down barriers and create a peaceful world.
All this in 45 minutes: a truly remarkable occasion.
Many thanks to the organisers and helpers, to those who spoke, and to Rev Andrew Davey, who led the event.