South Lakeland Interfaith Forum is set up by local residents who wish to exchange dialogue through faith and build bridges across communities.
Perhaps in this increasingly diverse world we live in followers of all faiths and none can share inspiration and learn from one another. If we have a willingness to try mixing things up this may help us to see a new and very colourful world. A lone instrument can be beautiful, but listen to an orchestra and you will experience a kind of magic.
Please do have a look at our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We would love to meet you at one of our events. All are welcome. And if you would like to share details of Lakeland faith events, or create a new event, please get in touch.
South Lakes Interfaith Forum is indebted to Kendal Ecumenical Group [KEG]. Here Norman Burnell (a KEG trustee) explains the link between the two charitable organisations:
Kendal Ecumenical Group
Trustees: Tim Baynes, Norman Burnell, Ruth Clarke, Polly Robin
formerly Registered charity 1068269
Kendal Ecumenical Group was the working name of a local charity registered in February 1998 which ceased in May 2016 having worked under that name since the early years of the century. Its charitable objects were “TO ADVANCE RELIGION FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC BY HOLDING, IN KENDAL AND DISTRICT, ECUMENICAL MEETINGS, LECTURES, OTHER ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS, AND BY PRODUCING AND/OR DISTRIBUTING LITERATURE ON ECUMENICAL AND LIKE MATTERS’.
The trustees were supported in their work by a small number of regular subscribers but it was financed largely by a significant bequest which enabled us to offer meetings and other events free of charge, even when including food and drink. People insisted on making donations but we always distributed any such receipts to relevant local causes. In 2016 we decided to close and to divide the remaining funds equally between Christian Aid Kentdale Committee and South Lakes Interfaith Forum. This satisfied the Charity Commission.
Our main objective was to widen peoples’ approach to our universal common humanity through a better understanding of Ecumenism, a word which is used in quite distinct ways. We chose to reflect its original Greek meaning “the whole inhabited world”. Interfaith or interreligious movements work for mutual respect between peoples of all religions. Ecumenism extends that to people professing no faith. More commonly ecumenism is used much more narrowly, limited to cooperation between Christian groups or denominations, sometimes extending towards church unity, or even to the objective of a single Christian church.
Our objective led us to help found the Kendal Progressive Christianity group. One direct result of the northern launch of Progressive Christianity Network Britain, addressed by Bishop John Shelby ‘Jack’ Spong in Kendal United Reformed Church was a local PCN group in Kendal whose activity over the years was always under the wing of Kendal Ecumenical Group. We later similarly supported the creation and development of South Lakes Interfaith Forum, which continues to grow.
Our main program was annual talks by internationally, or at least nationally, recognised proponents of an open and tolerant progressive approach to matters pertaining to faith, religion and spirituality. These were supplemented by discussion and study groups, using books, CDs and DVDs and also by lower key local talks and meetings, often associated with our Annual General Meetings.