News Release

Merthyr Tydfil Welcomes All Faiths

In acknowledgment of Inter Faith Week UK leaders from the Inter Faith Council for Wales gathered at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Merthyr Tydfil Chapel on Wednesday 19 November 2014. Joining together as “Communities of Faith” each of the representatives from the Sikh, Muslim, Baha'i, Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales), Jewish and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saint faiths addressed the Mission Statement of the Interfaith Council – The Inter-Faith Council for Wales aims to help build a culture of mutual understanding and respect between the different faith communities living in Wales, and to raise public awareness of what makes each religious tradition different and of what unites them.

Throughout the evening comments from leaders reaffirmed a desire to work together, to strengthen and uplift one another, and to build on the common religious threads that bind communities together.

Channi Kaler of the Sikh faith stated, “We have a duty to be good human beings of equal standing”.

Saleem Kidwai representing the Muslim faith, also shared how he was taught as a child in a Catholic school and discovered the same values and principles of good that he was taught there were equal to those he learned from his Muslim upbringing.

Vivian Bartlett of the Baha'i faith shared a love of many of the religious leaders of the past such as Abraham, Jesus Christ and Mohamed and how each one taught principles of good that can be demonstrated in daily life.

Following the speakers’ comments, an exhibition displaying various artefacts, books, and presentations of each faith was available all while sharing a buffet prepared to accommodate the varying dietary requirements of each religious practice.

Those attending became more aware of the common roots of each religion particularly the historic connections of the Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  It was an evening of shared traditions including an understanding of sacred vestments as well as significant anniversaries or celebrations of worship.

All involved expressed their appreciation and gratitude for being invited to participate in this community event.  Revd Alan Bayes, the Vicar of Penllergaer and the chair of Interfaith Wales remarked that it was a wonderful evening and added that he felt blessed to be a part.  In reflection, Lisa Gerson, representative of the South Wales Jewish faith added, "I felt privileged to be included in the Communities of Faith Evening of Culture, Tradition, Entertainment & Faith and am grateful for having the opportunity to be involved.” 

Raffi Abbas from the Baha'i faith observed, "The welcoming was lovely, the presentation was good, and the hospitality was marvellous.”

Surrinder Channa expressed her pleasure in attending and meeting such lovely individuals of different faiths.  

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.