My first visiting group was an impressively diverse one, numbering 26 people in total. It consisted of multifaith leaders representing the five major religious groups in the North West, namely, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.
Part of the group was the Bishop of Middleton, Bishop Mark Davies, Mr Dermot Murphy of Caritas, Rabbi Arnold Saunders of the Orthodox Jewish Synagogue, Rabbi Robert Silverman and Mrs Sherry Ashworth of the Reform Jewish Synagogue, Imam Asim Hussain, a Pakistani Imam of Manchester Central Mosque, Imam Mustafa Graf, a Libyan Imam of Didsbury Mosque, Mr Ashit Kumar Sinha and Dr Saraswati Sinha, leading figures of the Hindu community and Mr Bhagwant Singh and Dr Rimi Bhatia of the Central Sikh Gurdwara.
Also included in the group were young people by way of linking our youth to both their community leadership in the North West and to the European Parliament.
The result was an incredible mix of people of varying ages, faiths, ethnicities, social backgrounds, professional backgrounds and more.
Please see Article here.
What We Did?
The group began its tour of European Parliament with an Information Session on how it works. They visited Parliamentary Chambers, toured the Parliament grounds and took part in some very engaging Parliamentary activites, including a campaign for the European Cancer Patient Programme and a multifaith VoxBox discussion shown with the Videos below.
In the evening, the group went out for an evening meal with myself at a very good Indian Restaurant in Brussels.
The group got on surprisingly well together, despite the difference and diversity that marked it.
The Parliamentary experience proved to be a wonderful platform for community cohesion, bringing leading figures of different communities in the North West together. The visit also served to showcase the cosmopolitan colour of the North West in the European Parliament, and proved to be a true show of unity amongst diversity.
The group continue to remain in contact with each other and are organising a number of community events, reunions and visits together.