Local faith leaders commit to peace

Last Friday (27th November)  at 10:00am, as the people of France reflected on the losses suffered in Paris two weeks previously, leaders from many of the major faith groups gathered in Camberley to declare their shared commitment to peace.

The “Peace Vigil,” arose out of the latest meeting of the Surrey Heath Faith Forum and was held outside the Surrey Heath Borough Council offices. The council’s Communities Transformation team, the Diocese of Guildford and Surrey Police, supported the gathering.

The Revd. Russell Gant from St. Paul’s Church in Camberley read a statement reiterating the common commitment to peace, of those faith groups represented, as well as those of no faith, in light of the Paris attacks. Each representative then read passages from their various scriptures relating to unity and peace. Each reading concluded with the words “we commit to peace.”

The passages read out were as follows:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hangs everything else.”

Jesus Christ – Holy Bible


“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord shine His face upon you. May the Lord turn his face upon you and give you peace.”

Jewish blessing from the Torah


“whoever kills a single innocent soul – it is as if he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved all mankind”

Holy Qur’an


“Lead us from unreal to real, lead us from darkness to light, from the fear of death to the knowledge of immortality. Peace, peace, peace.”

Old Hindu Scriptures


“I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and contentment. Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.”

Abdul-Baha – Baha’i Writings


“One’s mind finds no peace, neither enjoys pleasure or delight, nor goes to sleep, nor feels secure while the dart of hatred is stuck in the heart.”

Lord Buddha – Buddhist mantra


“Let us show our commitment to peace by having the courage to oppose those who would cause conflict, by acting with kindness and compassion, and always showing tolerance and understanding.”

Ray Northcott – Citizens UK



Photograph (from left to right):

Nigel Drury (Surrey Heath Borough Council), Revd. Susan Bolen (Christian), Revd. Bruce Nicole (Christian), Meeta Joshi (Hindu), Imam Abdul Malik (Muslim), Revd. Russ Gant (Christian), Karen Holdsworth-Cannon (Muslim), Ray Wicksman (Jewish), Saima Waseem (Muslim), Ray Northcott (Citizens UK), Foad Rahimi (Baha’i), Balaram Ghale (Nepalese) and Michelle Carroway (Surrey Police)

For more information please contact – Kauser Akhtar – Faith Links Adviser, Surrey Faith Links

E: Kauser.Akhtar@cofeguildford.org.uk