WIFF meeting held on 19th September 2019 – minutes
Present: Yvonne Stollard (Chair), Malik Fayez, Ian Spencer, Pam Cuthbert, Jnanamati Williams, Hansa Norman, John Norman, Helen Caine, Tom Piotrowski, Israel Selvanayagam, Leela Selvanayagam, Dayamay Dunsby Apologies: Sarah Cottrill, Mary Austin, Adam Thorne, Owain Bell, Doug Chaplin
1) The Chair thanked Revd Dr Israel Selvanayagam for hosting the meeting at the Methodist Church in Evesham
2) Apologies from those unable to attend were received. Pam Cuthbert gave us news on the health of Treasurer Adam Thorn and the meeting asked that a card be sent to him with our love and prayers. Action: Ian Spencer
3) Dr Selvanayagam led a short reflection from the Bhagavad Gita using the text “fix your mind on God, and do your duty without expecting a reward”.
Malik Fayez also asked us to pray for peace and have gratitude that we live in a peaceful country – at the time of the meeting Malik’s hometown in Pakistan was “locked-down” with no internet access and curfews in place.
4) The minutes of the meeting were accepted with no corrections needed
5) Matters arising and notification of Any Other Business
a) “Climate change – challenges for Faith” – Chair Yvonne explained the event happening on November 11th at Holland House. This will be our Faith and Public Policy event during National Interfaith week this year.
We’ve invited Dr Martin Hodson (a plant scientist and environmental biologist) to offer the keynote speech, to which members of Faith communities will give a short response (via Birmingham-based Footsteps – “faiths for a low carbon future”). The Meeting noted it would like someone to take notes, or ask for presenters’ notes, such that a summary of each Faith’s response could be recorded and perhaps used as part of WIFF’s statement on Climate Change. It was suggested that a video of the day could be made. Action: Yvonne Stollard to ask Becky Davidge if someone from the university could video the day.
In the afternoon Katie Boom (Director of Sustainability at Worcester University) will offer a short talk on sustainability and practical actions, and then offer the meeting some questions for small break-out groups to consider.
Invitations to include County Council rep. and local MPs, Worcestershire Peoples Parliament.
Publicity suggestions – Radio H&W, local TV, local papers
The Meeting agreed it would be good to formulate a statement on the subject of Climate Change after the Event, and promulgate it to Civic / Religious Leaders and appropriate Politicians. It was also agreed to put ‘sustainability’ as a standing item on the agenda.
b) Mitzvah Day, Alexandra Hospital Redditch, Sunday November 17th 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Action: Yvonne to send a reminder email
c) Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27th 2020. Helen Caine confirmed everything was ready including the speaker, Holocaust survivor Mindu Hornick. Preparations are being made to invite Civic Leaders. Action: Helen Caine
d) Interfaith – March event at Holland House. This event celebrates two festivals, one from each Faith Community. In 2020 Hansa will present the Hindu Festival of Holi. Jnanamati said he would find out if the Pureland Buddhists may be able to offer something in the afternoon. It was noted we don’t have a date for this. Action: Ian Spencer to arrange date.
e) The Festival of Faiths (aka Interfaith Picnic) is scheduled for next year. It was noted no children came last year, and there was no-one from the Muslim or Sikh communities present. The Meeting decided it would make a special effort to invite families, and reach-out to the Muslim and Sikh communities in time for next years festival. It was also noted a date needed to be agreed. Action: regarding the date, Ian Spencer.
f) Interfaith Calendar. It was noted that Mary Austin has created an Interfaith Calendar. All that was needed to complete the project was for Jatinder Loyal and Hansa Norman to check the Sikh and Hindu festival dates. Action: Everyone to check the dates pertaining to their faith and contact Mary with any amendments as soon as possible.
The Meeting thought around 100 calendars would be enough
g) WIFF website. Jnanamati asked members who haven’t already done so, to send him some text regarding their profile, and any events and associated dates. Jnanamati would be grateful if the text can be easily cut&pasted i.e. sent on a Word document or as part of the body of an email. Jatinder has suggested adding a digital calendar with dates of WIFF meetings and events.
6) Finance: As Adam Thorne is our treasurer is unwell, no accounts were presented at this meeting. It was noted that there were funds available thanks to generous donations by WIFF members, and that donations for some subsequent events (e.g. Festival of Faiths) could help build up the reserves. The Meeting asked for their love and best wishes to be sent to Adam and to the Baha’i community.
a) ROC – Helen introduced this event (Redeeming our communities), taking place at Bank House in Worcester on Tuesday evening 17th March 2020. Helen will send out invitations to WIFF members. The organisers (ROC.uk.com) are hoping for 400 people to attend.
b) St David’s Church Worcester are holding an Interfaith service at 4pm on 17th November. Revd Sarah Cottrill sent word that all WIFF members were invited.
c) Worcester Hate Crime Forum: The WIFF representative on this is Mary Austin. At the recent meeting an incident was reported concerning an offensive homophobic flyer that had appeared. It purported to come from a faith base. Tom Piotrowski was also at the meeting. Action: Mary to compose a couple of sentences distancing WIFF from the hateful sentiments – to be put on the WIFF facebook page.
d) Trips during 2020 to Hindu temples are being organised by Hansa Norman, dates to be arranged. Action: Hansa. Likewise a trip to a Gurdwara was being organised by Jatinder Loyal, dates to be arranged. Action: Jatinder.
e) Other events: 19th Oct. Rangoli with Hansa at Droitwich Library; Baha’i 200th anniversary celebration (dtba).
f) Medaille Trust – as we ran out of time, the email about this will be emailed to members for comment.
Date of next meeting: November 26th 2019. Venue to be announced.
Reflection – Pam Cuthbert
The meeting concluded at 7.35pm