Holocaust Memorial Day 2023
Interfaith Scotland will be co-hosting an event for Holocaust Memorial Day in Inverness. Holocaust Memorial Day encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. Each year across the UK thousands of people come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 is ‘Ordinary People’ and there will be in-person stories of Holocaust and genocide survivors and a ceremony of remembrance. Please RSVP to email@example.com (if a resident of Inverness and surrounding area) or firstname.lastname@example.org (if travelling from elsewhere in Scotland).
📌 Tuesday 24 January 2023, 6.30 – 8.30pm, Inverness Town House
Holocaust Memorial Day Concert
We are organising a commemorative concert for Holocaust Memorial Day following a successful collaborative programme involving young musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Associazione Xenia Ensemble from Turin, Italy.
This event is supported by the Lord Provost of Glasgow’s International Office, Interfaith Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
📌 Wednesday 25 January 2023, 6 – 7pm, Ledger Recital Room, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
International Women’s Day
Interfaith Scotland, in partnership with Women of Faith and Community will be hosting a special event for International Women’s Day at Glasgow Unitarian Church followed by langar (lunch) at the Sikh Gurdwara on Berkeley Street. Trishna Singh will be sharing extracts from her memoir, ‘A Silent Voice Speaks: The Wee Indian Woman on the Bus’, published by Fledgling Press in 2022. Women of all faiths and beliefs are welcome to attend this free event.
You can sign up to attend the event at the link here
📌 Monday 6th March, 11am – 1.30pm, Glasgow Unitarian Church, 72 Berkeley Street and then to the Sikh Gurdwara on Berkeley Street
Gathering in the Spirit of Talanoa Dialogue
This gathering aimed to provide a nourishing and hopeful event for climate justice advocates at the start of the COP27, as well as a space of holistic reflection on climate change, a space to look at solutions from different angles and a space to look at solutions from different angles.
The event was organised by the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC, with Interfaith Scotland, and included an opening panel, small-group discussion; and an Interfaith Service. The event was part of an in-person Talanoa Gathering in Egypt.
✔️ Sunday 6th November, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm, Online
Decolonising Lands and Minds
We partnered with the University of Glasgow to host an event with renowned author and climate activist Alastair MacIntosh. There was also a unique opportunity to view the Child Artists of Carrolup exhibition.
✔️ Monday 7th November, 7 pm – 8.30 pm, University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel
Scottish Interfaith Week
Scottish Interfaith Week is a community-led festival held across Scotland every November to celebrate the nation’s religious and cultural diversity.
The theme this year was Storytelling, to tie in with Scotland’s Year of Stories.
We hosted several events for the festival.
✔️ Sunday 13th – Sunday 20th November 2022
Launch of Scottish Interfaith Week
We celebrated the launch of Scottish Interfaith Week at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with food, poetry, music and conversation.
Attendees had the opportunity to view our Faces of Faith exhibition and join us for the launch of our interfaith poetry collection.
✔️ Sunday 13th November 2022, 6 – 8 pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Interfaith Scotland’s Poetry Book: Poets share their poems
We have created a book of poems with the Scottish Poetry Library on the theme of ‘The Gift’.
In this special online event, poets featured in the book shared their poems with the audience. After the poetry sharing there was an opportunity for conversation around the themes of the poems.
The poetry book is available to purchase from Interfaith Scotland for £4.99. Please email email@example.com to request a copy.
✔️ Monday 14th November 2022, 6 – 7.30pm, online
Our Story Too
Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees met during Scottish Interfaith Week to highlight the stories of refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland and beyond. Their stories matter too, and we will continue to ensure their voices are heard and pray that the world listens.
✔️ Tuesday 15th November, 10.30 am – 2.30 pm
The 21st Century Story of Christian Persecution: An audience with the Bishop of Truro
This event was organised by the Cross-Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief and included a short AGM; feedback on the International Ministerial on FORB in London; and the highlight presentation by the Bishop of Truro on the persecution of Christians (and others) worldwide.
✔️ Wednesday November 16th, 6 – 7.30 pm, online
Faces of Kabul
This was an online event launching the Faces of Kabul exhibition installation at Pollok Library.
In 2002, just after the fall of the Taliban regime of that time, Nick Sidle became one of the early photographers to be embedded with western forces. Widely shown at the time, the exhibition ‘Faces of Kabul’ was credited with changing perceptions and breaking down barriers in the midst of events that had created a climate of fear and mistrust.
Now with the support of Creative Scotland, Glasgow Libraries and Interfaith Scotland the archive of images, all shot on film, has been revisited, known images have been restored and new photographs printed for the first time.
✔️ Friday 18th November, 1.30 pm – 2.45 pm, Online
Storytelling with Edinburgh Women’s Interfaith Group
Edinburgh Women’s Interfaith Group in partnership with Interfaith Scotland hosted an event for women on the theme of ‘Storytelling’. Our guest speaker was Rev Ali Newell, a Church of Scotland minister and trained counsellor, who shared the story of her work with interfaith and the wider community followed by a Q&A.
Those attending the event had a chance to share their stories too.
✔️ Saturday 19th November, 2 – 4 pm, City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square
Multicultural Sharing: Food, Dance and Storytelling
Interfaith Borders, Interfaith Scotland and Borders General Hospital Chaplaincy Centre hosted an evening of multicultural sharing to celebrate Scottish Interfaith Week.
After enjoying a potluck supper, we taught a couple of Scottish dances and invited attendees to share or teach something from their culture or faith such as a story, song, dance or poem.
✔️ Sunday 20th November, 5 – 7pm, Borders General Hosptial Chaplaincy Centre
St Andrew’s Day Celebration
The St Andrew’s Day Cross Party Group celebrated St Andrew’s Day at the Scottish Parliament with music, dancing, and a tribute to Ukraine.
✔️ Wednesday 30th November, 6pm, Scottish Parliament
Annual Interfaith Lecture and AGM
Our Annual Interfaith Lecture was given by Michael Haines, Director of Global Acts of Unity, on the topic of Tackling Hate Through Education. The lecture was followed by our AGM.
✔️ Thursday 12th October 2022
Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum in Iona
On Monday 19th September, the day Queen Elizabeth was laid to rest, representatives of The Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum, local interfaith groups and university chaplains travelled to the historic island of Iona for a three-day conference.
The trip was envisioned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum. During their three days together, representatives of the Forum (supported by local groups and chaplains) reflected on their past twenty years and looked ahead to how they could continue working to promote good interfaith relations and for the common good.
✔️ Monday 19th – Thursday 22nd September 2022
20th Anniversary Service of Commitment (livestream)
On Wednesday 21st September, representatives of the Forum (with invited guests) hosted a 20th Anniversary Service of Commitment in Iona Abbey.
People from around the world witnessed the historic event via a livestream.
✔️ Wednesday 21st September 2022
Women’s Interfaith Retreat
We hosted an interfaith retreat for women at the Centre for World Peace and Health on the island of Holy Isle off Arran.
✔️ Friday 5th August – Sunday 7th August 2022
Annual Networking Seminar for local interfaith groups
An opportunity for members of local interfaith groups throughout Scotland to network with one another and share good practice.
✔️ Monday 15th August at Interfaith Scotland Dialogue Centre
Screening of “Quo Vadis, Aida” plus Q&A
Interfaith Family Picnic
We hosted an Interfaith Family Picnic with Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network at The Hidden Gardens.
This picnic was an intergenerational celebration for the Queen’s Jubilee and Thank You Day!
✔️ Sunday 5th June, 2.30 – 4.30pm
Interfaith Scotland hosted an Interfaith Buddies event on Zoom for people to make a new buddy and learn about other faiths and beliefs.
✔️ Wednesday 8th June, 7-8.30pm
Cross Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief
John Mason MSP invited the public to the next online meeting of the Cross Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Fiona Bruce MP (Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief) was the guest speaker.
✔️ Monday 13th June, 5.30 – 7pm
Sharing our Stories through Creativity
We held an event in Dumfries to celebrate Refugee Festival Scotland. The event was hosted in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Interfaith Group and Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association. We shared stories from our lives through creative crafts.
✔️ Wednesday 15th June, 11.30am – 2pm
Envisioning the Future
We hosted a dialogue event on ‘Envisioning the Future’ for Members and Associate Members of Interfaith Scotland only.
We have been undertaking a thorough review of our constitution to ensure that it is fit for purpose. We wanted to update our Members and Associate Members on the proposed changes, and invite dialogue, discussion and input.
✔️ Wednesday 22nd June, 6pm (online)
Climate Justice – Faith Perspectives
This online seminar addressed: Climate justice, faiths, and just transition; voices from the interfaith climate movement; and responses from COP26 negotiators.
We discussed the two latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on adaptation and on mitigation highlight the need for climate justice.
This seminar was hosted by the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
✔️ Wednesday 11th May (Online)
Poetry Writing Workshop with Alison Bell
Interfaith Scotland is working with the Scottish Poetry Library to create a book of poems on the theme of ‘The Gift’. The poems will be written by people from diverse faith and belief backgrounds, and will be offered to community leaders and activists with thanks and gratitude for all they have done to steer us through the pandemic. We have organised an online poetry workshop with Alison Bell, Creative Writing Tutor, who will be giving support in writing a poem for the anthology.
To book your place please sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/IFS-PoetryWorkshop
✔️ Tuesday 31st May, 7 – 8.30pm
Your Community, Your UK Parliament – An introduction Workshop
What is Parliament? Why is it important? How can you influence Parliament and get your voice heard?
The Senior Education and Engagement Outreach Officer for the UK Parliament (Scotland) offered a workshop giving an introduction to the UK Parliament.
This was a really interesting and interactive workshop, and we learned ways to have our voices heard by MPs.
✔️ Tuesday 12th April, 7 – 8.30pm
Cross Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief
At our Cross Party Group meeting on ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief’, we were joined by Mohammad Asif, Director of Afghan Human Rights Foundation to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
✔️ Saturday 19th April (online)
Ceilidh for the Climate
We hosted a Ceilidh for the Climate for World Earth Day to raise awareness about climate change and to raise funds for planting trees in the World Interfaith Harmony Grove.
We taught some Scottish dancing, and everyone had an opportunity to bring a poem, song, story or dance to share. The event finished with a delicious curry.
✔️ Sunday 24th April, 3 – 6pm (Our Lady and St Ninian’s Church Hall, 52 Quakerfield, Bannockburn)
Multi-Faith Prayers for Peace in Ukraine
Pope Francis called for the people of the world to come together to pray and fast for peace in Ukraine. Interfaith Scotland and The Catholic Bishop’s Committee for Inter-Religious Dialogue ejoined with millions of others across the world to pray for peace on Wednesday 2nd March.
✔️ Wednesday 2 March, 7.30 pm
World Interfaith Harmony Week 2022
Interfaith Scotland held two events to celebrate the week which took place from 1st – 7th February.
Protection of Mother Earth through Mindfulness and Prayer
Interfaith Scotland hosted an online event in partnership with Mindfulness for Earth and Faith for Earth. Seven speakers from different faiths shared what mindfulness and prayer means to them in the context of protecting the environment. Encouraging us to reconnect with ourselves and our Mother Earth, each faith leader also shared a short meditation practice or a prayer.
✔️ Tuesday 1st February, 12.30 – 2.45pm (on Zoom)
Pilgrimage to Places of Worship
Interfaith Scotland hosted a pilgrimage to places of worship in the West End of Glasgow on the theme of ‘Stories of Hope from Women of Faith’. We met a woman of faith at each place of worship who shared her faith journey, and how her faith gives her hope in difficult times.
✔️ Thursday 3rd February, 11am – 3pm (in person)
You can watch the talks from the pilgrimage on our YouTube Channel at: https://youtu.be/GyfSwvZsBFA
You can also watch the highlight reel at https://youtu.be/_XRxnbEaSpI
- 11.00am Glasgow University Chapel, University Avenue – arrival, tea and coffee
- 11.15am Talk by Rev Carolyn Kelly, University Chaplain
- 11.30am Dialogue on ‘our journeys/stories of faith’ and ‘what gives us hope’
- 12pm Walk through Kelvingrove Park with a Pagan blessing
- 12.30pm Hindu Mandir, La Belle Place, talk by a member of the Mahila group
- 1pm Central Gurdwara, Berkeley Street, talk by Gursinder Kaur and lunch
- 2pm Walk to Garnethill Synagogue, Hill Street
- 2.30pm Talk by Fiona Brodie at Garnethill Synagogue
Impression of COP26
Our Director Maureen Sier spoke in conversation with Lucy Plummer, a member of RfP UK Interfaith Youth Network, at a World Congress of Faiths event. They discussed their experiences of COP26, and the obligations that climate change places on faith communities.
✔️ Monday 7th February, 6pm (online)
Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe Symposium
The second Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe Symposium in the series ‘Progressing Together Sustainably’ took place on 18th February. The event explored themes of climate, sustainable ecology, harmony and justice ? Our Director Maureen Sier spoke at the event about individual and collective action.
✔️ Friday 18th February, 5.30pm (Zoom)
Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 events across Scotland
Here is a selection of national and local Holocaust Memorial Day events which were held across Scotland during the week beginning 24th January 2022.
Edinburgh Interfaith Association (online)
Edinburgh Interfaith Association hosted the Scottish National Holocaust Memorial Ceremony. The programme included contributions from Henry Wuga (Holocaust Survivor), Eric Eugene Murangwa (Rwandan genocide survivor against the Tutsi), First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Shona Robison (Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government).
✔️ Wednesday 26th January, 6pm – 7pm
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust UK (online)
Sandi Toksvig OBE narrated the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day this year. Sandi’s family have a personal connection to the Holocaust as they hid Jewish people from the Nazis during the war. Many special guests appeared, including actors, sports people and faith leaders and their contributions sat alongside the powerful testimony of Holocaust and genocide survivors.
✔️ Thursday 27th January, 7pm
East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Council (online)
East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Councils jointly hosted their Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony virtually this year. The Ceremony included footage of local residents describing their family’s persecution and their subsequent move to Scotland; music provided by East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire school pupils; a prayer; and an opportunity to light a candle in your own home in memory of all those who were murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in other genocides.
✔️ Wednesday 26th January, 7pm
Erskine Community Garden (in person)
We held a moment of silence and arranged an exhibition of art & crafts within the garden, to promote unity, understanding, peace and hope. Address: Erskine Community Garden at Barwood Park, Barwood Road, Erskine, United Kingdom.
✔️ Wednesday 26th January, 11.55am
Interfaith Scotland (online and in person)
For over 10 years Interfaith Scotland has hosted the National Holocaust Memorial event for Scotland. This year we held a smaller, more intimate and participative commemorative event at the Interfaith Scotland Dialogue Centre.
✔️ Thursday 27th January, 6.30pm
Ayrshire Interfaith Group (in person)
Ayrshire Interfaith group hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mossgeil Place in Ayr.
✔️ Thursday 27th January, 7pm
Iona Abbey (online and in person)
A candlelit vigil was held in Iona Abbey for the local congregation and for those joining by Zoom. There were contributions from people from different traditions and musicians from the island of Iona played live at the Abbey.
✔️ Thursday 27th January, 7pm
Dumfries and Galloway Interfaith Group (online)
The Dumfries and Galloway Interfaith Group held a short online event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. There were readings and interfaith prayers relating to this year’s theme.
People were also invited to light a candle at a suitable location to mark the day.
✔️ Thursday 27th January, 1pm
Aberdeen Interfaith Group (online)
Aberdeen Interfaith group hosted Holocaust Reflections on Zoom with guest speakers Eva Clarke BEM and Dr Carl Wilkens of World Outside my Shoes.
✔️ Sunday 30th January, 2.30pm