Candlelit Peace Vigil

About 200 of us gathered on College Green at 6pm on Tuesday 17th November for a Peace Vigil – to pay respect to all those who have lost their lives or been devastated by acts of terrorism in Paris and also in Beirut, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Also to stand united as peaceful multi-cultural, multi-faith and richly diverse communities in Bristol.

Firstly we were outside, listening to speeches and prayers from a whole range of people. Then, the Cathedral opened its doors and invited everyone inside to place their candles – and it was a time for quiet reflection and shared prayer.

 There will be a report on our website and on facebook next week – but we just wanted to share with you some of these photos from the evening. See the Photo Gallery here.

This was organised by local agencies and individuals including Bristol Muslim Cultural Society (BMCS); Council of Bristol Mosques; Building the Bridge; Somali Community Organisations; Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI); Bristol Multi-Faith Forum and others.

Click here to read the speech given by our Chair Revd Tracey Lewis.

Other speakers included, amongst others:
Cllr Afzal Shah; Arif Khan, the Chair of the Council of Mosques; Rev Tracey Lewis, Chair of Bristol Multi-Faith Forum; Rev James Wilson; Zaheer Shabir, Chair of Building the Bridge; Peter Brill from Salaam Shalom; Kamlesh Vyas from the Hindu Temple; George Ferguson, the Mayor of Bristol; Alex Raikes, Director of SARI.



Statement on Paris attacks and prayers from Bristol Muslim Cultural Society

Everyones hearts are feeling for the people of France at the moment.
This is an absolutely disgusting attack on innocent people. No sane
human could justify such behaviour. Even in the animal Kingdom animals
don’t behave this way towards each other. This isn’t just an attack on France
but an attack on all of us in Europe.

Let’s pray that Allah helps the victims and their
families at this difficult time. Ameen.

Let’s pray that Allah brings these evil people who carried
out these attacks to justice swiftly. Ameen.

Let’s pray that as a continent we have the courage and
resolve to stay united and stand together in the face of
such an abhorrent act of evil. Ameen.

Rizwan Ahmed
(Muslim Chaplain Bristol University)

Inter Faith Network for the UK statement on the terror attacks in Paris

The terrorist attacks in Paris and inter faith relations in the UK: Statement from the Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK:


We have watched with deep concern the news unfolding of coordinated murders,  injury and destruction in terrorist attacks in Paris.  Our prayers are with all affected by this atrocity.

A jihadist motive is described in news coverage.

Terrorism has many faces. Sometimes it wears the mask of religion, claiming a justification in religious teaching for its acts.  This is rejected in the strongest terms by faith communities.

Terrorists have as their aim the creation of a climate of fear and uncertainty. Their victory begins the moment that people can no longer live in trust and with a sense of shared citizenship.  In Britain, we live with the reality of the impact of international terrorism, feeling the shockwaves of events such as those in Paris as well as in other places around the world.   In such a context, we need to build on the solid history of inter community relations in the UK.  Let us not allow the wedge of suspicion and distrust to be driven between our communities.

Inter Faith Week is under way in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  One of its themes this year is ‘Living Well Together’.  The events that the Week will see are a reminder of the reality and the importance of a positive coexistence.  Tackling tough issues is part of this and on the agenda are those such as extremism, freedom of expression and responding to social ills such as poverty.  Inter faith discussion and engagement does not just focus on easy issues; it is not just the province of those who agree.  It is a challenging and vital process that needs, increasingly, to be part of the common discourse of our society.

We conclude, as we began, with our concern and sympathy for our near neighbours in France at this time.

The Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE (Co-Chair)

Vivian Wineman (Co-Chair)

Maulana M Shahid Raza OBE (Vice-Chair)

Dr Natubhai Shah MBE (Vice-Chair)

Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE (Vice-Chair)