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M AY TO J ULY 2011

Plymouth Centre for Faiths & Cultural Diversity Different beliefs Different cultures

S h a r e d

v a l u e s

3a Watts Road, St Judes, Plymouth PL4 8SE T el: 01752 254438 i nf Director: Jonathan Marshall Dev Officer: Bev Smerdon Admin: Gemma Foster

Charity no: 1089521 Company no: 4243229

Supported by Plymouth City Council

The Centre has been busy recently with a number of visits from school and college groups pursuing their studies in Religious Education. There have also been regular events and celebrations hosted by Baha‟i, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh groups! It is a great joy to see the centre being used in these different ways. Promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding, lies at the heart of our work because it is essential for community building and individual growth and development. However, these days we must also be able to demonstrate “outcomes” and measure the “impact” of what we do. This can be challenging! The measure for me, is that as a result of these experiences and conversations, we will live differently and more wisely. Does this happen? Well, I was encouraged to receive a letter this week, from a 14 year old student, who wrote about her visit to the centre. She sums it all up, beautifully, as follows: “I think we all see the world through our own little window, and lots of people go through life not even attempting to try and think what it would be like to see life through someone else’s window. When we have a chance to hear about how other people think and what their perspective on life is we have the chance to widen our window and see more of the world. When we learn about all the little differences in people we can start to understand the big things that we all have in common. Then we can build bridges over the things that separate us and celebrate the wonderful diversity of belief and culture that enriches our lives every day.” Over the past year our Trustee Management group has seen some changes in personnel. We have said "farewell" and a big "thank you" to Ven. Tony Wilds. our former Chairman and to our other Trustees; Rev. Gordon Cryer and Dr. Peter Lee. We have welcomed Anna Kelly, the Hon. Sec. of the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation and Dr. Zainab Imam, from our local Muslim community.

Jonathan Marshall

Sad News In February this year our good friend, Dr Rahim, sadly passed away. Many of you will have met him over the years and heard his wonderful talks and expositions of the Qur'an. He was the first Muslim I met when I came to teach in Plymouth, over twenty years ago. He became a great friend and teacher and a Trustee of the Centre until eighteen months ago. He is greatly missed and it is now up to us to carry on, in our lives, his message of wisdom and inter religious harmony.

Centre News

A Storytelling Circle

Our 10th Anniversary takes place on 20th September 2011, so please put this date in your diary. We have begun making plans in earnest for the Autumn term and we hope to make 2011-2012 a very special and exciting year for everyone involved in PCFCD: visit or s, supporters, volunteers, staff and trustees. If you have any ideas about events and activities you would like to see happen in the next academic year please send us your comments and suggestions by post or email as soon as possible. Perhaps you have a fond memory you would like to share with others or remind us about something you particularly enjoyed that we could repeat. In the meantime, we hope you will come along to our wide-ranging Summer Programme of events and hear more about our 10th Anniversary plans as they unfold. We look forward to seeing you and receiving your contributions.

As the funded part of the Bridge of Stories project draws to a close and while new opportunities for continuing this work are being explored, a few of us who have really enjoyed “simply storytelling” are planning to continue to meet fortnightly on Monday evenings (7 for 7.30pm) to try-out and practise stories. First meeting - Monday 9th May. PRE-BOOKING not required. (More Bridge of Stories news on the back page).

Many thanks

Bev Smerdon Development Officer

Pre-Booking Due to current economic constraints we need to ensure that we only run events if there is adequate demand. Therefore, in future, most events will require pre-booking. Please look for the “Pre-Booking” Logo. A booking form is enclosed with this newsletter and places can also be booked by phone, post or email.

Plymouth Play Association Lunchtime Visit in June Have you ever visited a scrapstore? Do you know one exists in Plymouth? Find out more about how it operates and how it helps our work at PCFCD. Join us at Plymouth Scrapstore, Mazda Building, Union Street for an informative lunchtime visit with light refreshments and concluding with a special time of reflection. See Watts On / website for details

Refugee Week 20th to 26th June Each year Refugee Week offers an opportunity to consider the hardships refugees and asylum seekers encounter as well as the many benefits they bring to the countries who welcome them. The recent disaster in Japan must surely remind all o f us that “There, but for the Grace of God, go I”. It is all too easy for some of us to feel immune or cushioned against the vagaries of war, famine and disaster… until they actually hit us. Please take a moment in the coming weeks to visit our website or telephone the office for further details about our events and activities for Refugee Week. Sign up to undertake a “Simple Act” during Refugee Week and why not come along to our Celebration and Reflection event. Contact Bev on 01752 254438 or visit the website for further details.

Playback Evening Thursday 23rd June A very different way to reflect on Refugee Week Join the amazing Mirror, Mirror Playback Theatre For an evening of stories told through improvisational drama. For more information visit our website

Big Arts Festival 1st to 18th July The Plymouth Big Arts Festival i s a n a nn u a l s um m er celebration of creativity and its power to transform the lives of young people and their communities. Visit our website for more details about events and activities in local communities across Plymouth.

And Now For Something A Little Different We are regularly asked if the Centre can find “different ways” to approach issues of belief, faith and culture, so here are three very exciting opportunities that we hope will be of interest to regular readers and which you may like to pass on to others who would not normally be interested in the “belief and culture” stuff!

Animation Workshop Saturday 14th May 9.45 to 1.00pm Ever wanted to try your hand at animation. Do you have any budding animators or film makers in your community? Here is the opportunity for a FREE workshop with up and coming independent film maker James Jones Morris.

Nonviolent Communication Thursday 12th May 11.00 to 2.00pm “Most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand and diagnose – to think and communicate in terms of what is „right‟ and „wrong‟ with people… ” Nonviolent Communication provides powerful tools for resolving differences at personal, professional and political levels. This introduction to the basics of NVC shows how the process can be used to connect with others. It also provides an opportunity to consider it‟s usefulness to us as individuals and how that could impact our communities. The workshop will take place from 11am -1pm followed by the chance for further discussion over lunch from 1-2pm. Free Workshop. Cost of lunch £5/head.

Community Cinema Bev has recently been approached by someone willing to help set up a Community Cinema. PCFCD has been looking for a way to showcase films which highlight issues related to faith, culture and values. If you are interested in becoming part of a small (3-5 people) steering group to help get this off the ground. Email: or Tel: 01752 254438.

SUMMER NIGHTS: “Meet the Neighbours” A series of informal evenings where you can meet, eat and find out more about a range of people from different faith and cultures.

MAY Hindu - Buddhist Meal Have you heard the one about … “A Hindu, a Buddhist and a Christian who sat down to eat one day…” join us to hear the end of the story at Veggie Perrins, Mayflower Street, Plymouth. Cost of meal £TBA

Rwanda - Legacy of Hope A free exhibition on the history of Rwanda and its recovery from the horrors of recent years, organised by All Nations Ministries, 11am – 5pm daily at Catherine Street Baptist Church Hall, Plymouth from 23-25th May. A final evening of reflection and celebration from 5.30-9pm on Wednesday 25th May where you can enjoy traditional Rwandese dance and music plus sample a taste of the superb food from the area and find out more about the exciting ANM project bringing assistance to hospitals and schools in Rwanda from visiting health professionals and IT specialists from Plymouth.

JUNE Christians & Pagans In Tent Join us in the Bridge of Stories Tent at PCFCD for an evening of storytelling and discussion. Make new friends and find out more about these fascinating and complex faiths. Light refreshments provided.

JULY The Baha‟i Community „At home‟ Baha‟is? Who are they? What do they believe? Come and find out more about the youngest of the World Faiths. Join us for an enjoyable evening hosted by members of the vibrant and active Plymouth Bahai‟ Community, who often meet at PCFCD.

For all these events except the Rwanda Exhibition.

World Celebrations & Events April 3rd 17th 18th 19th to 26th 22nd 23rd 24th

Mothering Sunday Christian Palm Sunday Christian Hanuman Jayanti Hindu Passover Jewish Good Friday Christian St George‟s Day Easter Day Christian

June 8th to 9th 14th to 20th 16th 21st 23rd 26th 29th

May 15th to 21st 17th 23rd 29th

Christian Aid Week Vesakha Puja / Wesak / Buddha Day Buddhist Anniversary of the Declaration of the Bab Baha‟i Anniversary of the Ascension of Baha‟u‟llah Baha‟i

Shavuot Jewish Refugee Week Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Sikh Midsummer Solstice Pagan Day of Thanksgiving for Institution of Holy Communion Corpus Christi Christian The Prophet‟s Night Journey & Ascension Muslim

July 9th 13th 15th 17th 23rd

Martyrdom of the Bab Baha‟i Ratha Yatra Hindu Asalha Puja Buddhist The Night of Forgiveness Muslim B/day of Haile Selassie Rastafarian

Bridge of Stories Bridge of Stories, our project using storytelling to build bridges between cultures and faith communities, officially came to an end in March. However, we are working on new and exciting plans for the Storytelling tent, including the grand unveiling of our beautiful new billowing venue, and the screening of the short DVD we made about the project. This will also be an opportunity for all those involved in the project to come along and see what they have been a part of. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about this coming soon, as well as more Storytelling dates for your diaries.

Don’t Forget You can catch us “at Home” for “Reflections” every Thursday (term-time) from 12.30 –1.30pm. A great time to drop in for some peace quiet, light refreshments to find out about forthcoming events activities.

and and any and

Re-Starts Thursday 5th May

All Centre events are occasions for interfaith dialogue and are open to all. The centre is non-smoking, alcohol free and serves fair trade tea and coffee. Additional colour copies of this newsletter can be downloaded from our website at

Centre opening hours are 9.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday (9.30 to 3.30pm school holidays)

RWANDA – LEGACY OF HOPE Exhibition 11.00 - 5.00 23rd to 25th May Also Evening of Reflection & Celebration 25th May 5.30 - 9.00pm Catherine St Baptist Hall Catherine Street Plymouth PL1 2AD


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