'The new Islamic centre will contribute to the neighbourhood's character, harmony, and safety'
PUBLISHED: 10:33 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 09 November 2017
We are a group of clergy and faith representatives in Barnet that meet in each other's centres to foster good inter-religious relations and promote community cohesion. Our interfaith forum is convened under the auspices of Interfaith Matters, a local registered charity, and meetings have been held regularly for almost three years.
All members of the interfaith forum look forward to welcoming the clerics of Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami, the new Islamic Centre at Golders Green Hippodrome, to our interfaith meetings.
At our last meeting, hosted by the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Golders Green, members expressed every confidence that Barnet Council would address and resolve all legitimate concerns relating to additional traffic, less parking and the Centre’s use.
However, as clergy and faith representatives we unanimously deplored and condemned the hostile and, at times, racist response to the new Islamic Centre’s opening. It is our firm conviction that those that attend the Centre are as entitled to suitable and sufficient facilities as are enjoyed by all other faiths in Barnet, including Golders Green.
Indeed, we are sure the new Islamic community will contribute, with us, to the neighbourhood’s character, harmony and safety. We are also grateful to the Centre’s clerics who have already offered to host our next interfaith forum meeting and we look forward to this in the New Year.
Deacon Anthony Clark (St Edward the Confessor Church) Father Tony Convery (St Edward the Confessor Church) Imam Oussama Sahmaoui (Islamic Association of North London (North Finchley Mosque) Imam Yusuf Rawat (Hendon Mosque and Islamic Centre) Lisa Shendge (Golders Green Quaker Meeting) Rabbi Dov Kaplan (Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue) Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence (Senior Rabbi, Finchley United Synagogue)
Rabbi Josh Levy (Rabbinic Partner, North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth Synagogue) Rabbi Judith Levitt
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith (North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth Synagogue) Rabbi Rebecca Birk (Finchley Progressive Synagogue) Rabbi Sam Fromson (Acting Rabbi, Golders Green United Synagogue) Rabbi Steven Katz (Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue) Ravinder Singh (Sikh) Revd Michael Giles (Superintendent Minister, Barnet and Queensbury Methodist Circuit) Revd Alan Walker (St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb)
Revd David Newton (Hendon Methodist Church) Revd Dr Julia Candy (Priest in Charge, St John’s, West Hendon and St Peter’s, Cricklewood) Revd Gregory Platten (All Saints Friern Barnet) Revd Ian Tutton (Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church) Revd Philip Davison (Rector of St Mary-at-Finchley) Revd Rex Morton (Golders Green Parish Church) Revd Robin Sims-Williams (Priest in Charge, All Saints’ Child’s Hill) Revd Sally Bateman (Trinity (Methodist/United Reformed) Church Golders Green) Revd Sally Dryden (Golders Green Parish Church) Revd Shaun Sanders (Hendon Methodist Church) Revd Vasileios Papathanasiou (Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St Michael) Steven Derby (Director, Interfaith Matters)