The Bishop of Oxford and Imam Monawar Hussain hosted a second meeting for faith and community leaders from across Oxfordshire on Tuesday 31 October.
The group will meet regularly in the coming months to give a collective voice in promoting understanding, peace, and strong community relations across the area and have issued the following statement and invitation.
“We are aware of the need to draw together the diverse communities of Oxfordshire together in this time and renew bonds of friendship and a common commitment to peace.
“We invite all people of goodwill from across Oxfordshire who can come together for a vigil for peace in Broad Street in Oxford on Sunday 5 November at 5pm.
“There will be short reflections, shared grief and words of comfort offered. We ask everyone to bring a candle and we will light our candles together at 5.15pm, standing in silence as an act of solidarity with those who suffer on all sides of the conflict.
“Together, we are horrified by the violence that we are seeing in Israel and Palestine, and the suffering of ordinary people who have lost loved ones and who fear for their own lives and for friends and family members. We hold all the victims and their loved ones in our prayers.
“We stand together here in Oxfordshire as religious and community leaders to say that we must continue the good work of community and relationship building that has taken place over many years.
“We support and encourage all those working to facilitate honest and respectful conversations and to strengthen the network of good relations, friendships and trust between our communities of which we in Oxfordshire are so proud.
“Let peace and understanding be the solution.”
The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft (Bishop of Oxford), Imam Monawar Hussain (Founder, The Oxford Foundation), Caroline Green (Chief Executive, Oxford City Council)
Jawaid Malik, JP, Vice Chair, Oxford Council of Faiths and Chair, Asian Cultural Centre Association
Superintendent Bruce Riddell, LPA for city of Oxford
Revd Anthony Buckley, City Rector
Caroline Green, Chief Executive, Oxford city Council
Rebecca Vickers, Chair, Oxford Council of Faiths
The Rt Revd Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford
Mark Bhagwandin, Secretary, Oxford Hindu Temple and Community Centre Project
Sadat Khan, President, Madina Mosque (representing Oxford Three Mosques)
Penny Faust, Former Chair of Oxford Council of Faiths & Jewish community
Rt Revd Gavin Collins, Bishop of Dorchester
Layla Moran MP
Fiaz Ahmed, Shaikh Bin Baaz Mosque
Surinder Dhesi DL, Banbury Sikh Community
Dr Reuven Ziegler, Jewish community
Cllr Susan Brown, Leader, Oxford City Council
Louise Gordon, Vice President, Oxford Jewish Congregation
Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker, Founder, Hope4Creation
The Venerable Jonathan Chaffey, Archdeacon of Oxford
Imam Monawar Hussain, Founder, The Oxford Foundation
Mutahar Islam, South Oxfordshire Muslim Community
Those not in the photo but have added support to the statement:
Marjorie Neasham, Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
Sally Scott, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire
Martin Goodman, President, Oxford Jewish Congregation
Notes to Editor
For media enquiries and high-res photos, please contact Rebekah Sharrock on 07880 716761.