Hertsmere Forum of Faith was pleased to have been able to stage this year’s ‘Walk of Faith’ in Bushey, and during the afternoon of Sunday 7th July we visited the United Synagogue in Bushey Heath, St James Anglican Parish Church in the High Street and the Jain Shrimad Rajchandra Mission in Falconer Road.
The Synagogue is purpose-built to accommodate worship, community events and the teaching of children. We were shown round by youth leader Rina Solomon and learned about their patterns of worship and the reading of scripture.
After 40 minutes we walked the mile or so into the town centre. We were small in number this year but our dress revealed our faith diversity and heads turned – to see Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus together.
The Revd Guy Edwards welcomed us into the 13th century church and spoke about its varied architectural features, turbulent history particularly in the 16th century, its restoration in the 19th century and its present peaceful life and witness.
We then went the short distance to the recently refurbished Falconer Hall where the Jain community has recently established their London Spiritual Centre. It was an ‘open day’ and a large number of their community welcomed us. Ashwin Mehta spoke about their inspirational guru Shrimad Rajchandra and their present leader and founder of their worldwide mission Pujya Gurudershri. We learned much about the demanding Jain way of life and philosophy of peace and contentment, their commitment not to cause harm to any lifeform.
We made new contacts and experienced the diversity and vibrancy of our British society in the modern world, sharing the same concerns for peace, mutual understanding and freedom of religion.
Revd. Richard Leslie