We are a core group of six people, holding and carrying Interfaith Vision, who share ideals we want to demonstrate and live by in our working together.
We hold a sheltered space where Oneness can be welcomed and experienced.
We are interested in seeing towards an inter-spiritual world and joining with others who are experiencing a contemporary spirituality as a true expression of the heart of all religion.
I have been passionate about human interconnectedness and all that which we share, beyond differences, since I was a little girl. It is a joy to work with my friends and colleagues in Interfaith Vision to create shared experiences of Love’s Presence, and create with them a new vision for Interfaith Encounter, especially through music and singing, shared silence and prayer, and open hearted dialogue. Ordained as an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor in 2004, by the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation, I conduct marriages, blessing and naming ceremonies, and funerals. I give workshops on Forgiveness as a path to Peace and work with people in counselling and supervision. I also run an open-hearted discussion group, locally, called the Forest Row Forum. I was a Steiner Waldorf teacher for 25 years, both in the classroom, and training people to become teachers. In this context, at Emerson College, in Sussex, I worked with people from all over the world, often representing the major faiths. This is where my deep interest in Interfaith matters, and discovering that which we share beyond faith, was born. I was a member of the Findhorn Foundation (an international spiritual community in Scotland) in the 1980’s and a founding teacher of the Moray Steiner School.
I read music at Oxford University and am Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester. I taught in many schools in the London area and have published widely in the area of education, most recently on spirituality/liminality and music education. My doctoral research into children’s musical development has been translated into five languages. I am a composer active in community music making. I am interested in exploring the possibilities of intercultural/interfaith sharing through composing/improvising. I have written about this in Music and Conflict Transformation and The Great Turning. My collection of hymns and liturgical music A Rainbow to Heaven is used internationally. My one-woman shows have been performed in three continents. I have written widely on music and healing and Hildegard of Bingen. My large scale works for cathedrals such as Winchester and Southwark involve professional musicians and school children. I run the Research Centre for the Arts as Well-being. I have been involved in interfaith dialogue for 28 years and was awarded an MBE for services to music and education. I am an ordained Anglican priest and an honorary chaplain to Winchester cathedral.
Everything in Creation has its distinctive song. My life has been a journey of learning to listen for the song which wants to be sung through me, and allow it to be manifested – and so to make my contribution to the work of Creation for the benefit of all. Along this journey I have been nourished by many rich streams of experience through many identities: familial, social, political, academic, professional, parental, migrational; gendered, sexual, generational, racial, ethnic, religious, educational and class-based. All the time my true song, so often buried beneath the cacophony of life’s roles, attractions, intoxications and demands, has persisted and indeed grown steadier and stronger. Calling me on through so many diversions and detours, it now meets me here: in my life as a consultant, trainer, bodywork practitioner, voice-coach, singer-songwriter, writer, mother, wife, minister and spiritual counsellor. Interfaith Vision blesses me with a wonderful space through which, and kindred spirits with whom, to learn not only to sing my song, but allow it to be in harmony, discord and oneness with the songs of others. I am deeply grateful for this ‘tent with no walls’ which invites me to be, and bring, all that I am, that others may be and bring all that they are, and we may see, listen and experience together what beauty is thereby revealed.
I currently work as a Parish Priest in the Church in Wales and am Vicar of a large, growing Parish to the north of Swansea which consists of 3 villages and a couple of new housing developments. I am also Bishop’s Officer for Interfaith for the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon and Chair of the Interfaith Council of Wales.
I have been involved in Interfaith work for a number of years now and am passionate about the vital importance of good Interfaith relations for community cohesion and the development of a stable multicultural society. Before my present post, I worked as University Chaplain at Durham for 7 years and pioneered new Interfaith work in the Diocese of Durham and the University.
Alan’s inspiration for Interfaith Vision
I have always believed in an inclusive, relational approach to Interfaith work and have tried to challenge existing structures. In my experience, these structures have tended to focus on formal dialogue between certain established religions and have not reflected the increasing diversity of religions and spiritual paths that define the current landscape of religious belief and practice. Also I believe that much of traditional Interfaith work has tended to be rather cautious and formal in nature. We need to develop a new and bolder approach to Interfaith work that seeks to create a space in which people of different faiths can encounter, in a deepening way, the richness of what each one of us has to offer and so experience the divine in new and exciting ways.
Such an approach is at the heart of what Interfaith Vision is about. It grew out of an encounter between myself, as a traditional Interfaith practitioner, Nigel Anthony, a holistic seeker and Annie Blampied an Interfaith Minister. We met at a Wrekin Trust gathering at Hawkwood College in 2010. Even though we all came from very different backgrounds there was a deep synergy and connection between us that made us want to create something new. Thus Interfaith Vision was born. Since then this core group has grown to include Razia, Ray and June each of whom bring their own unique energy and talents to the group.
The events I have been involved in through Interfaith Vision, including 2 retreats at Glastonbury have, I believe, begun to generate this new dynamic approach to Interfaith work that is so desperately needed if there is to be genuine transformative encounter between people of different faiths and spiritual paths. I hope that Interfaith Vision can become a real catalyst for change, and make a genuine and lasting contribution to the future of our common humanity.
I grew up in Africa where I experienced first hand the fear and misunderstandings that separation brings. Seeing someone as different to me, separate from me, not only creates fear and mistrust, but it also allows me to treat that person differently. When I can see someone as another expression of me, sharing common hopes and desires, my fear evaporates and I am free. This is why I am drawn to the work of Interfaith Vision. I don’t always achieve this sense of Oneness, but my vision for myself and the world is for this to occur. The image for Interfaith Vision of the tent/canopy with no walls embodies this for me. Gathering for a common searching for the beauty of Spirit with no boundaries or dogma.
My past journey is one of searching for this by exploring different Faiths along the way, going to India, teaching yoga and studying Ayurvedic medicine.I have been practicing Acupuncture since 1992 and incorporate into my healing practice Counselling for Inner Inquiry. This comes from my ordination in 2006 as an Interfaith minister and Spiritual Counsellor.
I enjoy putting together panels of speakers to talk on different subjects – topics have included ; What do we mean by the word CURE? ; FREEDOM, what does this mean to you? ; HORMONES, who would you be without them?; VISION, how far can you see? and IDENTITY, who are you?
Part of my practice is focused on the journey of conception, pregnancy and birth and I have supported many couples over the years during these periods as well as attending many births. My series of forthcoming books Birthing Together, an energetic and spiritual journey of pregnancy and birth, comes from my years of experience and my desire to honour the sacredness of this time.
I am a mother, for which I am eternally grateful to my children, for placing me in this role. They are my greatest teachers as is my darling mother of 94yrs who I care for.
I am joyfully addicted to the work of Interfaith Vision. My colleagues on the holding group are people of enormous integrity, wisdom and love and I look forward to each event with inner excitement as I always come away feeling refreshed, joyful, in love and at peace with myself and the world. I look forward to meeting you under the tent of no walls, as Rumi, the Sufi poet puts it –
Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – 13th century