Inter Faith Week – Object of the Fortnight 22/11/2013

PORTRAIT OF BRUCE KENT This is Inter Faith week. Its aims are to celebrates diversity, create greater awareness and understanding of different faiths and to forge and strengthen partnerships between inter faith groups. Many organisations and venues around England, Northern Ireland and Wales put on events. These include exhibitions, debates, lectures, workshops, open days and tours of places of worship, even speed-faithing events! – where people have two minutes to explain their faith. The first national Inter Faith week took place in 2009. However, Scotland was the first to celebrate such a week and has done so since 2004; it was their success that prompted it to be adopted by the rest of the United Kingdom.  Inter Faith week in Scotland takes place from the 24th November until 1st December this year. Our object of the fortnight is connected to Inter Faith Week. A trip to the store room revealed an oil painting of a man with a clerical collar and a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament  badge.

Portrait of Bruce Kent. painted by Alex McMillan of Wokingham Peace Group

Portrait of Bruce Kent, painted by Alex McMillan of Wokingham Peace Group

The portrait is of a man called Bruce Kent (born 1929) a former Roman Catholic priest and an anti-nuclear activist. Kent became a priest in 1958. He was heavily involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), first  joining Christian CND in 1960, before becoming General Secretary of CND in 1980 and Chairman in 1987. He was also President of the International Peace Bureau between 1985 and 1992 and the National Peace Council from 1999 – 2000. Kent left the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1987 to pursue a political career. Canon law prevents priests from taking political office.  He remained a man of faith and has been actively involved with various campaigns and social issues, from nuclear disarmament, reconciliation work between Catholics and Methodists in Northern Ireland and campaigning against the arms trade, to supporting the rights of Consciousness Objectors, prisoners and pensioners. Kent still campaigns internationally particularly for disarmament. Check out http://www.interfaithweek.org.uk/events/events/main-events-calendar to find Inter Faith events in and around Bradford.   Also take a look here to find out more about some of Bradford’s diverse religions and places of worship –  Bradford Faith Trail. To find out more about Inter Faith week, visit http://www.interfaithweek.org.uk/

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