In April 2018, as part of my training to become a priest in the Church of England, I spent a week at Saint Philip’s Centre – which had a profound impact on me. It challenged me as I realized, through encounters and discussions with people from other faiths, visits of various places of worship as well as through the Prevent course, that I carried stereotypes of other faiths. I was also stretched in my own faith, wrestling at times with how much I agreed or disagreed with other faiths. But through the challenges, I was encouraged to witness and experience the deep level of trust amongst neighbours (of various faiths) of the same Leicester community. I left with a renewed sense that interfaith is about getting to know each other to build trusting relationships that allow us to work together for the common good and to love each other. If relationships are strong and built on trust, if the encounter with ‘the other’ has truly happened, we will be more ready to face together the challenges of our world that seek divisions. I am extremely grateful to Rev Dr. Tom Wilson for enabling me to spend time at the Centre and for all those whom I met and whose footprints will shape my heart for building bridges.

Carolyne Powell, Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

The image is of Carolyne and Laura Johnson visiting Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple as part of Carolyne's placement.