News of the passing of Dadi Janki

The Brahma Kumaris share the news that Dadi Janki, their much loved
Spiritual Head, passed on from this physical life, at 2am, India time on
Friday 27th March. The soul has flown and is now in God’s lap.
It is a time to pay silent homage to this tireless spiritual server who
has meant so much to so many.  We treasure the wealth of personal
lessons in wisdom and courage she shared through her life. 

URGENT message from Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health LBH

Please take urgent note of the following message from Kelly O’Neill and also communicate this information to any other congregations which hire your premises.

Dear Hounslow Faith Leaders  

You will be aware of the need for us all to play our part in responding to the current national crisis around (coronavirus) Covid-19 and the importance of working together to reduce the spread of infection. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you it can be fatal, and is particularly dangerous for older people, those with a long-term health condition, and pregnant women.

Whilst many of you have taken notice and been responsible for your congregation’s health and wellbeing, it is becoming increasingly apparent that responsible action to stop mass gatherings has not been applied across all your congregations.

As Director of Public Health for the Borough of Hounslow I am responsible for ensuring that the health and wellbeing of our residents is protected and not  unnecessarily put at risk by lack of responsible action 

I am writing to ask that you to recognise that unless you stop these gatherings which  significantly increase the risk of infection for your congregation, especially to your older worshippers who are particularly vulnerable, you  are at considerable risk of increasing the spread and putting lives in danger.

As you will be aware, it is the parents and grandparents of your communities, and our brothers and sisters with long term health conditions for whom there is greater risk of severe symptoms and the need to access specialist health services. If we allow transmission to be rapid the reality is that we overload critical health services and their ability to protect those we care about from this virus, and this is a risk to life. I’m afraid that is the consequence of not taking action.

Challenging times call for tough words and I make no excuses for the directness of this message. We each have a responsibility to act in the best interests of our communities and help protect the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable residents. We should not put them at avoidable risk.  

The following guidance is available for you to review:

Church of England:

Muslim Council of Britain:

Catholic Church:

 The Board of Deputies of British Jews:

 My best wishes to you Kelly

 Kelly O’Neill | Director of Public Health

5th Floor, Hounslow House

7 Bath Road,

Hounslow, TW3 3EB

London Borough of Hounslow

0208 583 3142

07971 473 931

Visit to Heston Coptic Orthodox Church

Hounslow Friends of Faith were invited to visit St Mary and Pope Kyrillos VI Coptic Orthodox Church Heston on Monday 3rd February and join committee members of the International Association of Religious Freedom, following their regular meeting, for lunch and a presentation by Father Morkos Fakhry Gamil giving the history of the Coptic Church. A number from HFOF and MP Ruth Cadbury accepted the invitation and enjoyed their visit.

After lunch Mrs Charanjit AjitSingh, as a committee member of each organisation, gave a brief introduction about the International Association of Religious Freedom and HFOF.

Then Father Morkos gave a comprehensive history about the Orthodox Coptic Church. Here are some of the facts he shared. The Christian message was first brought to Egypt by St Mark who is known as the first Pope of Alexandria. During the time of the Roman Empire Christians suffered persecution particularly under Emperor Diocletian. Important theologians from the Coptic Church include: Origen, Athanasius and Cyril the Great. The monastic way of life also started in Egypt with St Anthony, St Pacomius and St Shenauda. The Great Schism between the Oriental Orthodox Church and the Western Church occurred in 451 AD following the Council of Chalcedon when there was a difference of opinion about the language used to describe the nature of Jesus.

The Coptic Church survived the rise of Islam in Egypt in the seventh century. Public Christian teaching was not allowed but songs about faith were introduced.

Through the years the Coptic Church introduced schools for both boys and girls and had an early ability to print books. During the first half of the 20th century the church was very influential and there was a Coptic Prime Minister in 1908 but he was assassinated after only a year in office. Then during the time Nasser was Prime Minister there were economic changes and tensions and many Christians and Jews left the country. At the present time there are good relations between Prime Minister Sisi and Pope Tawadros II. Copts make up 15 – 20% of the population of Egypt.  

The St Mary and Pope Kyrillos VI Coptic Orthodox Church in Heston was started six years ago and now serves the local community through providing worship services, support for homeless in Hounslow and music and other education sessions.

Father Morkos was thanked for his most interesting presentation and he and the management were thanked for their generous hospitality. Those who wished were given a tour of the church and shown the icons of the saints and the colourful windows depicting three miracles of Jesus raising the dead to life. An open invitation was given to attend worship – see the church’s web site for details of times. It is not recommended that visitors attend on a Sunday as the church is always very full on that day for the three hour service.

Interfaith Week Meeting

Hounslow Friends of Faith arranged a most thought provoking evening at the Baitul Wahid Ahmadiyya Mosque, discussing:

“Life after Death?” with speakers from the:

– Humanists UK

– Christian Coptic Orthodox church

– Brahma Kumaris

– Ahmadiyya Community

This was part of National Interfaith Week 2019 which took place from 10th – 17th November this year.

The Three Aims of Interfaith Week are:

  • Strengthening good inter faith relations at all levels
  • Increasing awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
  • Increasing understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs

HFOF Knitting Group

Soroptimist International of Kingston upon Thames and District closed earlier this year and used their remaining funds to donate to local charities. They made a donation of £50 to the Knitting Group for materials. This was presented at the November meeting. 

Death of Jagjiwan Singh, Hounslow Friends of Faith Patron

We are very sorry to announce the death on 31st October 2017 of Hounslow Friends of Faith Patron Jagjiwan Singh Rihal.

Jagjiwan worked actively for good relations between faiths for many years. He was an early member of the group which set up Hounslow Friends of Faith and supported the organisation as both chair and treasurer.  He was active in interfaith circles at national level serving as Co-Chair of the Inter Faith Network for the UK.

Locally he was instrumental in the foundation of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Alice Way in Hounslow, where he acted both as Chairman of Trustees and subsequently as President.  He was involved with local community groups, such as the Pensioners’ Alliance among others.

The funeral is to take place at the gurdwara on 7th November.

We send our condolences to his widow Kuldeep Kaur and his family.

Coptic Pope visits Hounslow

It was a day of celebration in May for one local church community when the Coptic Pope Tawadros II consecrated their new church in Hounslow. His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, was in the UK for a weeklong pastoral visit during which he met the Queen and Prince Charles and was received at Lambeth Palace by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.  In Hounslow he was accompanied by Bishop Angaelos and a number of bishops from Egypt for the 8am service.

The Pope was warmly greeted by the congregation.  The male choir sang joyfully and the ladies in the congregation ululated enthusiastically at key moments in the service. The Pope and other clergy spread the holy oil on the altar in the sanctuary and each icon was anointed with a long roller. Ruth Cadbury, (parliamentary candidate and incumbent) and Charanjit Ajit Singh, Chair of the Interfaith Group made brief speeches of congratulations.

The church has already made a contribution to the local area and weekly provides food for homeless people.  It was the one of the venues for the HFOF Walk of Peace and Friendship in 2016.  We welcome Father Morkos and the Coptic congregation to the faith community in Hounslow and wish the church every success in their work.


Need for bridge building post EU Referendum

Press Release

3 July 2016

Faith groups pledge to build bridges.


In the wake of the EU Referendum, Hounslow Friends of Faith have made this statement:

“Hounslow Friends of Faith (HFOF) at their meeting on 30 June 2016 were saddened to note that following the result of the Referendum to leave the European Union incidents of targeted abuse have created concerns amongst our diverse faith and minority ethnic communities. This abuse and hostility is entirely at odds with the values of tolerance, valuing of diversity, and mutual respect, which we share.

We wish to extend our sympathy and support to any who have been targeted.

HFOF strives to promote religious harmony, equality and diversity in the Borough of Hounslow, creating opportunities through our various activities for bridge building by working together with our diverse faith communities and the public sector.”

Charanjit Ajit Singh


Hounslow Friends of Faith

Hounslow Friends of Faith (HFOF) is a network of individuals from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds whose aim is to promote understanding and harmony among cultures and faiths in Hounslow. See

Celebrating 14 years of service

Smiles round the cake A well attended meeting celebrated 14 years of joint working for the community at Hounslow Civic Centre this week. A specially made cake was cut to mark the occasion.

Hounslow Friends of Faith held the meeting, one of two events being held for Inter Faith Week, to look at what members of faith communities can do for peace both globally and locally.

Millius Palawiya, Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation gave a stimulating talk. He encouraged participants to be truthful to their own scriptures and to speak truth to power. The aims of modern war are now unobtainable. We should highlight alternatives to armed intervention to our members of parliament.  People should be willing to create friendships with those of other faiths to avoid conflicts and misunderstanding.

Achievements so far of Hounslow Friends of Faith were reviewed.  Activities include service projects, consultation, liaison and bridge building between communities and education about faiths.  Together these are a valuable contribution to society.



End of Life Care training

The training course for volunteers interested in supporting people at home at the end of their lives has now come to an end.  Five students completed the course.  They are being registered as volunteers with the chaplaincy based at West Middlesex Hospital and expect to start work soon.