Interfaith Week 2018

HFOF Interfaith Week Meeting 2018

Farewell to Bessie

Farewell to Bessie White

Annual Report 2017-18

HFOF Annual Report 2017 – 18

July 2018 Newsletter

HFOF Newsletter July 2018

HFOF Women’s Group Outing

Empire of the Sikhs

I am pleased to circulate the Group’s outing details to see an exquisite exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG. Admission is free. Nearest Tube Station Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) on Saturday 11th August. We will meet at Osterley Tube Station at 10.00am or you can join us at the venue at 11.00am. A guided tour has been arranged so please wait for the group.


Empire of the Sikhs Poster









Smiles and Friendship in Feltham

There were smiles and welcome at every venue for the 2018 Walk of Peace and Friendship on 24th June.  Our annual event took in four places of worship in the Feltham area with, in the words of local MP Seema Malhotra, once again the message of the value of walking in each other’s footsteps and through each other’s doors.  Mayor of Hounslow Councillor Samia Chaudhary also attended and welcomed the work of Hounslow Friends of Faith.

The Walk began at the Athula Dassana Buddhist Centre in Hanworth where monk Bhikkhu Assaji explained Buddhist philosophy and practice before the community members provided lunch.  After crossing Hanworth Park the second visit was to the Riverside Vineyard Church in Browells Lane where Senior Pastor Andy Chapman explained the work of the church in meeting the needs of the area.  He described their newly completed community centre and the Storehouse Project which provides food and equipment to families in difficulties.

There was a warm welcome at HIRA (the Hounslow Islamic Relief Association).  Imam Sheikh Mohammed Sayed gave a short talk on Ramadan before a tour of the centre. He joined us for the final visit to St Lawrence’s Catholic Church on The Green. Deacon Colin Macken responded to a range of questions about the church.  The wealth of the church he said is its people.

Thank you to everyone for an excellent day.  And the sun shone!

Faiths celebrate their Commonwealth Heritage

A ‘Big Lunch’ to celebrate the Commonwealth heritage of many residents of the borough is being held on 19th April.  Hounslow Jamia Masjid in Wellington Road South is taking the initiative to mark the meeting of the Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries taking place in London in April 2018.  Events have already taken place and Hounslow Friends of Faith was represented at a reception to mark the occasion which took place at Buckingham Palace in February. Members also attended a reception in March at Hounslow Civic Centre at the invitation of the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson.

General Secretary of the mosque Shafiq Rehman sees the lunch as a great community event, once again celebrating the diversity of Hounslow borough.  He hopes to have people present at the lunch from as many of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth as possible, many of whom will be of different faiths.  Get in touch with Hounslow Friends of Faith if you would like to attend or know someone else who would like an invitation.

Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony 2018

Hounslow Friends of Faith members joined students and other guests at the Green School for Girls to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 29th January.  In the presence of the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson and other civic officials, Michael Brown shared the story of his life in Germany before the Second World War, his escape to the UK on the second last Kindertransport in August 1939 and his time with foster parents in Liverpool.

The theme for 2018 was the Power of Words and Michael described how words can be used to denigrate and discriminate against groups of people with horrific consequences.

Rev Richard Frank, Anglican Area Dean, suggested that by being at this event, those present were able to show through their living and their speaking their determination that such an event as the Holocaust could never happen again.

Leader of Hounslow Council, Steve Curran, referred to the diversity of the borough. He asked students whose families were newer residents to find out what their relatives had felt like when they first arrived.  Anti-semitism and hate crime are only just below the surface and there have been more recent genocides such as Muslims at Srebrenica in Bosnia. Always challenge any inappropriate remark, he stated.

Councillor Curran mentioned that Hounslow Council have taken some unaccompanied refugee children from Calais and families from Syria.  These latter are being supported by members of the community. (Note: this is through Refugees Welcome Hounslow, a group sponsored by Hounslow Friends of Faith.  Get in touch if you would like to know more.)

There was moving display of art work by sixth form students on the topic in the school hall. Photos of some of these and of the event are in our Gallery. Photo credits Bessie White and LB Hounslow.

Inter Faith Week in Hounslow 2017

 Inter Faith Week is marked across the UK in mid November each year with a wide range of activities, all designed to bring people of different faiths together and show the positive contribution faiths can make to society. Two great events took place locally.

The HFOF Women’s Group had fun at the Bring and Share, East meets West food evening. Samosa chaat with tamarind sauce, mince pies, patra – chickpeas and colocasia (eddoes), Polish salad, coconut macaroons and the vicar of Feltham’s upside down pineapple cake. Thanks to Satish Dutt for some laughter yoga to get us in the mood and to Divya for a quiz afterwards. And thank you to all the cooks.  A great evening.

Later in the week there were two stimulating performances of The Bundle, a play by Journeymen Theatre about an asylum seeker’s journey.  It highlighted some of the issues involved for those of us who have little experience of what it’s like to feel driven from an intolerable situation to seek a safer life. Journeymen Theatre Company members are active in projects for asylum seekers in the West Midlands, including a scheme to pay transport costs, and MacKenzie Friends, who offer non-professional support and advice to asylum seekers as they present their cases to tribunals.

Donations at the performances were shared between the projects above and Refugees Welcome Hounslow.  This group, which was launched following an initiative of Hounslow Friends of Faith is just celebrating the arrival of the second household from Syria under the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, with a third following very soon.  Hounslow Council are accepting up to 10 families, just as soon as private properties can be found.  Do get in touch if you can help.

For more information about other events which took place round the country during Inter Faith Week see

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.