Media Release: British first as moderator, rabbi and imam join for worship?

IN what is believed to be a first for Britain, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will share worship with leaders of the Jewish and Muslim communities at a mosque.

On Friday (25 November) the Right Reverend David Arnott and Rabbi David Rose of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation will join Muslims at Annandale Mosque in Edinburgh for prayers.

It is part of a unique three-day programme in the capital of talks between the three main Abrahamic traditions.

Mr Arnott said: “Interfaith dialogue is about showing respect for the traditions of each other’s faith. There is no better way to do that than by sharing openly in worship together.

“This is how we say to the community where we all live this is how we should live together, with respect and understanding of what is important to each other.”

From Friday to Sunday, representatives from the three traditions will stand alongside each other during each of the different faith services.

Rabbi David Rose, who is also co-convener of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, said: “The mutual respect we show to each other in visiting other faith’s places of worship is a clear signal that the various faiths in our city is committed to living together in harmony and together contributing to the wellbeing of the city.”

Bashir Malik, a mosque representative, said: “The Jewish and Christian faiths are deeply connected with Islam with all three being a continuation of the Abrahamic faith.

“We must show respect for each other from the core of our hearts, and these visits of each other’s place of worship is the best way to express our respect and commitment to contributing to achieving peace and harmony within our communities.”

The programme starts at Annandale Mosque on Friday, then on Saturday at the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation’s synagogue, ending with a Church of Scotland service on Sunday at St Andrew’s St George’s West.


Notes to news desks:

Journalists and photographers wishing to attend should contact the Communications Department of the Church of Scotland on 0131 240 2268.

There will be an opportunity for photos outside the mosque on Annandale Street at 12.45pm on Friday with the faith leaders. The prayers will begin at approximately 1pm.

The event is supported by the Church of Scotland’s Mission and Discipleship Council, the Three Faiths Forum Edinburgh and Edinburgh Interfaith Association.

The event precedes the beginning of Edinburgh Interfaith Week, which runs until 4 December.

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Contact: Gordon Bell
Phone: 0131 240 2204