Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
SeeRound Online April 2018

Grassroots: a positive effect on community cohesion for 25 years!

Grassroots with the Mayor of Luton

L to R: David Johnathan (Director of Grassroots),Vinod Tailor, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Canon David Lawson (Chair of Trustees)

For twenty-five years, Grassroots has had the same mission: enhancing community cohesion and developing positive relationships locally, nationally and internationally. This simple explanation of its purpose belies the complexity of its situation in one of the most diverse communities in the Diocese of St Albans: Luton.

Nearly 400 guests from different faiths and cultural backgrounds attended Luton based Grassroots Programme’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations. Opening the celebrations, leaders of four Christian denominations lit a candle. This was a symbolic act which is about lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness which is the very ethos of Grassroots.

Looking back on its twenty-five years of activity, David Jonathan, Director, GRASSROOTS, pondered the increasing, not just religious but also, political fundamentalism, majoritarianism and general intolerance. In response, he renewed GRASSROOTS commitment to active participation, not commentating or spectating from the sidelines.

He recalled the comments he made at an earlier Luton Council of Faiths meeting:

“We need to write the alternative narrative, not the next one. We need to find peaceful acts of defiance to counter the challenges that we face.”

Bishop Richard with the Dalai Lama

Bishop Richard was recently received by the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, with his friend from the Interfaith Network in the UK, Nitin Palan. Bishop Richard said: “The Dalai Lama spoke of Ahimsa (non-violence), harmony between faiths and the importance of compassion.

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