Vision of Hope

Posted: 21st November 2017

A visit to the House of Lords

The website of the National Schools Poetry Competition (NSPC4PEACE) says that the competition ‘is designed to unlock the potential of young people and to encourage them to express their emotions through writing poetry about peace.’ As it is supported by the Three Faiths Forum (3ff), Mrs McDermott, Head of Religious Education, who is a tireless supporter of the 3ff, was invited to attend last night’s ‘Vision of Hope’ event organised by NSPC4Peace at the House of Lords and here reports on her experience.

‘I was invited to attend The National Schools Poetry Competition’s ‘Vision of Hope’ event at the House of Lords on Monday 20th November by the Three Faiths Forum. As I am one of their most experienced linking teachers they invited me to speak about our experience as a school of linking with Unity Girls High School in Hendon.

The event was held in the River Room in the House of Lords which itself was an experience to behold. I was rather taken aback by the beauty of the room, as the daughter and wife of carpenters I was amazed by the architrave of the doors and the views from the windows of the River Thames were spectacular. I then was given a programme and was rather over-whelmed when I saw the list of other speakers that I had to follow. It was rather awe-inspiring as I followed Lord Eames, the Archbishop of York – John Sentamu, Dr Rabbi David Rosen, previously Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Imam Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra and Baroness Blood.


It was incredible to listen to the words of such distinguished speakers; for example hearing Archbishop John Sentamu speak of the importance of ‘Believing in spite of the evidence and then watch the evidence change.’ Imam Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra reminded us, ‘God made us all different for a reason, we are all here as one.’ Dr Rabbi David Rosen used the words of Psalm 122 ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; May they prosper that love thee,’ to make us think about how the city of Jerusalem is holy for the three Abrahamic faiths, yet not a place of peace, and so how vital it is for religious communities to be involved in inter-faith work and programmes.’ 

Mrs McDermott being introduced

The work of the 3ff continues to grow and we are delighted to support this organisation which works to build good relations between people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures.

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