On Sunday 7th March, the Watford Bridge of Peace celebrated its seventh anniversary at the Multi- Cultural Community Centre in West Watford. The theme of our anniversary this year was about motherhood: ‘Women Life- Bearers”. We were privileged to have 3 dynamic speakers from the Christian, Muslim and, for the first time at the Bridge of Peace, a wonderful speaker from the Jewish community.
Gill from St Michael All Angels CoE started by recalling her experiences as a midwife visiting the multi cultural community of West Watford. She also described from a Christian viewpoint the good qualities of motherhood: patience and unconditional love, the ability to guide the children according to Christian ethics but also the ability to give them the freedom to go their own way and always be ready to welcome them back whatever happens.
Syeda gave examples and quotes from the Qu’ran such as: “Heaven is at the feet of mothers” showing how much mothers are respected and honoured in the Islamic tradition. She told us how Hagar’s anxiety and prayers for her son left in the desert had moved Allah who allowed water to spring at the feet of Ishmael.
Di from the Watford District Synagogue explained the importance of the Jewish mother and how the children are Jewish only if they are born to a Jewish mother. With the primary role of the Jewish woman being a homemaker, she has to conduct her household in all its details according to the directives of the Torah. The home and the family unit is the nucleus of the Jewish community.
Cll Janet Baddeley apologised on behalf of the Mayor who was unable to attend, gave a short congratulatory talk and cut the anniversary cake.
As we enjoyed our cake and the refreshments brought by the ladies, we continue the afternoon in small groups discussing and reflecting on the topic of motherhood. Everyone shared their views and gave some suggestions on how to meet the challenges of motherhood and become peacemakers in our family and community. We concluded the afternoon with some announcements regarding our future events mainly the Watford Celebration on Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May where the BoP will have a stall and hold a Bridge of Peace ceremony inviting the public to join in. Some of our Muslim sisters had asked us to pray for them and their family and were very grateful for our prayer support. We decided then to start an interfaith prayer network among us. Fifteen ladies from various faiths offered to join the prayer network and everyone gave names of people and situation that needed attention. We also decided to continue the Peace Blanket project.
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