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Video: The importance of interfaith dialogue

Without dialogue, it is too easy to live parallel lives, and to fail to understand our fellow citizens. A beautifully edited 5-minute film.

Recorded 19 May 2023. Posted 19 December 2023.

I am one of four people discussing the importance of interfaith dialogue and religious broadcasting in this five-minute video.

It is worth watching for two reasons:

  1. The messages themselves are important.
  2. Watch it a second time to see how the video editor has blended in still photographs and video excerpts to add visual support for what the speaker is saying.

How the video came to be made

The Sandford St Martin Trust is a charity which promotes thought-provoking, distinctive programming that deals with religion, ethics and spirituality. It was established by post-war benefactor and Anglican layman, Sir David Wills (1917 – 1999) in 1978.

The Sandford St Martin Awards are the UK’s most prestigious broadcast awards for radio, TV and online programmes and content that explore religious, spiritual or ethical themes.

My website’s “Contact me” page publishes an email address. Via this I received on 5 May 2023 an invitation to attend the 2023 Awards Ceremony which was being held in Manchester on 21 June. (Within walking distance of my house!) Unfortunately my diary is split between Manchester and London on a relatively fixed schedule, so I had to decline since I would be in London on the date.

A week later I received an email request to take part in an inter-faith film.

“The film's aim is to celebrate Manchester and its vibrant multi-faith communities and to talk about the value of religious broadcasting and the important role of broadcasting in fostering interfaith community relations.”

Accordingly on 19 May with three other people I took part in a recording session. The four of us chatted for over an hour. This was edited to make the five-minute video.

The participants

I appeared as Co-Chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester. My other qualification for inclusion is that between 2011 and 2023 I gave over 70 Sunday morning “Thought for the Week” broadcasts for BBC Radio Manchester.

The Rt Revd Prof David Walker is Bishop of Manchester. I have known him since 2014, not least since he has spoken for the Muslim Jewish Forum on several occasions. Like me, he read mathematics at Cambridge!

Rabbi Warren Elf is Director of Faith Network 4 Manchester. I have known him since the early days of the Muslim Jewish Forum, and he was on the trip to Israel and the West Bank that my wife and I made in December 2009 / January 2010.

Jill Brennan is Co-chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Faith and Belief Advisory Panel. The Muslim Jewish Forum is one of the member organisations of the Panel. I had not met Jill before. She is a Buddhist, specifically a member of Soka Gakkai International – UK.

The video

You can watch it below.

The importance of interfaith dialogue from Sandford St Martin Trust on Vimeo.


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