Interfaith visit brings all beliefs together at college

The Rev Bruce Deans, right, and Sheikh Fazle Abbas at Fareham College
The Rev Bruce Deans, right, and Sheikh Fazle Abbas at Fareham College
rw images from Simon Hart

From: Simon Hart <>

Even though George V proclaimed all German titles were to be given up by his family a century ago (July 17 1917), there is still physical evidence in our city of the Germanic royal house that once existed. Two commemoration stones relating to members of the royal house previous to the House of Windsor are so readily a part of the fabric of our daily lives but are probably in the most part overlooked.

A walk along Queen Street and on the corner with Aylward Street will present a building with a foundation stone that was laid by HRH Princess Henry of Battenberg in 1912. This was the married title of Queen Victoria's daughter Beatrice which was relinquished on 14 July 1917. From 17 July 1917 she was known as HRH the Princess Beatrice.

A visit to Sainsburys foyer in Commercial Road will provide the opportunity to see a commemoration stone for the opening of the Child's Ward of the Royal Hospital in 1909 by HH Princess Victoria of Schleswig

Four arrested after police crackdown in Commercial Road

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IT WAS a privilege to visit Fareham College as part of an interfaith seminar on faith and beliefs.

I had been invited together with my friend and colleague Sheikh Fazle Abbas, the Resident Alim and Minister of Religion for the Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat, to lead a session for college students on faith and beliefs.

We put together what we hoped were fun and interactive seminars designed to give the students an insight into different belief systems.

They included talks about different aspects of what Christians and Muslims believe and activities for the students to participate in.

Sheikh Fazle Abbas and I have been closely involved in joint projects before, including the annual Muslim-Christian Gathering, in an effort to bring the religious community of Fareham together to join hands in friendship.

Some of the subjects we discussed were controversial but the atmosphere remained respectful and we encouraged students to express their opinions and ask questions to help broaden their understanding.

The keen attention of the students together with the numerous questions posed by them indicated their enthusiasm to participate. We appreciated this response and are looking forward to attending such events together in the future.

Sheikh Fazle Abbas and I were very conscious that simply by working together in this seminar we conveyed a powerful message and that message is this: people of different faiths may not agree with each other – but they can nonetheless respect and care for one another.

In a world where there is so much that divides, it was a privilege to stand with my Muslim friend, Sheikh Fazle Abbas, not because we agree with each other – but because we love each other.

n St John’s Church, 1A Upper St Michael’s Grove, Fareham.

Sunday services: 9am: Communion with hymns, 10.30am: Messy Church (first Sunday of the month); 10.30am: Together in Worship. Contact: parish office (01329 280762 or Website: