Join us for the first RIFF discussion of 2019 – Death and the preparation for Death – Part 1

The first RIFF meeting of 2019 is a discussion meeting on the topic ‘Death and Preparing for Death’ part 1 This will take place on 21st January 2019 at 7:30 pm at the United Reform Church,40 Hillmorton Rd, Rugby CV22 5AD.

This discussion is the first in a series of three meetings talking about how different faiths approach Death and the preparation for Death and what follows in the journey hereafter.

Please come and join us for this complex and challenging topic, perhaps by bringing  a short passage or teaching from your sacred texts which you have found to be instructive, inspirational, consoling or reassuring. We will learn much from this shared conversation.

Looking forward to seeing you.
With best wishes for the New Year
RIFF Secretary

Deyhim Foroughi of the Bahá’ís sends us this Christmas thought

Though Bahais do not celebrate Christmas in the same way as Christians,However Bahais do reflect during these days about the enduring influence of the birth of Christ.

Bahaullah says in one of His writings :”..We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened and the soul of the sinner sanctified…. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.”

Join the RIFF discussion on Nov 22nd to plan it’s activities for 2019

The RIFF meeting in November is formally the AGM. However the main part of the evening will be a discussion about how RIFF could develop it’s activities in 2019 and beyond. Everyone is welcome! Please come join us and help us build our vision for an integrated, mutually supportive community in Rugby.

The role of RIFF is to build interfaith understanding, demonstrate solidarity and confidence in and between the different faiths represented from Rugby. We have sat together and enjoyed together a few functions each year, such as the peace walk, public talks and concerts alongside the regular monthly meetings.
We don’t have to read books or need to understand deep philosophy. We try to build open mindedness and confidence based on our personal understandings of our faith through sharing with other faiths, our insights, interpretations and understandings.

The Rugby Interfaith Forum does not aim to be representative of faiths but is a gathering of people of good will willing to share their understandings of their faith and listen and talk to others, sharing insights and ideas to working together to develop an open, supportive, and friendly community drawn from the many faiths represented in Rugby.

“Our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian. I broaden my Hinduism by loving other religions than my own.”

Mahatma Gandhi

For detailed information on time and place for the meeting see AGM and Discusssion Event

‘Music Unites’ – Bringing together faiths in Rugby through music

The Music Unites audience!

The Rugby Interfaith Forum ‘Music Unites’ event was a very successful, lively and colourful family occasion for all ages and backgrounds. Many thanks to St Andrew’s and the Rector, Imogen Nay, for hosting us and to all the groups and individuals that gave their time and support to make this afternoon so successful.

‘Music Unites’ was not an act of worship, but a celebration of the wonderful music used in worship in our various traditions – Christian, Hindu Sikh and Baha’i. We were entertained by a wide range of delightful music and dance.

The audience were welcomed in by the St Andrew’s bell ringers. The St Andrew’s handbell group introduced the program with several pieces played on handbells. This was followed by ladies and young people from the Hindu temple who performed a selection of dynamic and colourful pieces of devotional dance and music.
The first was a dance dedicated to Lord Ganesh (Hindus pray to Ganesh before every auspicious occasion since he removes any obstacles that come in the way). There followed a traditional dance which using sticks with the devotees singing and dancing for Lord Krishna to entertain him. To end the children from the Sathya Sai Spiritual and Human Values classes sang some bhajans (or hymns).

There followed Plainsong sung by Brian Davis from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Plainsong (or plainchant) was used universally in the Catholic Church from the Middle ages till 50 years ago when the Vatican Council introduced local translations. The prayers of the Mass were originally in Latin and when Plainchant was used, it is sung unaccompanied (as this afternoon).

The most widely known Plainsong Mass is known as Missa de Angelis, still sung in some Catholic Churches. Brian sang The Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei: The same words are used in masses by the great composers.

Kyrie Eleison: Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy; Lord God of hosts…
Agnus Dei: Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

The interval refeshments were provided by the St Andrew’s Community Singers

The Rugby Sikhs introduced Sikh Music followed by singing from the Guru Granth Sahib (The Sikh sacred scriptures) which is central to Sikh worship. 

Next we heard Indian classical music played by the singer Ananditha Venkatramanan accompanied by Srividya Venkat on the violin and Thanujan Sivanesan on the mridangam (an ancient Indian percussion instrument). The roots of Indian classical music can be traced to the ancient Vedas and evolved with the Hindu tradition. The tone is an embodiment of the sacred sound “OM” that signifies the ultimate reality – so it sounds perfectly in tune with nature. The art form is devotional – an expression of love and prayer. The song (in Tamil) praises Krishna for his strength, beauty and valour. The composer, Chitravina Ravikiran, connects emotionally with Krishna and wishes his dreams come true with all his blessings.

The Baha’i section of ‘Music Unites’ was given by Julian Hellaby, an international concert pianist whose work for the Royal Schools of Music has taken him to many parts of the world. He is also an experienced lecturer and author of books on piano performance. Julian played several personal compositions and interpretations.

‘Music Unites’ concluded with the St Andrew’s Community Singers with 5 pieces:
1. The first begins with the word Shalom – a Jewish welcome. (cf.Moslem Salaam).
2. A prayer for the Lord to renew the face of the earth – and a thanksgiving to God for His greatness.
3. Part of the Benedicite which asks ALL of Creation to Bless the Lord and Praise Him and Magnify Him for ever
4. A peaceful prayer from Taize (a shared Christian community in France) and a joyful thanksgiving.
5. A prayer asking for God’s Blessing and for His love and peace to surround us.


The event collected £350 for the Jessie’s Fund charity. A big thank you to everyone for your generous donations.

Mind, Body and Spirit at Myton – event at Rugby Myton Hospice – 12th November 2018

On Monday 12th November Rugby Myton Hospice is hosting an event for faith leaders and health care professionals in Rugby, Coventry and Warwick. It will talk about supporting non-curative conditions in our multi-cultural society  and includes a tour of the hospice facilities.

To take part please contact or call 01926 838897

For more details see this publicity poster Mind Body and Spirit at Myton

Public Concert – ‘Music Unites’ – Saturday 6th October, 2:30pm at St ANdrew’s Church, Rugby

The Rugby Interfaith Forump warmly invites you to the ‘Music Unites’ concert which will be held this Saturday, 6th October at 2.00pm for 2.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Rugby.  This free event, which is open to the general public, is the final part of our recent discussions around this theme and is an opportunity for us all to listen, watch and celebrate the music and dance of different faiths united in their love of God.
Please join us and encourage anyone who might be interested to come along.  The event is free of charge, refreshments will be served, and there will be a collection in aid of ‘Jessie’s Fund’, a charity which helps children with additional or complex needs or serious illness to communicate by using music.
Please do come on Saturday.  It would be good to see you and enjoy this landmark event in your company.

The Interfaith Network – Final Report of the Commission on Religious Education

On 9 September the Commission on Religious Education published its final report: ‘Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A national plan for RE’.

The Religious Education Council for England and Wales launched the Commission in July 2016 as an independent body Chaired by the Very Revd Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster. The fourteen Commissioners included academics, head teachers, teachers, school governors and a broadcaster. The Commission published an interim report in July 2017.

The final report makes 11 recommendations, which include changing the name of the subject RE to ‘Religion and Worldviews’.  It sets out a ‘national entitlement’ for RE that would apply to all state funded schools.  It calls for a special body to be formed by the Government to write programmes of study for Religion and Worldviews based on the ‘national entitlement’ which would act in a similar way to the National Curriculum for other subjects.

The full report and the executive summary can be found at: where there is also a short video explaining why the Commission believes there is the need for change.

The Commission has now ended its work.  Any queries or comments about the report can be sent to the RE Council of England and Wales using the email address: