Maidstone Inter-Faith Network (MIFN) was formed in 2018 when a few like-minded people of different faiths in Maidstone felt the need to develop stronger links between themselves and other faiths in the area. The network continues to grow: our mission is to promote, organise and support inter-faith activities in the Maidstone area to learn about faith and belief traditions, inform others, reduce misunderstanding and improve community relationships.
To download and print a booklet about MIFN click here. Note: to print the booklet you need to have a duplex printer (which prints double sided) - set printing to short edge binding.
To view an Inter-Faith Calendar for 2023 click here (courtesy of InterFaith Network for the UK)
Maidstone Radio broadcast an interview with two MIFN representatives on 28 June 2020 - scroll down and click on the play button
To view our Constitution click here
Our current faith representatives are, in alphabetical order, as follows:
Bahá'í. Click here for more information
Buddhist. Click here for more information
Christian Science. Click here for more information.
Church of England. Click here for more information.
Islam. Click here for more information.
Judaism. Click here for more information.
Methodist. Click here for more information.
Unitarian. Click here for more information.
United Reformed Church. Click here for more information.
This page is being continually updated - please visit us again for more information.
What we've been doing and our future plans
NATIONAL INTER-FAITH WEEK 2022 (13-20 NOVEMBER)
A busy week! Members of our network spent time in three schools during the week and held a public meeting and lecture. On 14 November we visited Langley Park Primary Academy, talking to the whole school during their assembly then splitting into groups to talk about different faiths in all the year groups. On 15 November our members attended St Augustine's Academy, working with Year 7 children on nativity related themes from different faith perspectives. 17 November saw us hold an informal carousel public event event and working lunch where visitors could learn more about each of our faiths. We were honoured with the presence of Cllr Lesley Game (Chair of Kent County Council) - see photo here. This was followed by a talk entitled ' A new view of God and its effect on wellbeing by Philip Hockley, a Christian Science Practitioner. We ended the week on 18 November at Aylesford School with another carousel event with Year 9 students - the themes was moral codes. We were delighted that Tracey Crouch MP attended and chaired the session - for a photo click here.
TREE PLANTING TO COMMEMORATE THE LIFE OF HM QHEEN ELIZABETH II
2023 ACTIVITIES SUMMARY
Another busy year is drawing to an end. Below are some of the main activities that MIFN has been undertaking this year:
Allington Primary Academy: presentation of SACRE's WIRE Award (Widening Inclusion in Religious Education) by two members of MIFN who are also Kent SACRE members.
Visited Maidstone Grammar School for Girls to lead a discussion on the topic "Is the UK a Christian, multi-faith or secular society'?
Attended the Holocaust Memorial Day event hosted by KCC on 26 January.
Led three sessions at Cornwallis Academy for Year 8 students on the theme of 'death - does it matter anyway?'
Led a multi-faith carousel event at Aylesford School to help student learn more about different faiths.
Obtained a £500 grant from Maidstone Borough Council as part of their Creative Communities initiative.
Undertook several school visits during National Inter-Faith Week (12-19 November). Schools visited were Allington Primary; St Augustine's Academy; Langley Park Primary and visits planned shortly after the week to Aylesford School and again to St. Augustine's Academy. A visit to Maidstone Grammar School for Girls is planned for January 2024.
During National Inter-Faith Week (12-19 November) we held a Zoom meeting on the theme: 'Peace - Prayers and Reflections'. The session was recorded and can be viewed here. After clicking the link please use the password !TvQwH8u to open the recording.
On Sunday 9 October 2022 members of the Maidstone Inter-Faith Network planted a beautiful conference pear tree in the gardens at the Union Street Methodist Church in Maidstone. The idea came from our discussions earlier this year about Queen’s Canopy Project for 2022. Although Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sadly passed away recently we felt it was still important to contribute to this project. Given that most fruit trees should be planted in the autumn, we decided to go ahead with the ceremony on 9 October. You can view a photo here Pictured are representatives of the Maidstone Inter-Faith Network (L-R): Jackie Grant, David Grant, Rev Dr Bonni-Belle Pickard and Peter Snell along with members of the Union Street Methodist Church.
MAIDSTONE INTER-FAITH NETWORK STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE
MIFN recently published a statement on the situation in Ukraine. Click here to view the statement.
A UNIQUE SPECIAL EDITION OF THE TEXTBOOK OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
PRESENTED TO THE KENT HISTORY AND LIBRARY CENTRE IN MAIDSTONE
Recently a Subscription copy of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”, the textbook of Christian Science, was presented to the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. The book was printed in Massachusetts, USA but the paper was sourced from local paper mills in Kent and the history of this project makes for fascinating reading. This very special edition was produced by book designer, typographer and author William Dana Orcutt. You can read more about the book here.
21 MARCH: NEW YEAR FOR THREE FAITHS
Now Ruz or Nau Roz or Naw-Rúz is the Persian New Year which begins with the Spring Equinox, around 21 March, marking the first day of the Iranian solar calendar. The day is celebrated globally. Now/Nau/Naw means new and Rus/Roz/Ruz means day. UNESCO recognised it as an important festival and added it to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2010. The Iranian solar calendar is the official calendar for Iran and Afghanistan.
Now Roz/Nau Roz/Naw-Rúz has ancient roots. It is said that the ancient Persian King, Jamshed, started this festival. Ancient Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) inscriptions give details of the importance of Nau Roz.
Now Roz/Nau Roz/Naw-Rúz is also one of the seven most important festivals of Zoroastrianism. It is celebrated globally by Bahá’ís, Shia Muslims and Zoroastrians. It is a Public Holiday in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and is also celebrated by Kurds in Turkey and Iraq along with Iranis, Shia and Ismaili Muslims and Parsis in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Members of these communities celebrate Now Roz/Nau Roz/Naw-Rúz in the USA and Europe. For Bahá’ís it is a spiritual festival and the first day of the Bahá’í year, marking the end of a 19 day period of fasting. In the UK it is celebrated by groups from those mentioned above. The greeting usually is “Now Roz Mubarek.”
NATIONAL INTER FAITH WEEK 2021 (14-21 NOVEMBER)
Our work in and around National Inter-Faith Week is a little different this year as we are holding no public events. Instead we:
are working with a local primary and secondary school to share information about different faiths and promote inter-faith understanding across a range of issues.
holding an event for staff at Heart of Kent Hospice on 19 November which will be chaired by Tracy Crouch MP. The theme will be faith perspectives of death and bereavement.
supporting other local Inter Faith groups (in Tunbridge Wells and Medway) with their activities.
PHOTOGRAPHIC ART COMPETITION: SPRING 2021
We recently ran a competition on the theme of 'Spring or Renewal' A huge thank you to everyone who entered. Our judging panel (of MIFN members) decided on joint winners, 2nd place, 3rd place and most humorous entry. To view the winning entries, and all the other entries, click here. (Note: please be patient - it's a large document and will take a few seconds to load)
BEREAVEMENT - FAITH PERSPECTIVES: APRIL 2021
We were asked recently by a local voluntary organisation to provide some information about bereavement from different faith perspectives. Given the tragic toll of Covid-19 in recent months, which has affected people from every type of background, we hope this document will provide some useful information. Click here to view the document.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 27 JANUARY 2021
Holocaust Memorial Day is an occasion to remember and honour all those who were so tragically and brutally lost in The Shoah, as well as victims of more recent genocides. It was marked with a national online event, followed by a local candle lighting and reflections event hosted by the Kent Liberal Jewish Community. Anne Goldstein (an MIFN member) has written an insightful article about Holocaust memorial Day - click here to read the article. KCC hosted an online event and this can be viewed here. A national online ceremony was also held and can be viewed here.
SUPPORT TO SCHOOLS AND OTHER YOUNG PEOPLES' GROUPS - SEPT 2019 ONWARDS
We have provided inter-faith activities and support to the following schools and youth groups:
Langley Park Primary School (Sept 2019).
Aylesford School (Nov 2019). To view a short video of this event click here.
Madginford Primary School (Dec 2019)
Parkwood and Boughton Monchelsea Cubs Scouts (Mar 2020)
Work with other schools is planned in the coming months.
GIVEN THE CHALLENGES OF COVID-19, IF YOUR SCHOOL WOULD LIKE OUR HELP WE CAN PROVIDE ONLINE SUPPORT UNTIL THE SITUATION IMPROVES. PLEASE USE THE CONTACT US FORM TO LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOME ASSISTANCE.