Back from Sweden


Kathy and i  have just come back from Sweden, far colder than in Cornwall with stunning birch-trees. The conference we were invited to focused on Inter-faith dialogue in practice and we were very warmly welcomed by the Diocese of Strangnas (the sister dioces of the Diocese of Truro) and well looked after. We heard about fantastic work being than in southern Sweden and in Finland with people from different faiths, in particular working with refugees. We met lovely people from Bedford, Leicester and Luton who have set up basketball and cricket clubs and singing clubs for teenagers and children from local areas with a range of faiths. More news about other projects from the conference later.  Everyone was very happy to hear about the Dor Kemmyn project and the Inter-faith Centre and so hopefully next summer there will be a group of friendly people from the conference to make earth-bricks. The photo shows Canon dr. Andrew Wingate from Leicester who is an inspirtional speaker and who had the idea for the conference, The Bishop of Bedford, Tt Rev Richard Atkinson and Mr Dilwar Hussein, founder of New Horizons in Islam in Leicester. It was very special to be able to take part in the conference…………

Inter-Faith Conference in Sweden


A very exiting event is happening next week. Cornwall Faith Forum has been asked to contribute to an Inter-Faith Conference in Norrkoping in Sweden and Kathy and myself will be travelling to Sweden on Sunday 21th of September. It is a wonderful coincidence that Sunday is the World Day of Peace. The focus of the conference is on Inter-Faith dialogue in practice and the aim is to discover how to build long term trust in all our communities. We will be visiting the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Somali Mosque in Norrkoping.  We are looking forward to learn a lot and we will let you know how the conference is developing.  If anyone would like to send a message to the conference, please email me on ………..

Next Primary School Event


Summer holidays have almost come to an end and we are looking forward to the new term. Hope you have all enjoyed some of the sunshine. Our next primary school event is taking place on Tuesday 21th of October at Truro School. The day will be celebrating religious festivals and the theme is: a year in the life of different faith traditions in Cornwall. There will be eight different workshops and they are aimed at year 5 and 6 pupils. All primary schools in Cornwall are welcome. Please contact me if you would like any further information……

Visit to Truro School

Today, Tuesday 19th August 2014, Rosey and I visited Truro school to prepare for our primary school event which will be held on the 21st October 2014.

We are thrilled with prospect of a new “celebration of faith diversity day” and we would like to send a big thank you to all our faith speakers who created an amazing day on the 09th July at Richard Lander school.  The majority of pupils said that the workshops changed their opinions about faith diversity.

We are hoping that some of our new volunteers will be able to come and help on the 21st October, please keep an eye on our schools page for further information.

Lobster fisherman Andrew Stevens with chef Sanjay Kumar in Newlyn.

A BOY from Bengal who grew up weaned on fish has taken on a mission to help fishermen from Cornwall whose livelihoods were decimated by last winter’s storms.  Now 36, Sanjay Kumar is a boy no more, but the senior sous chef from Newquay’s Headland Hotel still has a boundless energy for all things fishy.  He has immersed himself in Cornwall’s fishing heritage and its current industry, becoming a well-known face at fish markets and events like Newlyn Fish Festival.  And while learning about the wealth of fish brought ashore by Cornwall’s fishermen, he has taken it upon himself to learn about the difficulties and hardships of their unique livelihood.

So when Sanjay saw the damage wrought by the power of the storms on the Cornish coastline, he knew the devastation would be visited most on local fishermen.  Already a staunch supporter of healthy eating groups and foodbanks in Cornwall, he contacted Cornwall Community Foundation, which raises money to distribute to needy groups, to see how he could help.  One of the first outcomes of their collaboration will be a fundraising fish feast where guests will pay to eat at a swish barbecue put on by Sanjay and fellow chefs at the Headland to raise money for fishermen.  On one of his regular visits to Newlyn Fishermen’s Mission last week, Sanjay talked about the difficulties fishermen face, their tough lifestyle, and how little the general public knows about this key industry.

Sanjay says: “In India people call Bengalis the ‘fish and rice people’ like here you call people from Liverpool Scousers. “When people are born their first taste of food is a piece of fish, when people get married they get a piece of fish for luck. That is how I grew up, surrounded by fish.

“When I was first working in the UK as a chef, in places like Kent, a lot of the produce I used was coming from Cornwall, and I wanted to know more about it.”
Sanjay marked his move to Cornwall in 2008 with a visit to Mousehole Christmas Lights, and has been cooking at Newlyn Fish Festival since 2009.

He also became immersed in Cornish fish and fishing.
He says: “As I read more and more about the fish species available in Cornwall I got more and more shocked at how little people in Cornwall know about what’s out there.
“So I decided to try to help educate people through my menu, to help bring about a change, to let people know what is out there, and then they can decide for themselves.
“We have this great source of protein but people aren’t using it – just the ones they know like cod and haddock.
“But my fish and chips is always hake, because it is more sustainable than cod.”

Finding out more about fish brought Sanjay closer to the people who land it and the people who record its heritage, like Nick Howell of Newlyn’s Pilchard Works.
Cooking at Newlyn Fish Festival every year, Sanjay always involves local schoolchildren, and teaches them their heritage as well as how to cook.
He says: “It is about giving their story back to them.”
“That all got me closer to the person and the life of those landing that fish,” he says. “The social cohesion around fishing.”

He also read up on the practicalities and costs.
“People say to me ‘fish is too expensive’ but I say it is valuable … it all made me really aware of the need to bring a change in Cornwall by letting people know about fishing, and I wanted to do that through my menu.”
Then, when the winter storms took their toll, every one of Sanjay’s suppliers and his friends in the fishing industry were telling him how hard a time the fishermen were having and he wanted to help. He said: “The Family Fish Feast is a chance to connect with the fishermen rather than always feeding people at a premium.”

Sanjay knows a fisherman can sometimes only get £5 per kilo for larger lobsters, but half a lobster in a high end restaurant will still cost more than £20.
He says: “I make my bread and butter, my living, because the fishermen go out at night, work long, unsociable hours, working with the endless chugging of the engines and the rough seas, to land that fish. I know the lifestyle is so hard.
“I went out with a fisherman from Newlyn hoping for mackerel and all he caught was whitebait – they never know what they will get.
“Cornwall Community Foundation’s Family Fish Feast will celebrate the best of Cornish produce but also create a real awareness of that danger, that lifestyle.
“I also try to help the fishermen understand how to eat better at sea.”


Interfaith Week

16th – 22nd November
We are hoping to hold an art exhibition of the faith traditions to be held at the Tremough Campus.

If you would like further information regarding these events, please contact Rita Stephen or tel. 07775 937 485

Celebration of Faith Diversity Primary Schools’ Event

Tuesday 21st October at Truro School.
Schools from the mid Cornwall are welcome to attend.

If you would like further information regarding these events, please contact Rita Stephen or tel. 07775 937 485

An Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the Cornwall Faith Forum

An Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the Cornwall Faith Forum (CFF) is to be held on:

Wednesday, 9th July at 7.30 pm (refreshments served from 7.00 pm)
at Diocesan House, Kenwyn, Truro TR1 1JQ.

This is owing to a change to the constitution of the Forum and the details are set out in the following documents:

Invitation to the Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the Cornwall Faith Forum
CFF Structure CIO proposal May 2014
CFF Draft Constitution July 2014

In addition to this Extra Ordinary General Meeting as we are coming together as a Forum, we will use this opportunity to continue our exploration of Sacred Architecture from the perspectives of our various Faith Traditions.
All welcome.
For further information contact Andrew Yates

Celebration of Public and Voluntary Services – 12th June at the Dor Kemmyn field at Penmount

It was a glorious sunny afternoon on the 12th June when the Cornwall Faith Forum held a ‘Thank you’ event for all the support received by the public and voluntary services to the people of Cornwall during this winter’s floods, as well as at other times of need when help is required. The opening of the celebration was by Lady Mary Holborow, who is a Patron of the Cornwall Faith Forum. Susan Cannan, Bereavement Services Manager at Penmount, followed this, and then there were representatives from the Police, Fire, Coastguard, Salvation Army, Ambulance Service and other services who gave a short resume of their experiences during the floods. Prayers from the individual faith communities were interspersed between these.

Cllr George Trubody, Cornwall Councillor for the Rame Peninsula requested his testimony to be given, as follows:

I would like to pass on a sincere thanks from myself and the residents of Kingsand to the Fire Service and emergency services including police, coastguard and ambulance, for all their help during the February Storms in Kingsand. The quick response and actions of these teams most definitely ensured that there were no serious injuries or worse. I witnessed at first hand the professional way in which people were rescued and evacuated, and the feedback that I received from residents affected, was how reassured and safe they felt when they saw the emergency services arrive to get them out.  Thank you to all involved.

Finally Matt Robinson, Architect, explained how the brick making would take place and a brick previously made was dedicated by Lady Mary and the youngest Cornwall Faith Forum member ‘Sara’ soon to be one year’s old, as part of the ceremony. We concluded with the International Peace Prayer, and took to the shade of the gazebo for refreshments and an opportunity to catch up with old friends, and to meet individually the representatives of the Services. Our thanks to Sarah Jeffery, Devon & Cornwall Police, who played a large part in organising this event.