Recent events

March 13 2022

Vigil for Ukraine

Thank you to all those who came to the Peace Garden, especially the faith leaders and dignitaries who came at such short notice to speak or sing and give their faith perspective on the situation in Ukraine just now. Many spoke very movingly. Enoch Kangaraj and Yogesh Joshi facilitated the gathering very beautifully. The speeches were very moving, and Aga Dychton’s especially as she has relatives in Ukraine now. She said she was heartbroken at their situation. She had kindly brought some hearts the Polish children had made which decorated the seating round the labyrinth, and other decorations in Ukraine colours.

Thanks especially to faith leaders and other speakers Imam Shazeb Athar, Azhar Abedi, Jehangir Sarosh, Rabbi Mordechai Chalk, Teereth Kaur, Taran Singh, Amee Verani, Ruhi Yousefian, Michael Dragoyevich, Nilanjana Paul, and John Fagbohunhbe, as well as others. Dignitaries who came were Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Vice Admiral Alan Richard, who represented the Queen, leader of Herts County Council Cllr Richard Roberts, Dean Russell, MP, Archdeacon Jane Mainwaring, Cllr Asif Khan. and of course Mayor Peter Taylor, who is WIFA’s patron.

November 14 2021 Remembrance Sunday

WIFA representatives laid a wreath at the Peace Memorial near the town hall as part of the civic ceremony of remembrance.

October 17 2021

The Week of Prayer for World Peace planting and prayers in the Peace Garden went very well on Sunday. People of several faiths attended: among them representatives of Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Baha’i faith, Unificationist and others. Some donations of plants and bulbs were planted ready to blossom forth next spring and summer, and prayers and inspiring words were spoken as all gathered round on the labyrinth. Many thanks to those who came and contributed in any way, in planting and offering prayers for world peace.

Open Photo

Watford Interfaith Association Annual General Meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday 23rd February 2020 on Zoom

This year’s AGM was a little different to usual, partly because we were still unable to meet safely in person, and partly because our Constitution had come under revision and needed to be accepted by the membership. This formal business, along with the essential reports did not take too long.

Our guest speaker, Anthony Curran, who is interfaith chaplain for Watford Hospital spoke about how he came to be a hospital chaplain and about the insights he has gained as a result.

MP Dean Russell and Elected Mayor Peter Taylor, Patron of WIFA, were also be present.

The AGM is the time when we renew membership and we are delighted at how many people have paid a membership subscription this year – thank you for your support.

We also also elected several new people to the executive committee. People with enthusiasm for interfaith activity and with new ideas. Welcome.

Week of Prayer for World Peace

Zoom gathering Sunday 18 October 2020

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much to all those who attended our Week of Prayer for World Peace event this afternoon, it went very well indeed, thanks to Harjit’s expert chairing! Thanks very much Harjit, I realised you had thanked everyone so warmly for all they do, and there was no-one to thank you! Thank you for all you do, we know you do so many, many things in the community, especially connected with WIFA, of which you have been a member longer than I have, and Watford Celebration and in your work with the fire service, but especially you serve with One Vision at Stanborough Park, and have held office at the gurdwara too: so, many thanks indeed.
Thanks also to Jeff and Raemonn Bateman for hosting the event, and for showing the Peace Garden video that was part of this year’s Watford Celebration, which Raemonn put together and showed today. You too do much in the community, apart from leading the Peace Garden team and having once been chair of WIFA and many other things.
Many thanks also to Yogesh Joshi, for his contribution in sounding the Sanskrit prayer and leading the International Prayer for Peace. Yogesh, also an ex chair of WIFA, does much in the community, especially in the Watford Indian Association and in facilitating the Sacred Space at Watford Celebration. Being a front line worker, Yogesh has continued to go to work throughout the pandemic, and still he does all these things.
We were especially privileged to have Elected Mayor Peter Taylor attending and also Watford MP Dean Russell, who both kindly offered inspiring words of encouragement which I know will have meant a lot to people, so thank you very much indeed.
And thanks very much to everyone for coming and contributing prayers and thoughts and inspirations for us all, and who also contributed by listening.
If anyone does want to donate in any way to the Peace Garden, with plants or bulbs or in any other way, the team will be there on Wednesday from 10 00am- 11.30 am. because of the numbers we are allowed we should be grateful to know who is coming in advance, so please let me know, and I can give you a time slot. Please bring your own gloves if intending to plant, and a face mask if you wish (I don’t think it is necessary in the open air). We have sanitisers and other PPE if needed.
But most of all, many thanks to all who came and made it such an inspiring afternoon.
Kind regards,


Sacred Space at Watford Celebration 2020

This year Watford Celebration and WIFA’s Sacred Space Discussion were all online.

The presentations and discussion on the topic ‘How can our faith and thinking get us through difficult situations?’ were very interesting and can be viewed by clicking this link:

Sacred Space

Our speakers were:

Christian Church of England, Revd Tony Rindl

Christian Science, Jenny Pearson

Humanist, Alexander Williams

Jain, Ashwin Mehta

Krishna Consciousness, Radha Mohan das

Jewish, Rabbi Mordecai Chalk

Sunni Muslim, Imran Khan

Unificationist. Jeff Bateman

Many thanks to them and to our facilitator Yogesh Joshi and our Zoom host Geoff Calvert.


Harold Meyer Memorial Lecture
Integration and Community Cohesion
Saturday 22 February 2020
This year’s Harold Meyer Memorial Lecture, delivered by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP, was a great success. It was entitled ‘Integration and Community Cohesion’. Mr Dhesi is the first turbaned Sikh MP in the UK and the only one in Europe. He spoke out about racist comments in a speech in the House of Commons last September, insisting that Boris Johnson apologise for remarks he made about Muslims, and women. The video went viral on social media as it was remarkable that a Sikh should call out someone for comments against those of another faith. He said that our faith teaches us salvation and it is not enough to talk about things that are plainly wrong, but to act on them.
He defined various types of society, such as assimilation, integration, multiculturalism, segregation and monoculture, how they work, and what can cause harmony or disharmony in the society. Identity can be very competitive, but our community is everybody. When in the gurdwara he is proud to be Sikh, and when standing in parliament he is proud to be British, but these are only part of the whole. Standing in parliament sometimes means not going with the flow of the party but calling out wrongs with due conscience, whatever they are.
He took questions from the floor which ranged from how to address tensions in politics to dealing with being told to ‘go home’ even though being born here, to using religious quotes to answer criticisms from those of other faiths or none. His parting remark, on being made to feel so welcome in Watford, was that Watford felt like his second home!
Introduced by Chair of WIFA Harjit Singh the memorial lecture (held in memory of Harold Meyer, a former chair of WIFA who came from Germany on the Kindertransport) was attended by Dean Russell, Watford’s new MP and Deputy Mayor Karen Collett, as well as Chair of Watford Council Asif Khan, several councillors, WIFA members and students from Watford Boys’ Grammar School, who helped with ushering guests to the brand new STEM Centre at the school.
Cllr Asif Khan pointed out that WIFA’s rainbow logo unifies us. There is so much that faiths do in the community.
Tuesday 18th February at the Peace Hospice

WIFA’s 2020 AGM was very successful and the welcome we received at the Peace Hospice was very warm. Many commented on the nice atmosphere that was there.
Harjit Singh, WIFA’s Chair commented that 43 years ago when WIFA began, it was very forward thinking, but now it is much more than a discussion group, it is very active with something happening every month,
With the pilgrimage, Faith Leaders’ Forum, Harold Meyer Memorial lecture, Week of Prayer for World Peace, the Herts Interfaith Forum, Peace Garden and contribution to Watford Celebration, interfaith football tournament and so on, there is much happening. But where to next? Plainly young people need to step up and really energise things, which is why Connect has been set up with three schools initially, Watford Boys’, Watford Girls’ and Parmiters.

Francoise Murphy, Treasurer, said funding had been much boosted with help from councillors’ locality budgets and ex Mayor Dorothy Thornhill’s Christmas card fund in 2016, for which WIFA is very grateful. The Peace Garden has been quite costly, though many plants have been donated over time. WIFA’s income is £250- £300 per annum, from subscriptions and donations.She showed a power point presentation of WIFA’s activities.

Judith Bruni, general secretary concentrated on the progress made by WIFA, by all the activities mentioned above, and by organising vigils such as last year’s Christchurch and Sri Lanka vigils in the Peace Garden and thanked the committee, especially Francoise and Harjit for all their work.

Charlotte Richardson, the In Memory and Legacy Fundraising Manager of the hospice showed a power point presentation about the work of the hospice, which has been in existence for 29 years. They offer free specialist care during life limiting illness, by sessions at the hospice or by going into homes. Counselling is offered and they are available 24 hours a day.

Nikki from the Community Security Trust spoke about this security group which gives counter-terrorism talks and advises places of worship on their safety all over the country, which started as a Jewish protection but has had to expand to other faith communities.

Mayor Peter Taylor also spoke about the environment and having a duty to hand it on to the next generation, how faiths can help with mental illness, how young people can embrace diversity, and how faith can help to calm anger in the community, and government, and bring down hate crime figures.

Tree Planting
On 4th December two peace trees were planted in the Peace Garden. This was initiated by the Jain community and the two trees represent peace and reconciliation.
Remembrance Day
10 November 2019
On Remembrance Day which is also the first Sunday of Interfaith Week Yogesh Joshi and Mujeeb Mirza laid a wreath on behalf of WIFA to recognise the people of all faiths who suffer and die as the result of war.
Sufi evening
30 October 7.30pm
Multi-Cultural Community Centre
The talk was very interesting and inspiring, there were questions and answers and a sounding for the heart activation. They very much wish to engage members of all faiths and none, as Sufism isn’t just for Muslims, it is for everyone, as are open hearts!
Week of Prayer for World Peace
13 – 20 October 2019
Planting and Praying in the peace Garden
On 16 and 20 October people gathered in the Peace Garden to plant bulbs and other plants.
On the Sunday prayers and readings were also offered.
Thanks to all those who came to the Peace Garden to plant for peace. It was a good turnout of people of many faiths and much planting was done, conversations were enjoyed and wise words were shared for world peace.
Friday 4 October
Visit to Bhaktivedanta Manor

Some of us have enjoyed a wonderful visit to Bhaktivedanta Manor followed by lunch, and the weather was kind too!

Many thanks to Radha Mohan das who looked after us all day, and to Chanda Shome who organised the trip.We saw darshan in the temple hall, with the gods in their beautiful array at the altar, learnt about the musical instruments that are used, tabla, harmonium etc. and saw ladies making garlands: we saw the rooms where Srila Prabhupada used to live, the new greenhouses, the construction of the new haveli, and the dairy where the cows and calves were resting.

We had a video describing the way the temple works, philosophical discussions and a lovely lunch. All in all it was a very good, educative and entertaining visit. Radha Mohan das sent these photos too.

Meeting at Peace Hospice
The Peace Hospice in Watford is looking at ways to expand its services to all parts of the local community. To look at ways of doing this the WIFA committee was invited to meet with some of the staff. Five committee members were able to go on 12 September.
We were given an introduction to the work of the Hospice.
Much more of their work is with outpatients than inpatients. It includes a wide range of activities and therapies for anyone affected by a life-limiting medical condition, all of which are free to the participants. There are also volunteers who will go to people’s homes to offer friendship and support. Bereavement counselling is offered for anyone who has suffered bereavement – no previous contact with the Hospice is required.
We looked at ways of making the Hospice services better known across the community in the Watford area.
If your faith group or other community group would like someone to talk to them about the work of the Hospice, please do let the committee know.
We finished the meeting with a tour of the comfortable and welcoming facilities in the building – though the outpatient activities could also happen elsewhere.
Maybe your place of worship could host something.
Sacred Space at Celebration
WIFA hosts the ‘Sacred Space’ at Watford’s annual ‘Celebration’
creating a space where a topic of interest is discussed by members of faith communities
and an opportunity is offered for faith groups to share something from their practice.
In 2019 the discussion topic was:
‘How can faiths heal the cycle of hate?’
There was good and respectful listening and sharing in the packed choir vestry.
Gathering for Sri Lanka
27 April 2019
The gathering in the Peace Garden was very well attended considering the bitterly cold wind. People really appreciated the opportunity to come together to share their sorrow and condolences and just pray together in their own ways.
We were very honoured to have the presence of the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka’s representative to come and speak of his heartfelt sorrow, and to read some of her words.
Many thanks to MP Richard Harrington and elected mayor Peter Taylor for coming and also those who shared thoughts and prayers: Sri Mohan from the Velmurugan Temple, Revd Neville Dyckhoff from Holy Rood Catholic Church, Revd Tim Roberts from Christians Across Watford, Dr Shanta Tuladhar, representing Buddhism, Zahid Zarin who spoke for Muslims, Fr Geoff who read words from Rabbi Levine at the Synagogue, PC Pat Davey and the pastor from the Seventh Day Adventist Church. A special treat was hearing the North Watford Choir perform an impromptu rendering of a peace song, peace, shalom, salaam which ended the meeting on a high.
Message from Watford Interfaith Association:
*We wish to offer our deep condolences to all those who have been killed, maimed and affected in Sri Lanka. With the events of Christchurch still fresh in our minds, this tragic sequence of events must reinforce the love we hold for humanity*.
The 30 minutes of terror left almost 300 dead at the time of writing, and hundreds injured. Three churches and three hotels were attacked, with a further two blasts at a guesthouse, plus another one today. These targeted attacks can only be seen as evil in every sense.
This senseless massacre of innocent people is not a hallmark that any faith prescribes, especially at this most holy time for all our fellow Christian brothers and sisters who are celebrating Easter.
The world we will live in is bound by love not hate, so to those who wish to bring hate and fear we as faiths in Watford are united and stand strong against whatever adversity we face now or in the future.
The direction we must follow is very clear, that the veil of hatred must be discarded at all costs. Once again we must turn our thoughts and prayers to all those who have been affected and the loved ones that have been left behind.
Harjit Singh
Chair of WIFA
On behalf of Watford Interfaith Association
22nd April, 2019



22 March 2019

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for New Zealand

Very many thanks to those of you who came to the Peace Garden yesterday in memory of those who lost their lives or were injured or bereaved in the events in Christchurch, New Zealand exactly a week before. It was very short notice and of course many could not come because of prior commitments. It was thus astonishing to see how many did come, including boys from Watford Boys’ Grammar School, they seemed to keep coming without pause! We reckoned over a hundred were there, with more than thirteen faiths represented, as well as the presence of the Elected Mayor Peter Taylor, Chair of Watford Council Rabi Martins, Chief Inspector Matt Phillips and other officers, fire crews and some councillors.
The newly appointed Chair of WIFA, Harjit Singh led the proceedings by the decorated arch into the Peace Garden, assisted by Zahid Zarin. Mayor Peter Taylor led a minute’s silence and mentioned WIFA’s work in encouraging all the communities to work together, followed by the call to prayer from a member of the Sunni mosque, and a recitation from the Q’ran. Each speaker lit a candle, and there followed offerings from the Chief Inspector who promised the police would do everything to ensure Watford is safe: the leader of the council condemned the atrocities, and  representatives of Catholic, Jain, Muslim Zoroastrian, Jewish, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christians Across Watford, Sikh, and Velmurugan Temple spoke, many of them of love conquering hate and with the suggestion from one of everyone hugging the person next to them, which people did, with many smiles.

A participant commented:

‘We gathered in the Peace Garden to remember those who had died in Christchurch, and at other times and places. An amazing number of people came. There was a beautiful sense of unity.’

‘People just kept coming! It was incredible!’


Elected Mayor Peter Taylor said:

‘It was a privilege to join faith leaders from across Watford, and those of no faith at all, at an Interfaith vigil this morning for the victims of the horrifying events in Christchurch last week.

I’m proud to be a Mayor of such a tolerant and diverse town. We are stronger when we stand together than when we stand apart.’


AGM 2019

Geoffrey Calvert, chair of the WIFA committee, welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited us all to say the International Prayer for Peace together to open the meeting. In his report he explained that he would be standing down as chair as from this meeting. He reminded us that interfaith activity is something that we do together and encouraged everyone to join in, reminding us that interfaith activity strengthens rather than weakens one’s existing faith. We can all help by maintaining, developing and using the peace garden, by participating in World Day of Prayer and in ‘Sacred Space’ at Celebration and joining the WIFA committee. Geoff was presented with a small gift in recognition of all his work as chair.

We also heard reports from the treasurer and secretary and elected the committee.

Formal business having been satisfactorily, and speedily, accomplished it was time to hear from our guest speakers.

Chief Inspector Matt Phillips spoke about youth and violent crime. His talk was most interesting. Although the statistics are alarming, and Watford falls prey to youngsters coming out to Watford from London after college to commit crimes, the police are dealing with the situation very imaginatively, and are also dealing with whole families rather than individuals when needed. Recruiting is also taking place so that in time there will be more ‘bobbies on the beat’.

After the talks there was time for refreshments and conversation.


Remembrance Day 2018

Jeff Bateman and Sharifa Choudrey laid a wreath at Watford’s Peace Memorial on behalf of WIFA

Harold Meyer Memorial Lecture 2018

Dame Helen Hyde spoke about her work with refugees and with women in Rwanda

Some of the people who attended last night’s brilliant lecture from Dame Helen Hyde.

At least 13 faith groups were represented.

Thanks to all those who came,and those who helped.

It was a truly inspirational evening.

Dame Helen Hyde holds up a blanket she made which is similar to those she teaches the women of the Rwandan Sisterhood Association to make. Most of them have never owned a new item in their lives. Photo from Teereth Kaur.


Week of Prayer for World Peace

Planting for the Week of Prayer for World Peace went ahead on Sunday 14 October, despite the weather. Two donated fig trees,a eucalyptus and a Japanese maple were planted, all of them donated. It rained too hard to stand around too long, but Mayor Peter Taylor came along, and two members of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue. Other donated plants will be gladly planted on Wednesday providing it is not too wet. Thanks also to Mrs Chaudry for the warming samosas and pakoras.
Thanks so much to those who came in such inclement weather and stayed to say prayers for world peace on the labyrinth, and who brought the lovely food and plants.




Peace Garden Opening


On 29 March 2018 we gathered for the formal opening of the garden. Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill cut the ribbon and then we all assembled in the labyrinth. People from many different faiths offered prayers for peace from their own traditions, helping to create the right ambience for the garden.


WIFA’s 2018 AGM

The business part of the meeting went smoothly. We heard about the events WIFA that had organised in the past year, future plans, our currently secure financial situation and major progress with the peace garden project. The committee was re-elected, plus one new member, to continue the good work. Numbers attending were a little lower that usual, probably due to the slightly late notice and the bitterly cold weather. Those who didn’t make it missed a very warm welcome at the Multi-Cultural Community Centre and a fascinating talk from Tony Rindl, co-founder, with Helen Hyde, of the local charity Refugees to Recovery. Our patron, elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, spoke of how much goodness there is in our town and how much the faith groups contribute, emphasising  the importance of all our relationships with each other because that avoids divisions between us. She concluded by challenging us all to ‘turn up the volume’ and, next year, to each ‘bring a friend’ to the AGM. A splendid array of refreshments complemented the opportunity to get to know one another better before we made our way home.




National Interfaith Week

12-19 November 2017

Watford Interfaith Association’s contribution to this week was to organise an Interfaith Pilgrimage in Watford Town Centre, calling at 5 places of worship. Starting at 12.45pm at the Watford & District Synagogue, the pilgrims were welcomed with warm drinks and delicious kosher cakes before the Rabbi’s sons gave a presentation. The pilgrimage also visited the Watford Velmurugan Temple for the first time, the Watford Central Mosque and Holy Rood Roman Catholic Churchand ended at 5pm at the Gurdwara, the Sikh Temple where refreshments were served.

Pictures of the pilgrmage are on our ‘Interfaith Pilgrimages’ page.

Remembrance Day 2017
WIFA laid a wreath at the Peace Memorial in the civic ceremony outside the Town Hall along with many other groups representing the people of Watford.
40th Birthday Celebrations
9 July 2017
Greeting people as they arrived
Our current chair opens the celebrations with a formal welcome and an account of those who have served WIFA before
Franςoise presented a potted history of WIFA
Our patron and elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill spoke about the importance of interfaith work in the community
Then our guest speaker Harriet Crabtree helped put our local interfaith work in a national context and highlighted a few of the factors that helped WIFA to be a successful interfaith group such as keeping attending meetings even when things seem difficult; having a good website and social media presence; working in quiet ways like constructing a peace garden.
She also encouraged us to look to the future and think about the Watford we’d like to see in 10, 20, even 40 years time – then work towards that vision.
In a water ceremony a representative of every faith present poured a glass of water into one bowl to represent our essential unity.
Then it was time for the party food …
… and plenty of conversation.
There was cake too … pictures to follow …

Mayor’s charity Christmas card makes world of difference to

Watford Interfaith Association


Front row, left to right: Judith Bruni (WIFA), Father Geoff Calvert (chair of WIFA), Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, Harjit Singh (WIFA), Francoise Murphy (WIFA).

Back row, left to right: Owrang Moshtael, (WIFA), Jeff Bateman (WIFA), Yogesh Joshi (WIFA)

Click on picture to enlarge

Every year the elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, sends out a Christmas card, sponsored by local firms. Every year the money collected goes to the Mayor’s chosen charity. This year the Watford Interfaith Association – with an annual budget usually running at around six-hundred pounds – has received £3,800.

Chairman of WIFA, Father Geoff Calvert, said “This money will really change what we can offer Watford in 2017 – our fortieth anniversary year. Last year we couldn’t afford to put on our memorial lecture, because we couldn’t hire a venue. Now we will be able to share ideas with people of all faiths and of none. Plus we’re putting the final touches to our labyrinth in the Peace Garden in Cassiobury Park – which will also be funded by this generous gift.”

Dorothy said “I’m really touched by the generosity of the firms who support my Christmas card – thank you Warner Brothers, West Herts Golf Club. Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Everyone Active, the Intu centre, The Prince of Bengal and WH Humphreys and Son. Your kindness means the Watford Interfaith Association can continue its important work – on projects like the Interfaith Pilgrimage and Sacred Space – well into the future.”

This year’s card shows a photograph from 1953 of the bandstand in the snow – it remains to be seen whether that will be replicated in 2016, with the bandstand freshly renovated thanks to a Heritage Lottery/Big Lottery grant, and back in its original position in Cassiobury Park.

Week of Prayer for World Peace Gathering
Lovely evening on Sunday 23 October 2016 for the Week of Prayer for World Peace. Prayers, readings and stories from at least 5 different faiths and candles lit. Then conversation over refreshments, including Sharifa’s amazing samosas.
Sunday April 24’s Abrahamic Reunion meeting was a huge success…it was a shame it had to be at such short notice as some already had other plans, but the speakers had such interesting things to say about the problems in the Holy Land and how they set about solving them, and they are often in great danger. It was truly inspiring to hear about the work they do. We shall put an item about the talks given by Sheikh Ghassan Manrasa and Revd Dr Anna Less, in the next WIFA newsletter.
Revd Tony Rindl, vicar of St Mary’s offered us the venue  in the church centre at St Mary’s,because he was so inspired by the work Abrahamic Reunion do. WIFA worked hard with Mike and Amanda Kenton to bring the meeting about (they are the UK organisers for the group). Many thanks to Francoise who as usual was backing it all up and managing the catering, to Lateef Hussaini and to Fr Geoff, our Chair, who spoke and held the flag for WIFA’s work. Thanks to all those also who advertised the event in their congregations, and who turned out to support the evening.
Abrahamic Reunion plan to come to the UK in October, with different speakers, so there will be another opportunity to hear about their work. They started to travel round and promote the work they are doing after the atrocities in Paris.

AGM 16/2/16

The business of the AGM was fairly quickly accomplished. It’s good to have 13 people elected to the executive committee, we look forward to working with the new members.


Our speaker DC100 Emma Maxwell’s talk about police counter-terrorism work in Hertfordshire was very illuminating, and somewhat shocking! She gave a good overview of the work and didn’t avoid the difficult issues.


She kindly answered questions that arose, ably assisted by Pat Davey.


Among her points was that PREVENT is non-criminal, that it is about supporting and protecting, that it is not against radical thinking but wants to avoid radical thinking becoming violent action.

Our chairperson for the meeting observed that as a young man, dropping a good career path and joining a new religious movement was viewed as radical thinking and action. But it did not lead him to violent action, among other things it led him to interfaith work.

Councillor Linda Topping also spoke to us very briefly. She emphasised that communication is vital and that we can all learn more from listening to one another than just keeping talking. She urged us all to consider standing in the upcoming local election, whatever party we may choose to stand for, so that the council represents the community it serves.

After this there was a lot of socialising, which was very good to see and be part of. And the refreshments were clearly much appreciated.


Here are some reports of recent WIFA events

Interfaith Pilgrimage 2015



More pictures on our Interfaith Pilgrimage page

2 minutes silence at the bandstand to remember those who suffer from terrorism

Our elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill reminded us that Watford is a moderate and modest town and said that this silence together, incorporated into our already planned interfaith pilgrimage, was a very appropriate response to recent events.

We stood together in silence, between us representing the community of Watford.




AGM 17/2/15

Some pictures:

Bonnie Evans-Hills

Our guest speaker, Bonnie Evans-Hills, who encouraged us all to think about what we can offer young people to provide them with hope and show them that they can be heroes in positive ways.


Displays of WIFA’s work and recent activities.


Chair of Watford Council, George Derbyshire, summing up the evening’s proceedings.

BISHOP’S CUP INTERFAITH CRICKET TOURNAMENT, Sunday 3rd August, Watford Town Cricket Club at Woodside Leisure Centre,

Due to Watford’s great success in winning the tournament between Bedford, Luton, St Albans and Watford in 2013 we are hosted the event this year. The idea is to have people of at least three different faiths in each team, they must be over 15 and can be male or female. It’s free and all are welcome.

Congratulations to Watford’s team on winning again. Look out for news of next year’s tournament, to be held in Watford again.

Watford Interfaith Pilgrimage 2013
Another great success!

pilgrimage 2013bClick on image to enlarge

This was the fifth year that Watford Interfaith Association had organised a pilgrimage around Watford on the occasion of National Interfaith week. Year after year, we have seen a great development in the relations between the faiths in Watford.  The hospitality and openness of the various places we visit has increased greatly since the first year we started the pilgrimage. The turnout this year was also at its highest. We counted over 85 participants from various faiths, old and young even small children and 2 brave souls on crutches! The Pilgrimage visited 5 places of worship around Watford: a Synagogue, a Parish Church, a Mosque, a Catholic Church and a Gurdwara. Watford is a small town making it possible for us to walk to all those places of worship in one afternoon. The Head of the Council spoke at the start of the pilgrimage and stayed with us the whole time. The Watford Fire fighters, as part of their community project, also participated and some of them followed us with their fire engine. The Pilgrimage was mentioned in the local newspaper, the Watford Observer..

Françoise Murphy
WIFA Treasurer

To view the pictures of the Pilgrimage taken by Christophe Murphy follow the link:

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