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London Interfaith Fun Run returns to bring communities together this summer

Hundreds of people from all backgrounds and beliefs reunited for the 3rd annual London Interfaith Fun Run, which took place on Sunday 3rd September at StoneX Stadium. Driven by the power of sports, the Fun Run successfully fulfilled its aims to create an enjoyable community-driven event that promoted physical activity, whilst supporting local causes and building new connections.

Participants of all ages and fitness level took part in the camaraderie by running, walking, or jogging either 1km, 5km, or 10km, and most importantly fundraising for causes ranging from homelessness and food banks to interfaith, refugees and asylum seekers, represented by over 35 charities. The full list of charities that took part include: Act for Change, African Portuguese Speaking Community, Al-Kawther Academy, All Aboard, All Faiths Network, American International Church, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (Neasden Temple) , Barnet Multi Faith Forum, Council of Christians and Jews, Community Trade Union, The Faith & Belief Forum, Faiths Women Community UK, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Generation2Generation, Hebrew Order of David, Homeless Action in Barnet, Hunarly, Jewish Volunteering Network , London Islamic Cultural Society, Maccabi GB, MAN UK Mosque, Marks Gate Relief Project, Mitzvah Day, Mindfulness Network for People of Colour, National Hindu Students’ Forum (UK), Naz & Matt Foundation, Nishkam SWAT, North London Mental Health Partnership, Pl84U AL-SUFFA, Safe by CST, Sudanese Community and Information Centre in London, Shared Lives Barnet, Solutions Not Sides, Southwark Muslim Forum, Stand Up! Education Against Discrimination, Volunteers On Wheels and Western Marble Arch Synagogue.

The London Interfaith Fun Run was organised by the Faith & Belief Forum and Maccabi GB and supported by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith. The event organisers’ emphasis on inclusivity and participation made it a memorable occasion for all involved.

Michael Ziff, President of Maccabi GB and Trustee of the Faith and Belief Forum said: The Fun Run is an incredibly important part of London’s calendar. It brings people and inspirational charities together through sport, not competing, but running, jogging, and walking together in the same direction, running together towards a shared future where everyone thrives.”

Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum, said: “This is more than a fun run – it’s a festival! There has been an amazing atmosphere today with hundreds of people from such a diverse range of faiths coming together. The Fun Run celebrates what we’re already doing and building further bridges as we work to bring communities closer.”

Miriam came to the Fun Run for the first time and was blown away by the display of unity that she witnessed: “I went into the London Interfaith Fun Run not really sure what to expect (apart from a run!). When I arrived, what struck me was just how many different organisations were present and the sense of warmth and togetherness that pervaded the event, in the conversations happening between different charities’ stalls, as people listened to some wonderful live music, and at the starting line for the run. Seeing all the different groups coming together to promote interfaith in London really gave me a sense of hope for our communities. And while the September sun was certainly stronger than I expected, that sense of unity helped see us all through to the finish line!”

The event offered more than just running as participants enjoyed vibrant performances, sampled foods from different cultures, had interfaith encounters, played in the Family Fun Zone, and met charities at a buzzing Charity Fair. The diverse performances, curated by Faiths in Tune, included Zendeh Delan, London International Gospel Choir, Kirtan London, The Oranim Dance Troupe, and Siri Sadhana Kaur.

The event featured a speech by David Dangoor CBE, Chair of the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith, who initiated the London Interfaith Fun Run project.

David Dangoor CBE said: “Why are we here today? In 2015, the late Queen Elizabeth expressed her desire to witness faiths coming together, working together, and playing together. Since then, through the Council of Faith, we have undertaken a multitude of activities across Greater London. These initiatives aim to recognise and bring together inspiring charities from diverse faith and religious backgrounds who tirelessly strive to support and uplift their fellow Londoners.”

We would like to thank all the partners and sponsors of the London Interfaith Fun Run 2023: Maccabi GB, the Faith & Belief Forum, Church Times, Dangoor Education, Eastern Eye, Faiths in Tune, Hebrew Order of David, Jewish News, Jewish Volunteering Network, Asian Media Group, and Voice of Islam Radio.

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