An interfaith service was held at Manchester Cathedral in celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 154th Birth Anniversary on October 2, uniting people from diverse backgrounds in the spirit of love, peace, and unity.
More than 350 delegates from various faith-based organisations including Afro-Caribbean, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities gathered to share prayers and reflections.
Sponsored by the Kamani Family in memory of their grandfather Bhanji Khanji Kamani, the event featured cultural performances, including musical acts and dance presentations, showcasing the richness of different cultures.
Speakers highlighted Gandhi’s enduring legacy, emphasising the relevance of his teachings in today’s global context.
Praising Gandhi’s lasting influence, Aadit Virani, Chair of the Executive Committee at Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK (SRMD UK), noted that October 2nd being recognised as the International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations is not a mere coincidence but a testament to Gandhi’s global significance.
Virani highlighted Gandhi’s progressive approach to religion and his openness to learning from diverse faiths, making him an exceptional role model for Manchester’s multicultural community.
Reflecting on the contemporary relevance of Gandhi’s teachings, Mary-Liz Walker JP DL, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, acknowledged the evolving times while emphasising the enduring social issues. She emphasised the importance of preserving Gandhi’s legacy and ideals, which continue to resonate across generations.
Attendees engaged in open dialogues, fostering an exchange of ideas and experiences. The event left participants inspired to continue working toward a world where love, peace, and unity prevail, a press release by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (UK) said.
Lord mayor of Manchester, Cllr Yasmine Dar, and Dean of Manchester Cathedral, honourable Rogers Govender MBE, stressed the importance of community unity and collaborative efforts to foster peace amid challenges like the cost-of-living crisis. They advocated breaking ethnic barriers, ensuring basic needs, and protecting individuals’ rights, emphasising the potential for a peaceful and compassionate society.
SRMD UK is a registered charity and a part of the OneJAIN network. The charity played a key role in planning and erecting the 9-feet tall bronze Mahatma Gandhi Statue outside Manchester Cathedral in 2019 to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the global peace icon.