The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, has chaired the inaugural meeting of the Network of Inter Faith European and North American Concerns (NIFENAC) meeting. NIFENAC is one of the new regional networks being established as part of the new global Anglican Inter Faith Commission (AIFC), that was launched at the Primates’ Meeting last October, and which met for the first time earlier this year in Cairo. The meeting took place in September and bought together members of the Church of Ireland, Church of England and Church in Wales. Representatives from Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office were also in attendance.
The five regional Anglican inter faith networks being established will all operate independently while feeding into the work of the AIFC as it seeks to “bring mutual understanding and to build trust between different faith groups where there is ignorance, fear and hostility.“ The regional groups will cover Africa, Oceania, South East Asia, Jerusalem and the Middle East, and Europe and the Americas. Through then, the AIFC will gather research into the engagement of Anglicans around the world with other faiths.
AIFC member Bishop Michael Ipgrave, from the Church of England’s Diocese of Lichfield, bought greetings to the inaugural meeting from AIFC Bishop Mouneer Anis from the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa – the global chair of the AIFC – and from Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of Anglican Communion.
Speaking at the meeting, Bishop Michael spoke of the importance of the regional groups, saying that it was not possible to have a global conversation on inter faith issues without the benefit of local conversations.
Some of the participants in the inaugural meeting of NIFENAC in Dublin:
Back row: Adrian Cristae, Dublin City Interfaith Forum; Dr Peter Admirand, Centre for Interreligious Dialogue DCU; Kat Brealey, Church of England; the Revd Tricia Hillas, Church of England; the Revd Richard Sudworth, Church of England; Katie Hodkinson, Lambeth Palace; Dr Ethna Reagan, School of Theology, Philosophy and Music DCU; Swami Purnananda Puri, Dublin City Interfaith Forum; the Revd Dr John Kafwanka, Anglican Communion Office; the Revd Dr Ainsley Griffiths, Church in Wales; the Revd Prof Anne Lodge, Church of Ireland Centre DCU; the Revd Flora Winfield, Church of England; the Revd Bonnie Hills-Evans, Church of England.
Front row: the Revd Susanne Cousins, Church of Ireland; the Revd Aled Edwards, Church in Wales; Archbishop Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland; Bishop Michael Ipgrave, Church of England; Clare Amos, Church of England.