The Muslim Education Centre of Oxford (Meco) will host a religious ‘first’ on Friday, when a Christian minister preaches part of its weekly service.
The Rev Peter Hewis, chaplain of Oxford University’s Harris Manchester College, will deliver his views about divine unity during Meco’s congregational prayers on Friday.
He retired last year after 41 years in the Unitarian ministry, having served in the East End of London, in Tennessee, USA, in the East Midlands town of Hinckley, and finally, Oxford. Meco chairman Dr Taj Hargey said Mr Hewis’s invitation was part of the organisation’s continuing mission to promote British Muslims’ effective integration into the UK mainstream.
He said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the reverend to this unprecedented event. Apart from its role as a haven for forward thinking Muslims, MECO generates a spirit of debate and inquiry and pioneers a vibrant and inspirational Islam that is relevant to 21st century Britain. We open our meetings to everyone and we are hoping this service will attract many people of many different faiths.”
Mr Hewis, former president of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, said he was excited about addressing the interfaith service, at 1pm in Summertown Hall, on the corner of Banbury Road and Portland Road, Oxford.
He said: “The meeting came about after we invited to Dr Hargey to speak in the college chapel, and MECO kindly returned the invitation. I’m delighted because our chapel are great believers in interfaith activities. In 1901, the college not only had a Hindu from India and a Buddhist from Japan, but we also had the first woman to train for the ministry of Britain.”
MECO can be contacted by telephone on 01865 766032, by fax on 01865 742612 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
This MECO Media Statement was pubished in the Daily Telegraph on 7 February 2007