Interfaith faith in Fairtrade

By Cynthia Dickinson, PFNE District Interfaith Officer

PFNE Fairtrade Breakfast

Leeds and Wakefield (especially Wakefield) Pagans are very active in local interfaith groups so, when this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight theme was a Big Fairtrade Breakfast, it seemed like a good idea to get representatives of different faiths sitting together and discussing Fairtrade… amongst other things.

It was a great success and, as you can see from the picture, very public.

Fairtrade food and drink was supplied by the Leeds Fairtrade steering group and representatives of different faith communities gathered to eat, drink and chat with each other and passers-by in the Merrion Centre’s main shopping concourse.

The guests were Bishop Paul, Rabbi Esther, Hindu Usha, Muslim Ashraf, Pagan Krystal (PFNE’s deputy DM) and Sikhs Gurmukh Singh and Gurnam Singh. The colourful display attracted quite a lot of attention, causing shoppers to stop and find out what was going on.

Krystal’s view of the event:

“I got chatting to the Rabbi, who was quite interested in other religions and had some knowledge of various Pagan paths. This prompted the question of which path do I follow. When I told her I follow Lilith she got very excited and started telling me about about the polar opposite thoughts of Lilith in Jewish thinking, Queen of demons or the first feminist.

“Throughout the morning I’d noticed a gentleman sitting at the bottom of the centre. He was homeless and we had lots of Fairtrade food on our breakfast table, so I invited him over to help himself, he was very grateful for everyone’s kindness. He also had a fantastic staff that he’d found and was working on.”