Everything you need to know about Royal Holloway interfaith week

There’ll be free croissants

With interfaith week starting tomorrow, we spoke to third year Music with Philosophy student and Chaplaincy & Faith Support intern, Nina Mattiello Azadeh, about Faith & Chaplaincy at Royal Holloway.

What is Chaplaincy & Faith Support?

Chaplaincy & Faith support are here for all students, regardless of faith or belief. Our chaplains and team encourage faith groups to work together, provide direction and advice, and organise all forms of Christian observance within the College (including the services in Chapel). They also host a range of lectures and special services throughout the year. Chaplaincy & Faith Support seek to provide a reflective space for every student and staff member, of all faiths and of none.

What do you do?

As the Interfaith & Religious Diversity intern, I work to engage with all the faith society, and encourage them to work together in creating a cohesive and positive faith message across campus. I also work with the wider community, connecting students with other faith groups and engaging in interfaith work in the area.

What is Interfaith week and when is it?

Royal Holloway’s Interfaith Week is running from Friday 13 November to Friday 20 November, which crosses national interfaith week. This week will give us an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and culture here at Royal Holloway, highlight the work of our faith societies, inform people about faith on campus, and enable partnerships between groups of students who might never had thought to work together.

How does one participate? Is membership to a religious society necessary?

There are events taking place each day over the course of the week, and everyone is warmly invited to join in as little or as much as they like. The Chaplaincy & Faith Support team are running events such as a seminar on pilgrimage and as interfaith breakfast. We are also hosting a “soc-swap” in which we are inviting all manner of societies to visit the faith society meetings throughout the week.

The hashtag for the week is #rhulinterfaith. If you want to find out more, then like us on Facebook, join the event or drop in.

What about non-religious students? Can they participate too?

Yes, absolutely. Interfaith week is an opportunity for students to get to know one another and celebrate who and what makes up our community.

So tell me more about this Interfaith Breakfast? Is the breakfast free? What is included?

The Interfaith Breakfast is our first event and will take place on Friday 13th 9-10am in the Chapel. It’s an informal event which will hopefully spark conversations and perhaps questions about faith — so come along for a chat and a free croissant.

The new Islamic Prayer Room, Wetton’s Annexe

What is the Faith Spaces Tour?

The Faith Spaces tour will take place on Friday 20th 1-2pm. It will take us around the worship spaces on campus, including the new Muslim Prayer Room and a chance to sit in on Jum’ah (Islamic Prayer Friday).

What is Soc-Swap?

The Soc-Swap, which runs all week, is an opportunity to meet some of the faith societies which are part of Royal Holloway. It’s an opportunity to meet the individuals who make up the societies, to find out what they do on a weekly basis, and to learn more about how they practise their faith here.

Swami Agnivesh once said: “Peace among religions is a precondition for world peace.” What do you hope to accomplish with Interfaith Week?

Interfaith Week is primarily a collective celebration of faith. We are also raising awareness of what goes on under the “faith” banner at Royal Holloway. We hope this will spark conversation and interaction between lots of groups and individuals on campus.

Are Chaplaincy and Faith Support planning any more upcoming events?

Lessons & Carols (the college Christmas carol service) will be taking place at the beginning of December, and is a wonderful way to get into the festive mood! We have events on each week, so like Chaplaincy & Faith Support on Facebook to find out more.