Bishop Sarah has this week visited the London School of Economics to learn about the School’s pioneering work to promote interfaith leadership and to lead an ecumenical act of Christian worship to mark the Feast of All Saints.
As part of the visit, Bishop Sarah spoke with staff at the LSE Faith Centre, which runs programmes promoting religious literacy, interfaith leadership and engagement with religion in global society, founded in 2014 by the Anglican Chaplain, Canon James Walters. The Bishop also had the opportunity to take part in a roundtable discussion on the topic of “The Future of Interfaith” with a group of Faith Centre programme participants.
During a wide-ranging visit, Bishop Sarah also met with Professor Dilly Fung, the LSE’s Pro-Director for Education, and Professor Kevin Featherstone, Chair of the Faith Centre Advisory Board, who updated her on the strategic direction of the School.
Bishop Sarah’s visit coincides with the announcement of a generous endowment, pledged by the School’s alumnus David Beecken and his wife Kitty, which will support the Centre’s flagship LSE Faith and Leadership Programme. The Bishop learnt about the fantastic opportunities offered by the Programme which, thanks to the Beecken’s donation, will benefit generations of LSE students to come.
The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, the Bishop of London, said:
“It has been a great privilege to spend time today with staff and students at the LSE. It was an opportunity to speak about my Christian faith; their passion and dedication to their work and studies is humbling. Like London, the LSE is very diverse, attracting students and staff from every corner of the globe, each of whom brings with them their own culture, interests and religious beliefs. In turn, the research from this university and others in London helps to shape public opinion and government policy not only in this country but across the entire world. It’s hugely valuable, therefore, that students and staff here have access to the LSE Faith Centre and its innovative programmes, driving interfaith leadership and understanding across the entire School.”
The Revd Canon Dr James Walters, Director of the LSE Faith Centre, said:
“I’m delighted that Bishop Sarah has had this opportunity to learn more about the work carried out by the LSE Faith Centre to promote interfaith leadership and to lead an act of Christian worship hosted by our new worshipping community for students, The Anchorage. I hope this is a model of how we can bring together confident Christian witness with a passionate commitment to building relationships and transforming attitudes across religious divides. Religious tensions appear to be increasing all around the world, so the focus of our work here is to bring future leaders of different faiths together to develop the friendships and skillset necessary to meet this challenge.”
The LSE Faith Centre runs a range of programmes for students including annual interfaith trips to Israel and Palestine and a Faith and Climate Action programme, as well as the Beecken Faith and Leadership Programme. Alumni of the programmes are now working all over the world in NGOs, business, government and diplomacy. The Centre also promotes critical research around religion and global society and provides external training for public bodies such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.