A short history

The first Reading Interfaith Group meeting was held in the spring of 1985. Reading Interfaith Group was at first led mainly by teachers for mainly educational purposes. Activities included visits to places of worship and study groups. In winter, the group often organised a Festival of Lights. When the Gulf War broke out in 1991, Reading Interfaith Group was a place for shared prayer.

The Friendship Walk was organised in 2001 as a response to 9/11 and the subsequent war in Afghanistan. At the time Reading people were saddened and appalled over terrorist atrocities but also held many different views as to how the problem could be put right.

The Friendship Walk marked a point of consensus. It was felt that whatever views and political opinions were being expressed politically, the need for friendship and understanding remained vital.

A new yearly tradition was started in 2015 in the form of the Interfaith Week Reception, hosted by the Mayor of Reading.

Read more about the history of RIFG in this interview with Sarah Griffin, or in our overview of past events.