Faiths Forum for London and the Strengthening Faith Institutions are facilitating an interfaith tree planting project, which aims to plant 32 trees across 10 London Boroughs. The project aims to promote community spirit, develop interfaith relations and make London greener funded by the Mayor of London.
Naka Alkhzraji, project manager has said:
“We feel that this is a great opportunity for people to come together, learn more about one-another, and add to the natural beauty of their local community. It is a unique opportunity to invite religious institutions of different faiths to come together and play a role in the plantation, and subsequent long-term care of the trees.”
On the 30th of January Almanaar, The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, members of the local community from all faith backgrounds and the local borough of Kensington and Chelsea took part in coming together as a community close to the Grenfell region. This particular day coincided with Tu BiShvat, literally meaning the New Year of Trees.
Rabbi Natan Levy, Head of Operations at Strengthening Faith Institutions said:
“The significance of planting trees in Judaism is immense, it represents the beginning of life and a symbol of Jewish existence, a core value of an individual and communal living. It is an opportunity to plant together and grow closer as a community as the trees take root.”
Thursday 1st February saw another day of interfaith tree planting at Valence Park within Barking and Dagenham with members from Bethel Christian Centre. Colin Richardson, lead co-coordinator for the Environmental and Enforcement, said:
“I have been doing this for 25 years, the trees we have planted today within the circle are representative of the circle of life and in line with the interfaith element of this project. I look proudly around the park and see trees I have planted…”
On Tuesday 6th February 2018, was at Crecent Gardens within the Borough of Haringey, along with members of the local community from St Michael’s Church, Wightman Road Mosque planted lime and silver birch trees.
Father Ian Booth, Vicar of St Michael’s Church said:
“The important thing about planting trees is not only it enriches the environment, but it’s something we do for the future generations as well, not only for ourselves. Something else which is quite important is, the roots of the tree which gives it its support, and the roots of all our faiths are the same, we worship the same God, God of Abraham, and the tree is a sign of that. The roots of the tree is the same, but the branches branch out in different directions, which is what we do as members of our faiths and members of society. So it’s a very significant that we plant this tree, and that we do it together, as faiths of this community.”