Statement from Bristol interfaith leaders on the violence in Israel-Palestine

First published 25th October 2023

(L-r: Carol Simmons from Park Row Synagogue, Zaheer Shabir from Building the Bridge, Bishop Declan Lang, Bishop Vivienne Faull, Rabbi Monique Mayer and Dean Mandy FordReligious leaders from across the Abrahamic faiths have come together to send a joint message to the people of Bristol, inviting them to join in prayer for those affected by violence in Israel and Palestine, and calling for a swift and peaceful resolution to this conflict. 

The Rt Revd Vivienne Faull (Bishop of Bristol), Rabbi Monique Mayer (Bristol & West Progressive Jewish Congregation) and Zaheer Shabir (Building the Bridge) have offered up the following words in sombre and collective reflection: 

“The continuing escalation of violence that we have witnessed in recent days has deeply shaken everybody across the world. Few words can make sense of the tension we feel as we grieve the immense loss of life in this conflict. This has been very difficult for us all.  

We condemn all forms of violence, particularly those that targeted innocent people and their families who are simply trying to live their lives. We call for the safe return of those who have been taken hostage and urge the people in power to put an end to the ongoing violence and find ways to build peace among peoples and nations, so that they may live in unity with their neighbours. 

We ask all our Jewish, Christian and Muslim sisters and brothers across Bristol to come together at this difficult time and join in prayer for all who are affected by this conflict, both abroad and at home. We pray for an end to prejudice, both anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim, in our city and our country.  

Bristol is demonstrating once again that our city’s unity and support for one another will prove immensely valuable to many. We remain proud of our diversity and understand that the capacity to navigate these challenging times together is within our combined wisdom and grasp. 

We pray for a genuine, long-lasting peace in the region and across the world that unites us all in our humanity.” 

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