Each month, the people at Oldham Bethel Church meet with our Muslim friends from the Khadija Centre for a Muslim-Christian dialogue. Oldham Bethel Church is sited at the bottom of Waterloo Street in Glodwick whilst the Khadija Centre is at the top of the street. It is a wonderful, convivial time together.
A typical meeting consists of the following:
- Presentation on a topic from a Christian perspective
- Q&A on Christian topic
- Presentation on a topic from a Muslim perspective
- Q&A on Muslim topic
- Shared meal over which conversation between Christian and Muslim attendees can continue
We alternate the venue of the meeting. One month it will be held at Bethel Church whilst the following month we will go up to the Khadija Centre. The meetings are based around the following agreed principles:
- Christian and Muslim people hold significantly different beliefs
- We may disagree (sometimes strongly) and yet remain friends
- We may be open with one another, asking direct questions, without fear of offence or upset
This means we are able to have incredibly frank discussions both in our formal meeting time and over our shared meal. It both builds relationships and friendships within the local community whilst providing a space whereby we don’t need to patronise one another by pretending we are the same but can explore, in depth, our divergent beliefs.
Please do watch the videos below to get a sense of how our meetings run. We usually have much larger numbers in the room (we had a break over the summer and it takes a little time for word to get out again) but this will give a sense of what we do and how we do it.
The Christian Presentation
Christian Q&A #1 – ‘Couldn’t God simply forgive without Jesus dying on the cross?’ & ‘What is the Christian perspective on sin?’
Christian Q&A #2 – ‘Does sacrifice continue?’
The Muslim Presentation
Muslim Q&A #1 – ‘How do you do sacrifice in the UK modern era?’
Muslim Q&A #2 – ‘How does the story of Ibrahim affect Muslims today?’
Below are some further pictures of our meal and conversation following our formal meeting:
*videos by David Skinner