A vibrant multi-faith service attracted 200 people to Padiham Unitarian Chapel for a celebration of music and songs from around the world.
The large congregation joined in as an inter-faith women’s choir, Sacred Sounds, led singing from many traditions, including Jewish (partly in Hebrew), Christian (Gospel), Hindu and Muslim, and from Celtic spirituality.
They were followed by the Shahe Mardan group, who introduced a form of Sufi Muslim devotional singing known as Qawwali. This combines traditional South Asian musical instruments, including drums, with haunting devotional songs of great power.
The service began with prayers and readings from Sacred Scripture (the Bible and the Qur’an) from the organisers, the Unitarian minister the Rev. Jim Corrigall, and Rauf Bashir of the Free Spiritual Centre in Pendle.
Mr Corrigall said while those taking part enjoyed different traditions, it was vital that those of faith also came together to celebrate what they had in common especially the core teaching of all religions, that “love and peace should rule our hearts and our societies”.
Mr Bashir added: “Just as the rain and the sun do not differentiate between peoples, neither should we.”