Building Bridges in Burnley's annual Scriptural Reasoning with scholars and representatives from Christian, Muslim and Baha'i faiths was hailed as a great success.
Scriptural Reasoning is an evolving practice in which Christians, Jews, Muslims and other faiths, meet to study their sacred scriptures together, and to explore the ways in which such study can help them understand and respond to particular contemporary issues.
The theme this year was the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale. The mission of Jonah (Bible) or Prophet Yunus (Qur'an) is a timeless story that tells us there is a way out, if only we have faith. Jonah/Yunus was called to preach to the people of Nineveh, present day Iraq.
The event was hosted and led by Fr Charlie Hill, at All Saints Church, Habergham.
He said: "We had a very positive and interesting conversation about our faith traditions. These events help us all to build good relationships across communities and find common ground."
Eminent Muslim scholars Moulana Sajidul Qadri, Qari Abdul Razaque Shakir and Moulana Mohammed Arshad of Islamic Mission Masjid Ibrahim in Burnley also attended.
Moulana Sajidul Qadri said: "I was very impressed with the gathering and I believe the discussion we had will dispel myths about our faiths and the understanding developed among us will bring real peace and harmony in our communities."
Mozaquir Ali, director of Building Bridges in Burnley said: "We organise this annually as we have experienced in the past that this helps create learning and understanding, exploring differences and builds friendships.
"People of different faiths come together to read and reflect on their scriptures side-by-side in the company of someone outside your tradition who may not have read your scripture before, and who sees it through very different lenses to your own.
"The result is often a deeper understanding of others' and one’s own scriptures, as well as the development of strong bonds across faith communities."
Father Peter Hapgood-Strickland, hairman of Building Bridges in Burnley, said: "In addition to a deep inter-faith encounter, it deepens peoples' understanding of their own scripture and wider tradition and relationships with their own scripture is enriched. It allows us not only to appreciate the many things which we share and have in common."
Scriptural Reasoning is now practised globally, including in places affected by religion-related tensions and conflict.