FAITH groups in Bournemouth are preparing to come together in a week-long initiative – including two religious leaders taking part in a pulpit swap.

This year’s Inter Faith Week runs from Sunday, November 10, to Sunday, November 17 and various events have been organised.

One of the main features will see Rabbi Maurice Michaels of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue and Reverend Dr Ian Terry, team rector of Bournemouth’s Town Centre Parish based at St Peter’s Church, deliver a sermon to the other’s congregation.

On November 16, Dr Terry will be preaching the sermon at the Shabbat service in the synagogue before Mr Michaels delivers a sermon to the congregation at the Hinton Road church the following day.

Mr Michaels said: “Inter Faith Week helps strengthen relationships and understanding between people of different faiths and beliefs, so vital in our increasingly diverse society.

“Although Reverend Terry and I have spoken at each other’s place of worship before, this is the first time it has been a pulpit swap, and that, I think, demonstrates genuine mutual trust.”

Dr Terry said it was clear St Peter’s Church and Bournemouth Reform Synagogue both see themselves as working together for the good of all people in the town.

“We know there is no mileage in faith groups trying to go it alone,” he said.

“Peace, justice and respect are more important today than they have been for some years given the strong feelings and radical divisions within British society.”

Dr Terry said a visit to Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem – earlier this year had made him more aware of the need to build up trust and not allow a situation in which people scapegoat to develop.

There are also events planned in Bournemouth during the week.

On Wednesday, November 13, Nisa-Nashim, the Jewish Muslim Women’s Network, have teamed up with Bournemouth Reform Synagogue and Faith Links to host a talk from Justine Ball, Hampshire County Council primary religious education inspector, on ‘The “Golden Age” of Andalusia for Muslims and Jews – when Jews and Muslims lived side by side and culture flourished’.

The following evening the Council of Christians and Jews (Bournemouth & Wessex branch) have planned a shared talk from Christian violinist and composer Ruth Fazal and native Israeli Hebrew teacher and Orthodox Jew Gil Pentzak on their faith journey together.

For more details about Inter Faith Week, visit