On 10 June, twelve students and three staff from St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School had the immense privilege to visit to Lambeth Palace to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury and his special guest, the Grand Imam of Egypt. From Archbishop Justin’s visit to our school in March, students learned that reconciliation is a hugely important part of his ministry, therefore making links with leaders of other faiths is a priority. It was a very special opportunity to be invited to be part of a meeting with two such prominent faith leaders.
Students and staff met with the Archbishop and the Grand Imam in the state drawing room of Lambeth Palace. As a mixed group of Muslims and Christians, the Grand Imam was very interested to know about each student and asked them to introduce themselves individually. He was keen to know student’s views were about Muslim-Christian relations, and was encouraged to see that the school is a place where people of different faiths can live together like a family. The Anglican Bishop of Egypt, who was also present, told students that he found relations between Christians and Muslims in Egypt to be largely peaceful and successful despite how things may be portrayed in the media. Students thought it was wonderful to see this positive, uplifting side of faith relations. Being part of this meeting is something that those present will never forget.
Bea Pearson of Form 12N said “It was an incredible opportunity to meet such important leaders of faith groups, and one which we greatly enjoyed. I feel that we have returned feeling all the more inspired to increase the tolerance and acceptance within our community here at St Saviour’s” and Suzie Digby of Form 12J added “It was a wonderful experience having such influential religious leaders interested in the voices of youth, and our opinions and experiences with vast diversity in our local and school community.”