Director of Pastoral Ministries, Teresa Brierley, welcomed representatives from the Muslim community, Uniting Church, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Anglican, Catholic and non-denominational Christian churches.
“As you look around this room, each of us stands as people of faith,” Mrs Brierley said. “We have many things in common. Coming together, sharing hospitality, helps us create a safe and harmonious community. What we do is simple, yet significant.”
The multi-faith morning tea was an initiative of the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Council to gather together members of Newcastle’s various belief communities.
The importance of unity between faiths cannot be underestimated – especially given two recent shocking events – the shootings in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the bombings in three Catholic churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka.
Acting Director of the Catholic Schools Office, Gerard Mowbray, said events such as the morning tea were invaluable.
“In my own faith tradition there are many shades of thinking and belief, and we spend too much time finding fault with each other’s beliefs,” Mr Mowbray said. “I think morning teas like this tap us on the shoulder to say, ‘why don’t we spend as much time thinking about what binds us, instead of what divides us?’”
As small groups gathered for conversation around the room, laughs and smiles displayed that unity.
The Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Council holds regular events, which can be found on the Diocesan calendar.