Our political, personal, and community lives cannot be separated. We urge those who are leading us through these troubled and troubling times to listen, to think, to act with compassion and wisdom.
The common good is the responsibility of us all. We urge all leaders to walk around in the shoes of ‘the other’ and to see beyond binary divides. We do not need to argue crudely across the room, aisle, dispatch box or ballot box. We call all in leadership to create a culture of conversation that places civility at the heart of our civics. We call for a culture that nurtures an intentional process of respectful, robust disagreement particularly in times of polarisation. The contemporary challenge for us all is to maintain the dignity of the human person in our personal and public discourse.
On 31st October over 180 people representing more than 20 peace and reconciliation agencies across the UK will be meeting in Glasgow for three days. We are working together closely as Reconcilers Together, and join with local partners for the Gathering in Glasgow on Conflict and Faith in the belief that faith communities have wisdom, skill and experience to share in the art of peacebuilding, robust conversation, and the compassionate transformation of society. We recognise that violence has been, and still is perpetrated in the name of religion worldwide. We are ashamed of this legacy and will continue to do all in our power to reveal injustice and violence where we see it, while working towards reconciliation.
We recognise that 31st October symbolises a day of concern for many whatever side of the political divide. We do not believe it is a coincidence that we have been planning for the last year to meet over this period. In the face of all that separates us, we call on our leaders: political, business, academic, civic and religious, to model robust and compassionate conversation that respects difference and welcomes diversity in the lead up to and beyond 31st October.
Ruth Harvey, Director, Place for Hope; Sarah Hills, Vicar of Holy Island, Director, Honorary Canon for Reconciliation, Inverness Cathedral and Canon Emeritus, Coventry Cathedral; Jo Williams/Andy Williams, Directors, Blackley Centre for Peace Bridge Builders Ministries; Colin Moulds, Bridge Builders Ministries; Graham Boyack, Director, Scottish Mediation; Justine Huxley, Director, St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace; Sarah Snyder, Director, Rose Castle Foundation; Glenn Jordan, Programme Manager, Public Theology, the Corrymeela Community; Sam Tedcastle/Abdul Rahim Senior Practitioners, Centre for Good Relations; George Cowie, Clerk to the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Glasgow.