The Interfaith Contact Group

The Brighton & Hove Interfaith Contact Group


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The Moment, the Miracle and the Mystery

July 14, 2020

Today’s Words of Connection are an intriguing mix, and yet they all have something in common… they remind us how very special is our country, our world and the mystery of the human spirit and the Divine. Our contributions today were written 5 months ago, 1,000 years ago,  2,500 years ago and 800 years ago, respectively… and they are all equally fresh, beautiful and insightful.   The first reading is immediate, lively and uplifting. It is by Hussain Manawer. Hussain is a poet, mental health campaigner and ambassador for the Samaritans. He wrote this poem for the FA, and it was first broadcast by the BBC on St Georges Day, in the midst of the pandemic.

The second reading is the lyrical and mystical writings from the great Christian philosopher, composer and scholar – Hildegard of Bingen. The third is an inspirational text entitled the “Illusory Nature of the World,” written by The Buddha. The last is a mystical prose by Rumi; it’s about “Real Miracles.” It simply starts by saying that: “…it isn’t amazing for someone to get to be able to go from here to Mecca in an afternoon or a moment…”

I do hope that you continue to enjoy Words of Connection. Please feel free to suggest future readings and contributions, and thank you, for your attention and your generous appreciation.

Chair IFCG




Hussain Manawer

This is England
During a crisis
A nation united.
This is England.
66 million from thousands of communities.
That’s our heart-line.

We say thank you to the NHS and all the key workers.
We hold high our multi-cultural frontline
Because this is England
Where we take the spirit of the Three Lions.
That’s stitched right above the heart on our fabric.
Where we sit as a family and go old school with video cassette tapes
Getting lost in all the home-made classics.

This is England.
We stand with the rest of the world
On psychologically figuring out ways to get through this.
So therefore our formation has developed a few new tactics
And, until the whistle goes, we keep the faith.
Exactly like when we’re watching the players in the matches.
And the sun is in the sky with us too.
Now we all know that’s magic.

Because this is England.
Where we sing and we pray and we hope.
Where we give, we stand together and we know
That this is England.
During a crisis
A nation united.
This is England.



Hildegard of Bingen

No creature has meaning without the word of God.
God’s word is in all creation, visible and invisible.
The word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity.
This word flashes out in every creature.
This is how the spirit is in flesh – The word is indivisible from God.


* * *


Holy persons draw to themselves all that is earthly…
The earth is at the same time mother,
She is mother of all that is natural,
Mother of all that is human.
She is the mother of all,
for contained in her
are the seeds of all.


* * *

Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
Now, think.
What delight God gives to humankind
with all these things…
All nature is at the disposal of humankind.
We are to work with it.
For without it we cannot survive.

* * *

God hugs you.
You are encircled by the arms
of the mystery of God.

* * *

Divinity is aimed at humanity.






The Buddha


Know all things to be like this:
A mirage, a cloud castle,
A dream, an apparition,
Without essence, but with qualities that can be seen.


Know all things to be like this:
As the moon in a bright sky
In some clear lake reflected,
Though to that lake the moon has never moved.


Know all things to be like this:
As an echo that’s derives
From music, sounds, and weeping,
Yet in that echo is no melody.


Know all things to be like this:
As a magician makes illusions
Of horses, oxen, carts, and other things,
Nothing is as it appears.





Jalal-ud-Din Rumi


It isn’t so amazing or miraculous for someone to be able to go from here to Mecca in an afternoon or a moment. The wind, after all, performs such a miracle: in an afternoon, or a moment, it can go wherever it wants.

The real miracle is that God should take you from a low and miserable stage to the highest honour, that you should come from there to here, from ignorance to reason, from selfishness to adoration, from the unliving to life. At first you were earth, then mineral, and then His power brought you into the vegetable world; then you travelled from there to the world of sperm and womb, and from there to the animal world, and from the animal world into the human one. The real miracles are those that occur on the journey in God to God. All the experiences and openings you had on the way – could you have even begun to imagine them before they happened? Did you have any idea what roads you would take before you took them? Yet you have definitely arrived here.

In exactly the same way, and with exactly the same mercy and mystery and strange providence, you will be brought to thousands of other worlds.

Have faith, always, and if you are told stories of such worlds by people you trust – believe them.