I’ve been actively involved in Interfaith dialogue and activity since around 2003, beginning my work with the Pagan Federation as Interfaith manager for Pagan Federation London in 2006. I’ve held many roles within the Pagan Federation over the intervening years, but have always remained involved in Interfaith work. I have found the rich diversity of belief and practice we experience within the Pagan community is incredibly helpful in developing an understanding of the diversity within other faith traditions.
I spent most of my working life as a teacher in Secondary schools, including some time teaching religious education. Since moving from London to Kent, I have been an active member of my local Interfaith group, while continuing to support Interfaith endeavours around the country.
My approach to Interfaith is one of interest in people, in how they experience and interact with the world, understanding the values they feel are important, where they draw those values from and how those are reflected in the way they live their lives. Interfaith involves building relationships and appreciating difference as well as similarity. It’s at least as much about listening to others as it is about speaking about our own beliefs and practices. In the process of this, a great many myths and misunderstandings about one another can be corrected, and real friendships can be made.
I’m hoping to encourage people to seek opportunities to get to know and be known by people from other religions and worldviews, and build positive relationships with others who live in our society.
Mike Stygal, Interfaith Team Manager