Volunteers from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, participated in the third London Interfaith Fun Run held on Sunday 3 September 2023 at the StoneX Stadium in Barnet.
Driven by the ‘power of sports’, the Fun Run successfully fulfilled its aims to create an enjoyable community-driven event that promoted physical activity whilst supporting local causes and building new connections.
The Fun Run – organised by the Faith & Belief Forum and Maccabi GB, and supported by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith – brought together many different faith groups to send a global message of unity and friendship between people from diverse backgrounds.
BAPS joined more than 35 other charities at the event to raise funds for their respective good causes. The Mandir also shared information about its multifarious outreach and faith activities.
The event offered a vibrant festival area that featured dance and music performances from a wide range of cultures, as well as a space for reflection, meditation, and conversation. A bustling food court with a variety of food from different ethnicities and communities was also available.
Smita Oza, a senior BAPS volunteer, explained, “Coming together in solidarity and unity across communities helps to build mutual respect, and it is enriching to learn from other faiths. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj underscores the values of faith, service and harmony, and this event provides a perfect opportunity to reinforce these ideals.”
Kirit Wadia, another volunteer for interfaith relations at BAPS, added, “We are very grateful to the Faith & Belief Forum and Maccabi GB for providing a platform to bring people of different faiths together. We at BAPS look forward to taking part in this rewarding event each year. Partnering with community and faith groups is integral to our ethos, and following the community event
held in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj earlier this year, this was a fantastic opportunity to continue to share, learn, and make friends.”