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Christian Engagement in a Multi-Faith Context

Some chaplains share their thoughts from the training day on 4th February 2013

By Robert Quarton and James Lindsay

The Revd Ray Gaston at the training day

Robert Quarton (Police Chaplain) writes:

One of my favourite authors is Brian McLaren.  He recently wrote a book with a fairly long title: Why did Jesus, Moses, The Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? I’ve still yet to finish it!

However, what I’ve managed to read so far, made surprising connections with the subject of the day conference Christian Engagement in a Multi-Faith Context led by The Revd Ray Gaston, Tutor in Interfaith Engagement at Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education.

The day provided an opportunity to explore our own attitudes, theological positions and how we approach worship, in an Inter Faith context.  It became fairly obvious that different views were held.  There was plenty of useful dialogue during the day.

Here is a summary of the three sessions:

  1. Christians and Inter Faith Encounter. The session dealt with Dialogue and Witness and included Presence vs Proclamation, Principles and Dialogue, Types of Dialogue to exploring the tension between Dialogue and Witness.
  2. Under Faith, Hope and Love we were invited to explore whether we were comfortable with being Exclusive, Inclusive or Pluralist in our theology.
  3. Inter Faith Worship - are we Worshipping the same God? Seven different Christians Approaches were outlined – it was challenging to decide the approach with which you were most comfortable. 

The day was really challenging and caused me to start thinking about my own attitudes as a Christian and what has helped to shape them.  On my part, there might have been a little ‘standing in the middle.’  Perhaps the day will encourage more reflection in this important area of our vocation as chaplains and disciples of Jesus.

For those who were unable to attend, I would commend the power-point presentations on the chaplains’ website.  For further reading – Brian McLaren’s book!


James Lindsay (Railway Chaplain) reflects:

'An enjoyable time was had sharing food and fellowship. It was also encouraging to hear stories from different sectors of ministry. Despite the diverse theological views from within the teams, we were all united in our desire to share the Gospel. The event was another good opportunity to bring the Chaplains together and strengthen our teams.


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