Statement by faith leaders in North Hertfordshire
Statement issued by NHDC on behalf of faith leaders in North Hertfordshire:
We have come together as people of different faiths and beliefs to express our trust in, and commitment to, the doctors, scientists and frontline health and social care workers who are doing their very best to keep us safe in this pandemic. We welcome the tested and approved vaccines now available to us and urge members of faith groups to put themselves forward for vaccination. These vaccines have undergone rigorous trials on thousands of people of different ethnicities and age groups. The UK has already given more than 10 million people over the age of 70 their first dose of the vaccine with no known serious side effects, which is compelling proof of its safety.
Misinformation is a threat to life. We are convinced that the rumours suggesting that malign powers are at work, that the seriousness of COVID is exaggerated or that our health service is not stretched, are just plain wrong. Religious people may be wondering if they should leave everything to God. As people of faith we take seriously the role of the Divine in our lives but we are also required to honour and use the wisdom, science, talents and skills that we have been given to do everything humanly possible to help ourselves, our families, and others.
Religious groups have been at the forefront of caring for the bereaved, the hungry and the lonely during this pandemic. We have given our mosques, our temples and our churches for use as vaccine centres. We pray for, and bless, the exhausted and heroic medical and care staff looking after extremely ill patients, and the scientists who labour to develop and manufacture the vaccines.
We willingly offer ourselves to serve the bereaved and the isolated in any way we can. But most of all, we can show those at the front line of this pandemic how much we value and honour their work and sacrifices, by encouraging everyone to be vaccinated. It is the least we can do as people of faith, committed to public service and the path of love for all human beings.
Signed by members of North Herts faith groups:
Chris Kell, North Herts Interfaith Forum (Chair)
Rev. Jane Robson, Churches Together in Hitchin (Chair)
John Richardson, Churches Together in Hitchin (Secretary)
Mr. Ahmed, Hitchin Mosque (Vice Chair)
Rev. Akurala Samitha, Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Meditation
Don de Silva, Tutor, Tanki Buddhist Therapists Forum
Rev. Thomas O'Brien a.a., Our Lady Immaculate & St Andrew's, Hitchin
Rev. Angus McCormick, Congregational Church Shillington and Herts Police
Rev. Nick Smith, St Mark's Church, Hitchin
Rev. Val Reid, Christchurch Hitchin and Pirton Methodist Church
Deolinda Eltringham, Our Lady Immaculate & St Andrew's Church, Hitchin
Dr Daksha Trivedi, Hindu Mandir Sanatana Seva Samaj, Luton
Pradip Philip Trivedi, Hindu Mandir Sanatana Seva Samaj, Luton
Gulzar Sahota, Ramgarhia Gurdwara, Hitchin
Sarabjit Sahota, Ramgarhia Gurdwara, Hitchin
Vijai Mehar, Ravidassia Community Centre, Hitchin & Letchworth
Catherine Rowlands, Society of Friends (Hitchin Quakers) Clerk
Jenni Back, Society of Friends (Hitchin Quakers)
To see video messages in different languages, go to the NHS vaccine information in community languages webpage.