Dan Botham created the Chesterfield Interfaith Forum group and began to make contact with faith/humanist groups in the area.
“The purpose of the Chesterfield Interfaith Forum is to provide a welcoming, respectful and nurturing environment for people of goodwill from all spiritual and religious paths. We share who we are and celebrate our diversity, not to convert or convince, but in realization of our common humanity. We aspire to provide an inclusive community that acts as agents of good works in the local community.
We envision our forum developing in such a way as to respect and welcome people from all spiritual and religious paths, and encourage and empower each other as we engage in social justice, in our local community. We aim to engage in interfaith dialogue which truly respects the diversity of our community, always keeping in mind that we are all worthy of respect, and our spiritual diversity is a cause for celebration.
At times of conflict diversity can be exploited as a means of division, and religion remains a driving force behind much of today’s biggest problems, until everyone learns to respect one another’s differences this unnecessary violence will continue. The battle against such unnecessary conflict remains.
We believe that now, more so than ever before there is a need for peace and unity between all peoples, both religious, and non-religious. The purpose of interfaith dialogue then is not religious syncretism, but open dialogue and engagement. Our own unique religious identities must be a source of strength, and not a source of division.
People of various faiths have a remarkable ability to come together, united by their commitment to the ideals of their own religion. Our ability to come together is core to our humanity, it fuels our passions, and it enriches our lives. Our faith has a tremendous power to help us grow and make a positive change in our society.”