Festivals Exchange

Our Festivals Exchange programme offers unique opportunities for people from different backgrounds to gain a better understanding of their neighbours through first-hand experience of their religious festivals.

Since 2015, we have partnered with numerous places of worship to run Festivals Exchange visits for groups of up to 35 people.  We work with host communities, supporting them to provide a welcoming experience for their guests. We help prepare briefing flyers explaining the rituals, ensure dietary and cultural requirements are taken into account, and any dress codes are made clear to participants in advance. Our staff are present throughout the visit, providing a specific welcome and facilitating an opportunity for dialogue following the festival. Guests have the opportunity to talk with community members, asking questions about what they’ve witnessed and the religious beliefs and practices of the community more generally.

Feedback suggests guests greatly appreciate the opportunity to see what goes on inside places of worship they may have walked past every day but never seen inside; to meet neighbours from different traditions; and to gain an understanding of the celebrations that matter to them.  These events also provide volunteer opportunities for people from diverse places of worship to gain experience of interfaith dialogue and of hosting an interfaith event, increasing the capacity of places of worship to engage in further interfaith activity.

If your place of worship would be interested in welcoming an interfaith group to witness a festival of yours, please don’t hesitate to contact us:  info@interfaithglasgow.org

“Everybody was so welcoming, from the welcomers, the ladies in the kitchen, the service goers, this in itself paints a wonderful picture of the Sikh community”
Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh Festival Exchange Event), Glasgow Gurdwara
“This was valuable because I was able to experience a Christmas service that I would otherwise have felt intimidated to attend without an invitation”
Christmas (Christian Festival Exchange Event), Gorbals Parish Church
“It was a great pleasure to be welcomed into the mosque, and to sit in the atmosphere of worship, and observe the pattern of the prayers – spoken and sung. I greatly enjoyed the chance to talk with people of Muslim faith, with a freedom to ask simple questions”
Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim Festival Exchange Event), Zia ul Quran Mosque