One of the aims of the Morlan Centre – a faith and culture centre in Aberystwyth – is to reach out to different sectors of society. During June, it was the inspiration behind two new initiatives that took place in the town.
The first was the Dewch at Eich Gilydd – The Great Get Together which took place on 17 June and is described in a separate article.
The second took place almost two weeks later, on 29 June, and was an event called Food For Thought. This was organised by Morlan’s Faith and Religious Affairs Sub-committee and was a chance to look at the relationship between food and faith. Aber Food Surplus again provided two of the courses, with a magnificent choice of puddings made by Catrin Griffiths of Capel y Morfa. Before each course, three speakers gave a brief talk on the significance of food, and sharing food – to Christians, to Muslims and to people with more secular approaches. Whilst enjoying each course, there was a chance to discuss the themes in more details.
Enid Morgan, a vicar with the Church in Wales, talked about Judaism and Christianity and the way that remembering one particular supper is at the heart of Christian worship and is a snapshot of a community where people can trust in God and in each other.
Paul Allen, of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth and one of the authors of Zero Carbon Britain presented a more secular viewpoint and described how the story of the ‘consumer’ – the idea that buying things makes us happier – has contributed to climate change and to a change in society. People of all convictions feel strongly that mankind must act to slow down climate change. He stressed that changing our way of life by reducing food waste, energy waste and carbon emissions can make a difference.
Talat Chaudhri, Aberystwyth’s Deputy Mayor was the final speaker. He is a Muslim of English and Bengali descent, raised in Essex but living in Aberystwyth for 19 years and a fluent and natural Welsh speaker. He talked about the significance of food to tie society together, and explained how part of the Ramadan fast involves saving money and giving it to the needy, and how coming together to eat at night strengthens relationships.
People who would otherwise not have met got to know each other by listening, enjoying a meal, sharing experiences and points of view. The occasion was both a blessing and a lesson to all who were there. Why not join us next time!