CAPTION: Rev'd Deborah Parsons will work with different faith groups across Devon

We are all part of one family, says new Interfaith Advisor

Posted: 8th August, 2019

Devon’s new Interfaith Advisor says her new role is about “building good relationships.. and meeting where we can”.

The Rev’d Deborah Parsons is a Totnes team vicar and area Rural Dean and has recently taken on the new responsibility.

As Interfaith Advisor she will communicate with people of other faiths and faith leaders and help connect people planning interfaith activities locally and nationally.

She will also work with people from a range of different traditions within the Church of England.

She will also be on hand to advise senior clergy, offer comment and co-ordinate gestures of solidarity after global terrorist attacks or hate crimes directed at a particular religious or ethnic group.

Deborah said for her the role was about: “recognising diversity and thinking about how to build good relationships with people and recognise God, the divine spirit in one another.

“How can we look at a human being and know that we are one, we are part of one wider family?

“Part of it is about meeting where we can.

“I am particularly interested in inter-spirituality. How do we look at another person and recognise that we are part of one family.

“And also, how do we go into those places where people are fearful and afraid and recognise we are fellow human beings?

For example, as a practising Christian, I can have a Buddha awareness or awakening but still be Christ-centred.

“Sometimes it comes from education, sometimes it comes from meeting people who are of other faiths and other traditions. It comes from understanding what that means for them and what it looks like for me.

“It’s also about finding ways to talk about other faiths and spirituality in a language that we understand.”

Deborah will be working alongside the Diocese of Exeter Church and Society Officer Chris Keppie.