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26 Jun 2018

Charte de la Fraternité

On Tuesday 19th June, Canon Robert Dennis signed on behalf of St Andrew’s Pau a charter devised by a variety of groups in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, uniting all the major faiths and denominations. The ceremony at the Mairie was attended by representatives of the Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist faiths, and the Christian denominations by Roman Catholics, Protestants and Anglicans as well as an Orthodox priest. 

The Charter commits its signatories to work together in this locality to promote understanding and respect between cultures and faiths, and to fight together against all forms of racism, violence and exclusion.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this initiative is the commitment of the State, in the form of the Mairie and the Préfecture, to work alongside the faith groups. To underline this, the ceremony was presided over by the Prefect of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. A plaque in the form of the signed Charter was unveiled on the wall of the Mairie

Each faith leader was invited to say a few words. Canon Robert’s contribution, in which he evoked his experience of living in South Africa under apartheid as the root of his commitment, was particularly warmly received. 

The Charter is currently in the Memorial Chapel at St Andrew’s Pau, where the church regularly invites prayer for the victims of violence, until a permanent place is found to display it.