For some in the winter months, AFL footy is the dominant ‘religion’ in Victoria. So, with the Grand Final done and dusted for another year, what better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than walking with some friends and learning a little about other religious traditions along the way?
This Sunday, 11 October, moderator Dan Wootton will join with leaders of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths as they lead a friendship walk through the streets of Melbourne visiting places of worship.
“In this day and age of so much misunderstanding, this is a great opportunity to meet with others and maybe learn a little about each other’s faith. I’m looking forward to a day of sunshine, fresh air and friendship,” Mr Wootton said.
Starting at St Peters Eastern Hill Anglican Church, the group will walk across the road to the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation Synagogue and then onto to the Albanian Mosque in Carlton North.
Ginette Everest is the executive officer of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA), organisers of the event. She said the day was originally planned as a pilgrimage, but became a friendship walk to combat recent anti-Muslim sentiment from some sections of the community.
“We found out that anti-Muslim rallies had been planned on the Saturday beforehand, so thought about changing the day,” Ms Everest said.
“But then we thought ‘what better way to counter such groups than coming together as friends in an atmosphere of solidarity and understanding?’
“We will start with a prayer of peace and reflections and then learn about some of the history and traditions of each of the places we visit.”
Ms Everest said she has planned the route so that it is relatively flat, but trams are close by for those who might have trouble walking the whole distance. She encourages anyone of any faith or no faith (and footy fanatics) to contact the JCMA or just turn up on the day.
For more information about the walk or to download a map of the route go to: http://jcma.org.au/special-events