The Golden Conversation 2024

The Haberdashers’ Company recently hosted 'The Golden Conversation', an insightful and thought-provoking event centred around the theme of "Loving Your Neighbour in 21st Century Britain." Featuring perspectives from two faith leaders, Imam Mohammed Mahmoud OBE and Reverend Graham Hunter, the event aimed to explore Christian and Muslim perspectives on serving the common good. Attendees, including members of the Haberdashers' Livery Company, staff, and students from Haberdasher schools, engaged in a dynamic discussion that delved into the complexities of modern-day community and faith. 

Staff from HATS Trust central staff found 'The Golden Conversation' to be a thought-provoking event. They were motivated to attend due to their interest in the topic and their desire to hear students' responses and questions. They highlighted the engagement of students and the insightful discussions as the event's highlights and suggested including other faiths and non-religious worldviews for improvement. One attendee commented, "The passion and energy of the contributions from the other students was inspiring. I loved how my whole school thought it was going to be a big debate but turned out something different. Loved how they asked us to answer certain questions." 

Similarly, a Year 12 student from Haberdashers' Abraham Darby found the event insightful, enlightening, and articulate. They enjoyed hearing opinions from other students during the response section. The student remarked, "Hearing the opinions of other people during the response section was really enlightening." Their suggestion for improvement was to include speakers from other religions and address more challenging topics. 

Staff from Haberdashers' Crayford attended to provide pupils with an opportunity to engage in open discussion. Their overall experience was described as informative, enlightening, and embracing, with the highlight being pupils engaging with adults. One staff member suggested improving the sound and visibility during discussions, stating, "Seeing the pupils talking with the adults was a highlight, but better sound and visibility during discussions would enhance the experience." 

The feedback illustrates the event's success in fostering engaging conversations and promoting understanding between different faiths and communities. However, suggestions for improvement include incorporating a broader range of perspectives and providing better audio-visual arrangements for future events. 

The Golden Conversation succeeded in creating a safe environment for open dialogue and learning, leaving attendees feeling enlightened and inspired. As one student noted, "This golden conversation was a wonderful idea, and I would love to see what other interfaith work could be done in the future involving the Haberdashers' Company." 

This event stands as a testament to the power of dialogue and understanding in building stronger, more inclusive communities. 

If you would like to listen back to a Podcast from the event please click here. You can also find the audio on Apple Podcasts and Spotify