Manchester Spiritual Awareness Conference a success
Manchester, England—Representatives of religious and belief groups gathered at Parrs Wood High School's Sixth Form Centre in Didsbury, Manchester on Monday for their annual 'Spiritual Awareness Conference', which aimed to give some 180 A-level students 'a deeper understanding' of the various religions and beliefs practiced in the area.
The fifth conference of its type held by the school, this year's saw ten religions or beliefs represented, the largest number so far. Pushing the boundaries of controversy at this year's conference was the inclusion of The Humanist Society among the groups invited. The two Humanist representatives were invited to be part of the conference as an example of a non-religious belief system. Other groups represented included the Bahá'i faith, the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Church of Scientology and Islam.
In attendance at the conference was regional representative of the Church of Scientology, Sam Butler, who considered the day a success, stating, "I am grateful to Parrs Wood for this opportunity to present my religion and to answer the students' questions. I'd say the day was very successful."
Each religion or belief was represented by at least one person, with some like the Scientologists coming in pairs. Students were able to choose three presentations while each presentation was repeated three times throughout the day, allowing the 16-19 year old students to experience a diverse range of belief systems. The presentations were also diverse, with the Bahá'i faith including musical performance in their session. At the end of the day-long conference, students were invited to put their questions to a panel comprising all of the guest representatives. This was rounded off with a question from the school's head of Religious Education, who asked, "Which one of you is right?"
For more information or to contact Parrs Wood Sixth Form Centre, visit http://www.parrswood.manchester.sch.uk/sixthform/