Although it was a Christian initiative that led to the founding of the Week of Prayer for World Peace in 1974, it soon became an inter faith activity, and now welcomes everyone, of all faith traditions or none, to take part. Our first Chairman,the late Dr. Edward Carpenter, former Dean of Westminster, established the guiding principle of the Week in the words “The peace of the world must be prayed for by the faiths of the world”, and this is still the basis of our work today.

For those who want to persevere with the idea of praying with people of other faiths, three thoughts may be helpful.
  • First, the different prayers that we say are said by neighbours in the same town and the same street every week. In worshipping together we simply bring under one roof what happens anyway under the same sky.
  • Secondly, we are convinced that there is only one humanity that prays, and only one Divinity that we pray to, whatever different opinions we may have about that one Divinity.
  • Thirdly, we recognise that inter faith partnership does not itself imply agreement.

The things we agree on are many, and precious. The things we disagree on are precious too. When we stand with a follower of another faith who is praying, whenever we can agree with the prayer, we give it our interior assent. Where we cannot agree, we withhold our interior assent. It is still good to stand with that person as a friend and as a partner for peace.