Faith    3rd April 2024

Grand Iftar at Bristol Cathedral – Communities Share a Meal Together To Share Unity

Following last year’s inaugural event on College Green and building on the partnership started between Muslims4Bristol, Bristol Cathedral and Bridges for Communities. The Cathedral opens its doors to host this year’s Grand Iftar.

Grand Iftar at Bristol Cathedral – Communities Share a Meal Together To Share Unity

The Grand Iftar is an opportunity to celebrate Bristol’s diversity, with non-Muslims joining the breaking of the fast meal (iftar) and learning about the meaning and significance of Ramadan. This year, the unifying theme of the iftar events is ‘Peace and Hope’, giving people the opportunity to reflect on recent tragic events in the city and come together in solidarity and unity.

As the month of Ramadan enters its final weeks, two Grand Iftar events are again taking place in Bristol; the first took place on St Mark’s Road in Easton last Thursday, with a warm welcome from the Bangladesh Centre at the heart of St Marks Road and an attendance of 300 people. This marked a gradual rebuilding of this popular event from the 2019 pre-Covid event which witnessed record numbers of 6000 sharing the iftar meal (breaking their fast) together.

The second upcoming event will be held inside Bristol Cathedral on Thursday 4th of April. This follows the success of last year’s inaugural event on College Green, and builds on the partnership started then between Muslims4Bristol, Bristol Cathedral and Bridges for Communities. With Ramadan moving into the winter months and making outdoor events more difficult, the Cathedral has opened its doors and offered to host this year’s event.

We are delighted to be welcoming people from around Bristol, but especially our sisters and brothers from the Muslim community, to break the Ramadan fast together. I hope that this will truly be an opportunity for us to share our hopes for a more peaceful world.”

 – The Very Rev’d Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol

The Grand Iftar started in Bristol in 2017 shortly after the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The tragic events there led a group of Muslims in Bristol to create a way for the city to come together in a remarkable display of unity and compassion that has become a tradition during Ramadan ever since. The themes of previous Grand Iftars have included community cohesion, sustainability, women in Islam and sanctuary. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. For 30 days, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, drink and intimacy, devoting their time to prayer and reading the Quran.

Mohammed El Sharif, speaking on behalf of the organising committee said:

Muslims4Bristol and the diverse organising committee of Somali, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sudanese, Kurdish, Arab, Turkish, Afghan and Revert communities is pleased to partner with Bristol Cathedral and Bridges for Communities to organise this year’s event. The annual iconic Grand Iftar event is one of Bristol’s festivals of togetherness that brings our diverse communities together, and we are excited this year to be hosted by Bristol Cathedral.”

We’re excited to see faith communities coming together and working together in this new way. It’s vital in the multicultural and multifaith Bristol we live in that we find ways of living well together, and living well with difference. Sharing a meal together is a great starting point, and we’re looking forward to hearing all the conversations that take place and the new possibilities that emerge through this event.”

Dan Green – Bridges for Communities

The Grand Iftar at Bristol Cathedral takes place on Thursday 4 April from 6.45pm to 9.00pm. The event is free, fully accessible and open to everyone. There will be an array of speakers, a prayer which will take place on College Green, and a shared meal together. A variety of food will be served, including vegetarian options, desserts and tea and coffee.

Due to restrictions in numbers, people must register for the event using Eventbrite, to reserve a place. The event is fully booked, but you can join the waiting list and will be notified if more places open up:…/grand-iftar-at-bristol…

Tickets must be shown at the entrance to the event upon arrival. People can arrive from 6.30pm. The event is sponsored by Black2Nature, Feeding Bristol, St Peter’s Hospice, and other community organisations.

For further info, please email [email protected]

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