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On Saturday September 11th the Board of The Centre for Reconciliation met with the members of the Lincolnshire Faith Council at the University of Lincoln, Isaac Newton Building. They were joined by the Mayor of Lincoln and Cllr Chris Burke who is the Patron of TCfR. They came together to talk about the 20th Anniversary of 9.11, hearing people’s stories of where they were when they heard the news and especially hearing of the experiences of John Carter, the TCfR vice chair and LFC member, as he is American. Emotional stories were shared about 9.11 and the Covid pandemic, and how communities have been affected by Covid.  Looking at the positive aspects, we can certainly say it has brought the good out in people and communities came together to support their members. 

The Mayor said. ‘The date 11th September 2001, is ingrained in all our memories, in every town, in every city, in every country across the world. We were all shocked and horrified to the core to see the image flashing across our TV screens, showing the madness, mayhem, death and destruction that happened on that date. 2,977 lives lost across 60 nations. An even greater number of families were impacted, with the scale and mass of the number of people injured. We must pray for peace, reconciliation across all nations and faiths, a joining together in mutual friendship, respect our differences and unite in our common aim – to live, love and work together towards peace, good will and health equities across the global communities. Amen.

’ Barbara Butler, TCfR patron, could not be with us on Saturday but sent the following message, ‘The terrible events of 9.11 seem a long time ago now, but the nightmares they unleashed could be with the world forever. It is vital that we all remember what happened and continue to pray for the victims and their families. The way to reduce the fear arising from 9.11 and from other events down the years, including the explosion in the number of refugees from Afghanistan and other troubled countries, is to do what you are doing today. Meeting together on every possible level, has to be the main way forward for the growth of understanding and trust between the peoples of our world. May we all be committed to meeting each other across human barriers of faith, race… My hope is that our commitment will be strengthened to include courage to share our experiences of meeting with those who do not understand, and with those who can initiate meetings in a national and international level.

’ Dr Charles Shaw, current Chair of TCfR and Director of Lincolnshire Youth Association said many forget that disasters such as 9/11 demonstrate the need for reconciliation and understanding in a world that has not always got easier with differing and new methods of communication and which is still populated by miss-understanding and different views of society. 'The job of The Centre for Reconciliation is to find better ways of dispute resolution and promote understanding peace and mutual respect in the interests of all and particularly for the future of our young people. 

What came out of the day was that more occasions like this need to happen – people from different faith and cultural backgrounds coming together, sharing food, and talking. This will make Lincoln a better and more welcoming City.