Our Contributors

I am Nasim Azad and I have been living in Edinburgh for over 30 years. I am involved with many voluntary organisations including the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, who engage with different communities on a wide range of issues. I believe it is important to try to bring about a better understanding of different faiths and cultures in order that we can come together to create a better, safer and inclusive future for all.

Islam

Nasim Azad

(Sunni tradition,

Beyond the Veil Islamic Women’s Group, Co-convenor Edinburgh Interfaith Association)

I am Revd Ian Gilmour, a parish minister in Edinburgh for over 30 years. A married man, I have two daughters and three grandchildren. I am interested in the interplay between religions on the local and global stage. It is my belief that people of faith and goodwill can work respectfully in every situation to create harmony and peace for the long term. I am encouraged at this time, even though we have many obstacles to overcome. 

Christianity

Rev'd Ian Gilmour

(Protestant tradition, Church of Scotland, Minister of St Andrews & St Georges West, Church, Edinburgh)

I have been a member of Humanist Society Scotland for some years, supporting the Edinburgh Committee. I am also a school visitor and the national co-ordinator of our school visitors programme. Since April 2017 I have been a member of the HSS Board of Trustees. As well as supporting the school visitors programme, I believe there is a need to reach out to all belief groups and humanists (religious and non religious) who support the same common moral core as we do. Society and the world in general, needs a strong balancing influence to protect our future and that of our children.

Humanism

Ian Rodger

(Humanist Society Scotland,

Volunteer

Co-ordinator)

I am Dharmveer Singh, 35 years of age and born in Edinburgh where I live with my beautiful wife and 3 beautiful children. I am a Baptised Sikh (initiated into the Khalsa Panth) which means I follow the Sikh Scriptures (Guru Granth Sahib) and keep the discipline of the 5 k’s (Sikh Uniform). I love speaking about my experiences of being a Sikh in Schools, Churches and public events to help to install good morals within society. I live by the saying “live each day like it’s your last”.

Sikhism

Dharmveer Singh (Baptised Sikh,

Member of Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Edinburgh)

Judaism

Rabbi David Rose

(Rabbi at the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation,

Honorary President Edinburgh Interfaith Association )

I am Rabbi David Rose and I was born in New Zealand. I obtained Rabbinical Ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, where I lived for 10 years, before moving to Sweden where I helped to set up an educational project. I have been Rabbi in Edinburgh since May 2003. I represent the Jewish community in several civic forums and I am an honorary President of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association.

I am Imam Yahya Barry. I studied Islamic Theology for my BA before proceeding to do an MA in the Religious Roots of Europe. I picked up my interest in religious studies during the final year of college in London. I want to be a positive influence in how the Muslim world lives and is understood.

Islam

Imam Yahya Barry

(Sunni tradition,

Outreach Assistant, Alwaleed Centre, University of Edinburgh)

Ramanish Ravishankar

Hindusim

Ramanish Ravishankar (Hindu,

President Hindu Society at Edinburgh University)

Bryan Webb

Buddhism

Bryan Webb

(Zen Tradition,

Wild Geese Sangha,

St Marks Unitarian Church, Edinburgh)

My name is Ani Rinchen Khandro and I am a life ordained nun in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. I spent the first ten years of my ordained life at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery where I studied and practiced. I was also responsible for the publicity, public relations and fundraising for the Monastery and for the Holy Island Project for World Peace and Health. In 2003 I entered the traditional, long-term, closed retreat of three years, three months, three weeks in the women's retreat on Holy Island. In 2008 I was appointed to establish and run Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh, a Tibetan Buddhist Centre for World Peace and Health. We have an open door policy and serve, not only the Buddhist community, but the people of Edinburgh as a whole.

I am also the Honorary Buddhist Chaplain for the University of Edinburgh and a Buddhist representative for the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association.

Buddhism

Ani Rinchen Khandro (Tibetan Tradition, Ordained Buddhist nun, Kagyu Samye Ling,)

I am Ameed Versace and myy academic background is a Master's in Air Transport Management. I also attained a Comercial Pilots Licence.
I am a Professional Coach in Performance and Martial Skills.
I serve as Strategic Engagements Director at Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society (SABS).

Islam

Ameed Versace

(Shiah tradition,

Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society,

SABS Engagements Strategic Coordinator)

My Name is Bill Crook and I have been involved with the Zen Buddhist Community of Interbeing for some 30 years.

On the 8th April 2012 I was ordained by the Zen Master

Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist.

My interest in the development of Buddhism worldwide has taken me to some amazing places such as Japan, India and Tibet. My working life has been one of social engagement first with young people as a youth worker and then with communities as a Community Development Officer.

Buddhism

Bill Crook

(Ordained in the Zen tradition by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and member of the Wild Geese Sangha, St Marks Unitarian Church, Edinburgh)

Judaism

Clare Levy

(OrthodoxTradition, President Jewish Society at Edinburgh University, member of Edinburgh Hebrew Community)

My name is Clare Levy and I am a fourth year Religious Studies student.

I grew up just outside of Edinburgh and have always played an active role in the Jewish Community in Edinburgh. I first got involved with EIFA when I was sixteen through the filming of “Faith and I” and this summer I took on the role of Treasurer. While at university I have been involved in the running of a number of societies including Best Buddies (a Volunteering led social group for adults with learning disabilities) and the Jewish Society. This year I have undertaken the roles of Student Ambassador for the Council of Christians and Jews and the Edinburgh University Student Association’s Activity rep for Faith, Belief and Spiritual Development Societies.

I was born in Glasgow but have lived in Eaglesham most of my life. I went to St. Ninian's High School and began getting involved more deeply with my Faith when I was 18 years old at St. Bridget's Church in Eaglesham, and with the support of the school which encouraged me to undertake the Caritas Award in 2012. After leaving school I studied Physics and Astrophysics at Glasgow University, and at Hong Kong University for one year, graduating with a BSc in 2016. That same year I was involved as a delegate with the Diocesan Synod of Paisley, and began engaging with Interfaith Glasgow and Interfaith Scotland. My religious involvement kept widening. Now, I live in Paris and study the French language with a view to beginning studies in Theology and Philosophy after attaining fluency.

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Christianity

Anthony McIsaac

(Catholic Tradition,

BSc in Physics and Astrophysics, Diocesan Synod of Paisley)

I am Scott McKenna and I have been the Minister at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church since 2000.  I was ordained and inducted as Minister of Viewpark Parish Church in Uddingston, Lanarkshire. My theology is rational, progressive and pertinent to life in the 21st century and I have no hesitation in tackling controversial subjects. I am interested in mysticism, science and faith, Interfaith work, LGBT rights, assisted dying debate, and imagination and scripture.

I understand worship, both private and public, as a ‘thin place’ where we can encounter the Living God and I believe strongly that beauty in worship is vitally important.

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Christianity

Rev'd Scott McKenna

(Church of Scotland,

Minister at Mayfield Salisbury Parish in Edinburgh)

John Chan

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Bahá’í Faith

John Chan

(Member of the Local Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Edinburgh)

My name is Anthony Haynes and I hold a PhD in Christian ethics and practical theology from The University of Edinburgh. Between 2015 and 2017 I was a philosophy tutor at the university's School of Divinity and in 2016 I founded Clear Water Academy (一清社), providing private classes on Chinese and Japanese philosophy and religion in Edinburgh and online.

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Christianity

Anthony Hayners

(Catholic Tradition,

PhD in Christian Ethics and Practical Theology)