I have always believed in people of all faiths, colours and creeds living in harmony and back in 1964 I conceived the idea of having a world brotherhood concert to allow people of all faiths and not just Christian to offer items of worship in song or words - a service of Worship to show unity towards the ONE God
In 1973 I decided to hold another service, Local Councillor Mrs Theresa Russell attended in her capacity as a Jew. The local shop-keeper from Pakistan, who was an official in his own Church, represented his congregation. Frankie Burns, the famous broadcasting comedian, represented his Faith, the Roman Catholics. Jack Duncan of Hebburn represented the Orangemen, The Lord Mayor, and Ted Short M.P. graced us with their presence, and Sheila Giles, vocalist and a jazz band were the white representatives of a black jazz outfit!
When I saw and experienced the warmth of the fellowship of that Service - and the genuine feelings of goodwill as all worshipped the one Supreme Being - God, my whole concept of religion changed. There was only one God after all. Here we were with one accord, demonstrating that we had one common bond. Whilst religions fought, wounded and killed with intense hatred, we had found the answer to centuries of trouble. Under the banner of one God, we had united in love, brotherhood and sisterhood for an hour and a half.
When people placed too much emphasis on their religious mentors, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Popes and Prelates, hatred began to emerge for each other. When the spotlight was on one Supreme Being - a hitherto unheard of union began to take place. Theology divided – “One God” united.
In later years I became the only Minister in Britain to marry, in Church, people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds - to each other. After all, if the Law said they were free to marry, who was I to deny them their rights - and that included divorcees. I never got involved in anti-racism - or anti anything. I tried to demonstrate what I stood for and I knew that, one day, it would all come to be accepted as normal. I'd rather stand for something than against something. Being positive makes sense. Being negative is counter productive. Education is needed - as I learned, sadly, one day.
I was deeply honoured when a tree was planted in my name in the Royal Forest in Jerusalem by British Jewry for my work in promoting racial harmony.