Padiham Unitarian Chapel received a Community Award for its Inter-Faith work from (the interfaith group) Building Bridges in Burnley at a ceremony at St Peter’s Church, Burnley, on Sunday 10th July – as did Sufi Muslims from the Free Spiritual Centre in Nelson.   

The awards cited the joint Nativity Service held at Padiham Unitarian Chapel with the Sufis last December (2015).   Collecting the awards – which were presented by the Bishop of Burnley – were Rev Jim Corrigall of Padiham Unitarian Chapel and Arif Khan of the Free Spiritual Centre.


Readers and lecturers at the WB Yeats Festival at Padiham, (from left): David Rushton, Theresa Sowerby, Jim Corrigall and Gillian Peel

The WB Yeats ‘Festival of the North’ – held at Padiham Unitarian Chapel in June – ended on a high note, with praise for the ‘excellence’ of the lectures and readings throughout. 

The poetry festival took place on the first three Saturday evenings of June, with lectures, readings, music, slides and drama.   Each evening drew an enthusiastic audience of around 35 people.   

Joint Congregation
View from the back of Padiham Unitarian Chapel, showing the large crowd present, as well as the lighted Christmas trees (from many local organisations).

A joint Nativity service celebrating both Christian and Muslim traditions attracted more than 150 people to Padiham Unitarian Chapel on Sunday 20th December 2015.    The joint service won high praise from attenders; comments afterwards included: ‘a truly remarkable service’, ‘a joyful sharing of faith’ and ‘a great event which inspired friendship, love and respect among those who attended’. 


Shaykh Mehmet addresses the large audience

A visit by a worldwide Sufi leader, Shaykh Mehmet Adil, to our Unitarian Chapel in Padiham, Lancashire, on Friday evening, 11th March 2016, attracted a crowd of 250 people of different faiths, but overwhelmingly Sufi Muslim. 

In his talk, Shaykh Mehmet paid tribute to the Unitarian community in Padiham for its role in promoting inter-faith understanding.    He said the growing relationship between the Chapel and local Sufis of the Free Spiritual Centre in Nelson, was an example of how trust and unity could be built between faiths.