What is claimed to be the world’s first multi-faith facility is being planned, rather appropriately, on land owned by Cornwall Council in the grounds of Penmount Crematorium in Truro, Cornwall’s county town and home to Truro Cathedral.
The Dor Kemmyn Interfaith Centre, according to the Western Morning News, ’is hoped to serve (sic) the needs of all faith groups, including Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Jews, Muslims, Bahais and Christians’. Christians are always last on lists like that.
All that is needed now for the construction of the elliptical facility is a cool £750,000. In the meantime, there will be ’a contemporary circle of timber posts that maps out the geometry of the building’, which Cornwall Faith Forum, the charity behind the project (Charty number 1147514), are calling ‘Woodhenge’.
Despite such a nod towards paganism, real pagans appear unimpressed by Dor Kemmyn and the Cornwall Faith Forum, with one describing the latter as ‘just playing to the PC brigade.’
Matt Robinson, of Matt Robinson Architecture, is the building designer and a spokesman for the charity. He says ‘the build schedule (depends) on fundraising’.
He continued: “We are trying to do it for people who are curious about faith.
“They may want to find out about Islam or Buddhism so this will act as a library or a resource centre, which can also be used for funerals and weddings.”
So if you want some faith, you can pop along to the Dor Kemmyn centre and choose from those on display.
But all is not quite as Mr Robinson would make it appear. ‘Dor Kemmyn’ is Cornish for ‘Common Ground’, so this is a syncretisitc project in which all religions are basically the same, agreeing in essentials and disagreeing merely in peripheral matters. As they say:
‘The centre will take an inclusive rather than an exclusive approach and will be for the use of all those who can sign up to an agreed, shared set of common values rather than through any attempt to define or list individual “faiths or belief systems”.‘
The Dor Kemmyn website carries many quotes, and has a page on what it calls Cornwall’s ‘Spiritual Heritage’ on which we find that Cornwall’s ancient Buddhist heritage dates back as far as the 1970s and that there are no Hindu temples in Cornwall.
Nowhere on the Dor Kemmyn website do we find anything pressing the crown rights or the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And that is surprising, given that the contact for its parent charity, the Cornwall Faith Forum, according to the Charity Commission, is Rev Andrew Yates, of the Truro Diocese Board of Finance, and one of the trustees is the current Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, who is standing up for marriage. Dor Kemmyn itself is contacted via Diocesan House, Kenwyn, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1JQ where the contact is Rita Stephen, the Interfaith Development Worker, whose email is given as: [email protected]
Here is a quote, currently on the Dor Kemmyn ‘events’ page, from one Dhirasanta Das, a Hindu: ‘Interfaith centres can provide a space suitable for multi-religious education and its practices. This will help check the imbalance of values in life, achieve real unity within the community and peace throughout the world.’
No it won’t. The Bible says that peace is only found in the Lord Jesus, who said (John 14:27) ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’. The same Lord Jesus told us that there will be ‘wars and rumours of wars’.
The Dor Kemmyn website says: ‘Recent events in Cornwall including vandalism, graffiti etc have also indicated that a centre such as this is needed to help support the community in addressing potential conflict through dialogue rather than through violence’. ‘To help support the community’? What does that mean?
It might be argued that those committing acts of vandalism need to be brought before the courts, that the need for the Dor Kemmyn centre, and the interim ‘Woodhenge’, is just as alive as those going into the incinerators of the neighbouring Penmount Crematorium.
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