April 21st 2012 saw Glastonbury reconnecting with its ancient spiritual past in a celebration of the many faiths, paths and beliefs upheld in this diverse and remarkable place.
Cllr. Bill Knight, Mayor of Glastonbury, worked with Morgana West to create an, they an event that underpinned the rising awareness of the diversity that lies within the town and demonstrated just how easy it is to acknowledge and support our differences without loosing our own individuality. So, while the Glastonbury Music Festival laid fallow, 2012 saw people from many faiths, paths and beliefs unite at Chalice Well Gardens to mark the significance of ‘Unity through Diversity’.
"We all have to live alongside one another no matter what our belief or faith. This was a day where everyone in the light of the Tor could feel at one. The key message of Glastonbury 2012, was one of Harmony and Healing. In this time of war, natural disasters and economic uncertainty, Glastonbury has become a haven of spiritual healing for thousands of people from all beliefs and faiths. Glastonbury is a Great Healer from a Physical and Spiritual point of view." - Bill Knight - Mayor of Glastonbury.
What did members of the community have to say about the day?
”A monumental achievement by anyone's standards and I think it showed that we don't have that many reasons to hate each other and a great deal of willingness to overcome our differences and work together.” Tim Hall.
“In many parts of the world people of different faiths tear each other apart with words & deeds. Glastonbury 2012 was a simple ceremony that celebrated the way those of diverse beliefs can live with respect for one another.” Revd Sister Diana Greenfield
It has been a glorious chapter in the history of the town and a wonderful statement of diversity and toleration for the world to reflect on. The ceremony, in which all faiths present made a commitment to diversity and tolerance, was very moving in its simplicity. I feel proud to live in Glastonbury and to have been part of the day's celebrations”
“I felt so humble. The amazing candle coming to my home! But that's what was so special, everyone felt as one; no individual or organisation more special than the other, all united in love. You could really feel the love & the excitement too; we knew it was something special. It felt such an honour to be part of the ceremony; it has made me fall in love with Glastonbury all over again.”
”The Unity gathering has unlocked greater things to come for Glastonbury with lots of potential to be developed. This is just the beginning.
“Our souls are all created from one original spiritual light. That spiritual Divine Light can't be blown out by the wind, like the candle light! We may all have different appearances , beliefs and practises, but if we see in each other the manifestation of the One Light, the world would inevitably be a harmonious, joyful & peaceful place.”
“Then there was of course the magic. The little things. Flames flickering and refusing to light, being relit from other flames in the circle, the sharing of fire between faiths and people from different traditions. But there was also the little robin who chose his moment to come and strut his stuff carefully, and the white doves circling above. The wind playing in the branches of the two yew trees where we stood, and the gentle sound of water which, every now and then, made itself heard above the sound of the ceremony and everything else. The sparks of friendships and new beginnings being lit, and all the unspoken things which happen at a community event which in turn changes the future for each and everyone touched by it.”