FIRST BRICKS FOR FAITH CENTRE
09:30 - 20 December 2003
Fourteen children will take part in an unusual foundation-laying ceremony at the University of Derby on Monday.
Just a few weeks after work started on building Derby's £2m Multi-Faith Centre on university land at Kedleston Road, they will gather to take part in laying a series of foundation bricks.
The centre will aim to promote understanding and mutual respect among different faith communities.
The 14 children have been chosen especially to represent various communities - Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh.
A plaque bearing the children's names will be unveiled by the centre's patron, Sir Harold Haywood, from Oakwood, and he will also present them with commemorative certificates.
They will be given a copy of Religions in the UK, a multi-faith directory by University of Derby professor, Paul Weller, for use in their schools.
The ceremony is to take place 12 years after the idea for the centre was first proposed and six years after the launch of a fund-raising campaign.
The building will have three congregation areas that will accommodate 200 people.
It is hoped that work will be completed by the end of July.
The Rt Rev Jonathan Bailey, Bishop of Derby, said: "The laying of the foundation stone brings together so much of the past endeavour and future possibilities."
Support for the project has come from all over the world, including expressions of support from the Dalai Lama and Prince Charles.
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