Age: 34
Bradford, United Kingdom.
Second ICLS seminar: October 2002, Bradford

Bryony Taylor

At the time of the ICLS seminar I was just starting my career so didn’t have any clear cut goals, although I was involved in my local Church and Girl Guides Association. Ten years later I am now preparing to go and train to become a priest in the Church of England. I feel I am following my vocation, some of the seeds of which were sown when I was on the ICLS seminar.

Before I went on the seminar I had had a bad experience with an Imam and it had coloured my opinion of Muslim clerics. At the seminar I met Mahboob, an Imam in training and he was gentle, respectful and deeply spiritual. This really challenged me and helped me to realise that one shouldn’t tar everyone with the same brush and should take each person on their own merits.

There were some very difficult moments on the seminar but it was a safe environment. It made a very big difference that it was residential – we really got to know each other well. I was really interested to learn about conflict resolution in Lebanon and also conflict resolution techniques. The media training was also extremely useful and something that I have continued to use since I attended. I guess my leadership skills that were nurtured at the seminar have emerged more strongly in me. Following the seminar a group of us got involved in a project with the West Yorkshire police to run something similar to the ICLS seminar for teenagers in Bradford from different backgrounds. Seeing the impact of the experience we created in partnership with the police on this group of young people was really uplifting. This wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the ICLS - it gave us a passion to pass on what we had learnt to the next generation and I hope I can continue to do that in my future life and ministry as a priest.

 “The scheme should be a national event, rolled out in areas across the country.
A Participant”