Sunday, 31 July 2011

Nomadic tent in the heart of the city

A spectacular Persian Nomadic Tent will be a centrepiece of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace in Edinburgh this month, flagging up the most ambitious programme in the Festival’s 11-year history.

There will be a preview of the Tent during a special media evening of entertainment on Wednesday 3 August, featuring highlights from Festival’s schedule of over 300 diverse events. Persian food and refreshments will be provided to showcase what it can offer to the public.

The Festival of Spirituality and Peace provides a mould-breaking alternative during Edinburgh’s hectic August programme. Seeking to ‘put the heart back into the festival season’, it brings East and West together to discover and celebrate both similarities and differences.

The preview will highlight what the Festival is describing as "a unique ethical ethos, international volunteer spirit, wide-ranging catalogue of events, and top-level performers." More here.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The anticipation builds

THIS year the Festival of Spirituality and Peace will be bigger than ever! From small beginnings in 2005, FoSP has grown to one of the highlights of the (ever-busy) Edinburgh festival calendar.

It will feature some 300 activities in 200 events across 15 venues between 6 - 29 August. There will be top-quality speakers, conversations, performances, film, food, exhibitions, family activities, workshops, art, culture and much more. The Festival is now in its eleventh year. Here are the full details...including a conveniently downloadable brochure (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat format).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Come to the Festival, help people in need

THROUGHOUT August, the Festival of Spirituality & Peace will be supporting the Blood Foundation in Thailand, the St Paul's Centre in Uganda.

This is how it works: a variety of surcharges and donations will contribute directly to these fine causes, and our own Volunteer Programme. It's as simple as that.

So come to as many events as you can and if you can only come to one or two events then buy a ticket for a family member, a friend or even a stranger. Every ticket you purchase also helps a person in great need.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Looking back to look forward

ACCORDING to one old saying, "There's no point in looking back. You have to look forward." But that assumes that what we build tomorrow will be unrelated to what we attempted before - and that's not true.

It depends how you look back, really. Wallowing in nostalgia may not help with the challenges of today. But a sense of history, of gratitude, of inspiration carried forward, of lessons learned, of friendships made, of wisdom stored, of possibilities nurtured, of gifts harvested, of decisions made and re-made? Those are surely forward-thinking positives.

There's an old Aboriginal tradition which says that you need to "back into the future", because while no-one can quite know what will happen next, you can gain a good sense of direction by looking at what has been shaping the journey so far.

Anyway, that's our excuse for a quick revisiting of the riches of the Festival of Spirituality & Peace in 2010, 2009 and 2008. Hopefully these will give a good flavour of what's in store for 2011: 'Faith, Hope and Reality'.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A Festival first look

THROUGHOUT the course of of Festival of Spirituality & Peace we intend to make short video clips, as well as photos, available.

Here's a little visual taster...

FoSP '11 First Look from The Festival of Spirituality and on Vimeo.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Faith, hope and reality

THE theme for the 2011 Festival of Spirituality & Peace is Faith, Hope and Reality.

In an often troubled world, how do we build up real trust (which is what the word 'faith' betokens)? Where are our sources and foundations of hope as people and communities? And how do we face the harsher realities of the world without being dragged down into despair? 

One answer is that can we learn together by responding positively to the spirit of change embodied in the 'Arab Spring' - and in many other movements for cultural renewal, social justice, bridge-building and peacemaking across the world.

This year's Festival - which runs from 6 - 29 August - will offer many glimpses of a 'new world coming': through a range of conversations with change-makers and opinion formers; in performance, art and music; and in events designed to bring children and families together across cultures.  There will also be special events, film, and talks and workshops.

We look forward to meeting you there...

Make a difference - volunteer

YOU can be a part of one of Edinburgh’s most exciting and dynamic Festivals, and help to make 2011 a year to remember.

Every year the Festival of Spirituality & Peace welcomes around thirty volunteers from a wide variety of faiths, cultures and backgrounds.

As a grassroots organisation, we are deeply committed to our volunteers and in 2010 we were awarded Investing in Volunteers status by Volunteer Development Scotland.

Join us for three weeks of excitement, dialogue and discovery. Be a part of one of Edinburgh’s fastest growing and most diverse festivals. And remember, all events are FREE for our volunteers.

If you want to get involved in this year’s Festival of Spirituality & Peace as a volunteer please visit the volunteering section of our website for more information. Or you can email Festival Coordinator Katherine Newbigging.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Scotland is positive

THOUGH the Festival of Spirituality & Peace kicks off fully on 6 August, one 'conversations' event has already taken place - a powerful and moving opportunity to hear and meet Canon Gideon Byamugisha, an Anglican priest from Uganda who has been openly speaking about living with HIV since 1992.

The African church leader has also been a long-standing, brave and outspoken critic of attempts to introduce a controversial anti-homosexuality law in his home country.

In 1992, Gideon became the first African religious leader openly to declare his HIV-positive status. He has since devoted his life to an AIDS ministry. This has taken him to over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of the world.

Hosted by David Johnson, director of Waverley Care, Scotland is positive was an opportunity to hear how personal experience can stand up to attitudes that stigmatise and discriminate against people living with HIV in Scotland and across the world. It was also a challenge to policy makers within the political arena.

Gideon Byamugisha is driven by a passion for the dignity and rights of all people, especially those marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against because of their HIV-positive status. He has played leading roles in the Church of Uganda's AIDS programme, the Uganda AIDS Commission, World Vision International, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, special conferences of the United Nations, ICMDA HIV initiative, and in founding the African Network of Religious Leaders living with or Affected by HIV and AIDS. There is now also an equivalent international network.

Twitter, Facebook and social networking

YOU can follow the Festival of Spirituality & Peace 2011 on Twitter and also on Facebook, as well as on this blog and at the home page. There's also a YouTube channel from last year, so that you can get a flavour of what's in store.

New to online social networking?  There's a brief introduction here. Technologically it may also seem bright, shiny and new. But it's actually something human beings have been involved in for a long time...

"What you think upon grows. Whatever you allow to occupy your mind you magnify in your life. Whether the subject of your thought be good or bad, the law works and the condition grows. Any subject that you keep out of your mind tends to diminish in your life, because what you do not use atrophies." - Emmet Fox, Make Your Life Worthwhile, 1942.

Spirituality and peace after 9/11

THE Festival of Spirituality and Peace, which runs this year in Edinburgh from 6 - 29 August 2011, seeks to reawaken the heart for people who, ten years after 9/11, want to work together for a peaceful future. 

In this short preview, the Festival's director, Donald Reid, introduces its main theme. Read the full article here.


THIS site is under development and is in the process of being launched. It will be providing news, updates, features and links related to this year's exciting Festival.

In the meantime, the full programme for the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality of Peace can be viewed and loaded at our official website, which is at:  Also, tickets are on sale at the hub here.