A Woking man has been presented with a peace prize in recognition of his enabling of thought-provoking discussions in an interfaith environment.
Keith Scott received the 2016 Wilson-Hinkes Peace award at the end of the Week of Prayer for World peace. The award acknowledged his founding of the “Woking Debates”, where issues important to the local community and the wider world are discussed openly. Since 2013, the debates have tackled challenging topics such as “Is war justified?”; “Should the UK replace Trident?” and “Restorative Justice – does it work?”.
Keith, a Quaker, explained his vision at the ceremony: “Joyce Pearce said, ‘We do not accept that our world has to be one of suffering and strife, for we have seen the beauty and the unity that will transform our global home’. While this was said 50 years ago the words remain as relevant today. Let us incorporate that vision in our lives.”
The gatherings take place up to six times a year and are attended by between 30 and 80 people of varied cultures, from all faiths or none. Topics are introduced by a key speaker, and then are opened to the floor for comments, questions and debate.
Alongside the Woking Debates, Keith’s long-term commitment to his community has been demonstrated though other key roles. Over the years he has been Chair and Treasurer of The Woking Community Pay Association; Trustee of the Maybury Centre; Secretary to Woking MIND committee and he continues to be a member of Woking Action for Peace.
The Wilson-Hinkes Peace Award recognises significant contributions by individuals, organisations or projects in ‘furthering peace, justice and reconciliation’. Each year a different faith group sponsors the award; 2016 was the turn of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship.