Film ID:
YFA 3934

FAITH IN THE CITY: ACTS OF WORSHIP

2009

Visitor Tabs

Description

Faith in the City is a collection of seven films make through the Renaissance Partnership Initiative to create a contemporary filmed history representing and celebrating cultural diversity specifically focusing on five different faiths and their communities in Leeds. Made in collaboration with Leeds Museums, Mojo Media, and the Yorkshire Film Archive, Acts of Worship focuses on the way in which people practice their faith during festival time as well as within their daily lives.

'New Testament Church of God'

Inside the Pentecostal Church the congregation is singing a spiritual hymn, or gospel, clapping and dancing to the rhythm of the music. Someone plays the organ and others have microphones or are waving flags. The congregation is a mix of all age groups, and there is one elderly lady who is banging a tambourine. A young band made up of members playing drums, guitar and electric organ, play the music for the service. One of the younger members explains the meaning of religion in his life, especially its importance in bringing people together.

'United Hebrew Congregation Synagogue'

A small group of elderly members of the congregation have gathered together inside the Sukkah, or wooden hut, in the grounds of the Synagogue. It is the festival of Sukkot, the celebration of the tabernacle. The Rabbi Daniel Levi explains the meaning of the festival in relation to the years in the wilderness, the Babylonian exile. The discussion group begins by shaking the four species and reciting a prayer. The wooden hut symbolises the lack of permanent accommodation at that time, and the ceiling of the hut has items of fruit hanging from it. The ceremony is shown being performed.

A woman enters the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Sikh temple, a Gurdwara, in Leeds. At the top of the building it says, 'Ringtons Ltd.'. Inside three elders are worshipping. Harbans Singh Sagoo explains that every Gurdwara has a flag mast and flag, a Nishan Sahib, covered traditionally in an orange cloth. This signifies that this is a place where one can come for food and rest. The flag mast can be seen on top of the Gurdwara, whilst below a group of worshippers are chanting. He then explains the ritual of the flag post when twice a year the mast is taken down and re-covered. It is covered in yoghurt, dried, covered with a fresh orange cloth and re-raised with the flag. There is a round metallic figure with a point on top, and five elder members of the community are responsible for raising the pole. Other members of the community queue to walk past and stroke the flag mast.

The final scene features a Buddhist temple. It is just a nearly bare room where someone strikes a bowl which rings out. There are four people who recite a mantra. They stand with clasped hands in front of the Buddhist shrine which is lit with small lights. One of the Buddhists, Uddyotani, explains some of the meditations and how they work to help the individual to be aware of each moment, especially in using the breath. The group of Buddhists then sit or kneel in front of the shrine with a statue of the Buddha. Some of them close their eyes while meditating. She explains how the meditation makes one aware of one's emotions and allows for things in the mind to become clearer. It creates the conditions for insight to arise.

'Thanks to all the organisations and individuals that participated in this project'
'Thanks also to Leeds Faith Forum and Concord'
'Leeds City Council' Yorkshire Film Archive Renaissance' 'Yorkshire 2009' 'mojomedia'