Don Foster MP


Don Foster pays tribute to Bath’s Bahá’í community at Day of the Covenant celebrations

November 29, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News, Speeches

In a speech marking the centenary of Abdu’l-Bahá’s (son of Baha’u'llah) visit to Britain in 1912, Don paid tribute to Bath’s Bahá’í faith community. Celebrating “The Day of the Covenant” in the Bahá’í calendar, this is a day of special significance when Baha’is all over the world celebrate the appointment of ‘Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of His Father, Baha’u’llah’s covenant.

“This evening we have marked together the centenary of Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to Britain for Christmas and New Year 1912.

I am very proud to say, it was Miss Ethel Rosenberg from my constituency of Bath who the first English woman to become a Bahá’ín and one of the founders of the faith in England back in 1899.

So to my mind Ethel is right alongside Ken Loach, Jane Austen and rugby football as essential parts of Britain’s national life where Bath has – and continues – to lead the way.

And I know from my experience of the community’s contribution in Bath, you continue to distinguish yourselves in the professions, the arts and particularly in the vital areas of education and conflict resolution.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the Year of Service programme.

When Abdul-Bahá came to Britain he gave public lectures across the country, including just around the corner from here at St John the Divine in Smith Square.

His important truth that all men should regard another as brothers, that we should pursue peace together and differences of race and division between religions must cease is as true today as it was then.

I want to take a moment for us to remember and reflect on those in Semnan and elsewhere in Iran who are suffering at this time.

In the words of Baha’u'llah: “These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease.

On this feast of Abdul-Bahá all people of good pray together: may the light prevail.

I look forward to meeting many more of you this evening and working together over the years to come.”




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