Given Loreto College’s diverse nature, the theme of Interfaith was an appropriate choice for this year’s Respect Week, perfectly echoing the Mary Ward values of Internationality, Freedom, Sincerity and Justice.

The range of events on offer during the week, gave our students the chance to not only tackle challenging issues, but to celebrate and share their own faiths and cultures, while developing a greater understanding of the different groups within our college community. We also had guest speakers discussing the issue of cultural appropriation from contrasting perspectives, and visitors who explored the history of the Muslim community in Manchester.

As Respect Week coincided with Ramadan, the College had a wonderful opportunity to host its first Iftar, when Muslims break their fast at sundown. This was a joyous event (pictured), with nearly 100 students and staff taking part. The generosity of our students and their families was amazing; they brought so much food for everyone to share, that we were able to donate what was left to the local Kurdish Centre and Cornerstone charity.

Cultural Appreciation was the last event of the week, where students and staff cheered each other on as they paraded the campus in traditional clothes from Colombia to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Sudan, China, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Kurdistan, Iraq, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Bosnia, Kosovo and others countries. There were lots of traditional dancing going on too. It was such a beautiful embodiment of the Mary Ward values of Internationality and Joy, and a truly heartwarming to see the joy, pride and support the Loreto College community has for one another.