Chaplains from five faiths bless start of Redbridge mayor’s year in office

The first civic service with a chaplain from each of the five main faiths in the borough was held on Sunday.

Representatives from the Christian, Muslin, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities each gave a reading at the service held to bless the start of the mayoral year.

It is the first time a multifaith chaplaincy was chosen.

Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Muhammed Javed said: “It was important to reflect the community in Redbridge and we need to be tolerant of one another which was the message of all of them.”

After the service a buffet was served and a raffle held to raise money for the mayor’s charity fund.

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Cllr Javed said: “Everyone had refreshments together to follow on from my vision of us all being together and we must be tolerant. It was successful as people were mixing.”

The five chaplains will each take in turns saying the prayers at the beginning of full council meetings.

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One of the chaplains chosen this year was Harmander Singh who gave a reading mentioning the importance of humility and goodwill in the council.

Mr Singh said: “I think it’s an excellent idea as it reflects the diversity of the society in Redbridge. Having got the Olympics on a ticket of diversity this is a shining example of it in action.”

Each of the chaplains were asked to give a reading around the theme of local leadership at the service held at the Ilford Islamic Community Centre, Albert Road.

Rabbi David Hulbert spoke of the importance of not treating those we are leading with contempt or for your own personal gain.

He said: “I’m deeply honoured and have the highest respect for this particular mayor who I have known for many years and the multifaith chaplaincy idea is original and brilliant.”

The other chaplains are Ghulam Sarwar Alam, Fr Stuart Halstead and Kharaiti Lal Sharma.

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