Clayhall Park vigil pays respect to terror attacks victims worldwide
PUBLISHED: 09:56 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:10 25 March 2019
More than 150 people gathered in Clayhall Park on Saturday, March 23, to pay their respects to the victims of terror attacks across the world, including the New Zealand mosque attack.
Residents of a variety of faiths, backgrounds and ages attended the vigil and were joined by community, faith and political representatives including the Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Debbie Kaur-Thiara, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, Cllr Linda Huggett and GLA Member Keith Prince.
Cllr Howard Berlin read out the lyrics to Bridge Over Troubled Water.
People held posters promoting the hashtag #TurnToLove and #RedbridgeRemembers and in an act of unity were invited to introduce themselves to each other whilst giving hugs and shaking hands.
Residents were invited to share their thoughts and sentiments of the recent terror attacks in both New Zealand and across the world. There was a long queue to sign the book of condolence set up at the Clayhall Tea and Ice Cream Parlour which will be presented to the New Zealand High Commission in the coming days.
Among the faith group leaders were Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin from the Chabad, Imam Khurram Rafiq from the Ilford Islamic Centre, Ravi Bhanot from the Ilford Hindu Centre as well as representatives of the Redbridge Faith Forum and the Roding Lane Free Church, who prayed and promoted their own messages of love and unity in such times.
Mr Bhanot, organiser of the vigil, said: “The terror attacks across the world in recent weeks have been devastating. Before we look at differences in other people, it is more important now than ever before to remember that we are all human beings first. Despite the tragedies, if any positivity can come from such events it is that it has the potential to bring over 150 residents to unite and stand in solidarity with the victims. We thank the police and all those that participated in the vigil.”