Growing diversity of Redbridge heralded as faith festivals celebrated

Guests at a party held by Ilford Community Centre celebrated the various faith festivals – and also feted the growing diversity of Redbridge.

The party, held at the centre in Eton Road, Ilford, last week to mark Diwali, Eid, Chanukah and Christmas, heard from several guests including MPs Mike Gapes (Ilford South) and Lee Scott (Ilford North), and faith leaders.

Rabbi David Hulbert highlighted the results of the 2011 census, which revealed the Jewish community had decreased by 30 per cent to four per cent of the population. But he praised the way in which the various communities lived in harmony, a statement echoed by other speakers including the MPs and council leader Cllr Keith Prince.

Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the centre and the League of British Muslims, said Redbridge was a “beacon borough” to the rest of the country: “Faith has a major role in society to keep harmony. No prophet ever said ‘love thy neighbour, but only if he is a Christian, Jew or Muslim’.”

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