Hundreds of people mark Christmas, Chanukah and the Prophet's birthday at multi-faith events across Redbridge
PUBLISHED: 15:05 20 December 2018
Hundreds of people of all faiths are gathering across the borough to collectively mark Chanukah, Christmas and birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs were among the 200 people who gathered at Ilford Muslim Community Centre, Eton Road, to share food and wisdom in support of community cohesion on Thursday (December 13).
Among the guests were also members of the armed forces, the Royal Air Force as well as dignatries from the Pakistan High Commission and Israeli Embassy.
Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims, was the event’s key organiser.
“It was quite wonderful,” he said.
“Redbridge is one of the most diverse boroughs and yet it has managed to be one of the most integrated and cohesive in the country.”
He added: “My purpose for holding this event, celebrating all the religious festivals, was to ensure that there is community cohesion and an opportunity for people from different faiths to meet, network and share food.
“It was a hugely successful event, one that demonstrates that there is a need for more events of this nature.”
He urged the council and government to devote more funding to organisations like his to enable them to host more similar events.
The League of British Muslims’ events run solely on the support of people in the community at present, he said.
“It was packed out and very successful,” said Rabbi David Hulbert, of the East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue in South Woodford.
During the course of the evening, Rabbi Hulbert took to the stage to light the candles of the Chanukah Menorah while reciting a prayer in Hebrew.
The East London Three Faiths forum held an interfaith event to mark the three winter festivals of the Abrahamic religions on Tuesday night (December 18) at Clore Tikva Primary School, in Fullwell Avenue Barkingside.
“It was very good,” Rabbi Hulbert, who is also one of the forum’s founders. added.
“The best thing was the Clore Tikva choir.”
Around 60 people joined the party which featured a “lovely” vocal solo by a “very brave” eight-year-old girl, he added.