'Guardians of the Earth': Would you help keep the area around your place of worship clean?
PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:39 20 August 2018
Would you spend a few minutes after visiting your place of worship each week to take part in a communal clean-up of the surrounding streets?
Amid concerns of levels of fly-tipping and filth in the borough, some faith groups are rallying together to see what part they can play in tackling it.
Balfour Road Mosque, in Ilford, is planning to host a community clean-up after Khalid Sharif, one of their worshippers, polled members of facebook group IG-Soc: Connecting Muslims Redbridge Insha’Allah on their willingness to litter pick after Friday prayers.
He posted: “If your local mosque gave you gloves and bin bags would you volunteer 10 minutes after Jummah to clean up rubbish on the roads around the mosque?”
And fifty-seven out of 61 respondents so far have said yes.
Khalid, 44, said: “Imagine if you did that for all the faith communities in the borough.
“Just counting the three Abrahamic faiths you would have Friday, Saturday and Sunday covered.
“I can speak as a Muslim that we have got a huge responsibility as guardians of the earth.
“it is enshrined in our teaching and a core fundamental belief.”
He added: “A lot of places do great work but its all within their four walls.”
Khalid, who lives in Barkingside, also feels that the initiative doesn’t need to be limited to faith communities.
“After every full council meeting I would like to see all councillors, for five minutes, collect litter in Ilford.”
Bashir Patel, 48, one of the mosque’s trustees, confirmed the community clear-up will take place in coming days.
He said: “We are looking at doing something in the local area around the mosque to give back to the community to make it a nicer place to live in.”
Volunteer group Shah Satnam Ji Green “S” Welfare Force are also motivated by their faith to undertake regular litter picks in the borough in collaboration with Redbridge Council.
They are a subsidiary of international spiritual movement Dera Sacha Sauda with volunteers coming from as far as Birmingham to take part.
Last month, they cleared alleyways in Seven Kings and Ilford Lane.
The Recorder is asking readers of all faiths to see whether they too would take part in such an initiative or if they already are.
Let us know by voting in the poll or emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org