Time to come together as Redbridge faith groups end year with celebrations
Special fundraising efforts, concerts and general merriment have concluded a busy year for residents of all faiths who have come together to celebrate the holidays.
The Sacraments Church, High Road, Ilford hosted a special carol concert and free dinner party for residents, particularly aimed at those in the community who might feel lonely this Christmas.
Organised by The Sacraments Church Community Service group, who help raise money for those who have a dependency on drugs and alcohol, the event was held at the Ilford Catholic Club, also in High Road on Friday.
Pastor David Sadiq, who helped organise the event, said: “We wanted to reach out to people and tell them about the schemes we run while offering support to those who might be alone at this time of year.
“There was carol singing, prayers and some warm food. Our priority was to make everyone feel at home.”
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Members of Ilford, Gants Hill and Goodmayes methodist churches, The Vine United Reform Church, Riches Road, Ilford and St Luke’s Parish Church, Baxter Road, Ilford joined forces last week to sing carols to shoppers at Sainsbury’s, Tanners Lane, Barkingside.
While delighting shoppers, the group managed to raise �150 for the Redbridge Assessment Centre – formerly known as the night shelter – in York Road, Ilford.
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A giant Menorah, the Jewish symbol of light, was lit in Gants Hill to celebrate Chanukah earlier this month in front of a large crowd.
A ceremony was held to mark the event which included a speech by Cllr Keith Prince, and fire jugglers were also on hand to entertain the crowds.
Bet Tikvah Synagogue, Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park also marked the eighth day of Chanukah by bringing families together to make traditional latkes (potato pancakes) and learn circus skills.
About 50 adults and children joined in, and sang all the Chanukah songs led by Rabbi David Hulbert.
Finally, Ashurst Drive Baptist Church, Ashurst Drive, Gants Hill, hosted a Christmas Messy Club earlier this month giving visitors a chance to star in their own nativity scene. Cllr Keith Prince and Cllr Tania Solomon were eager to join in the fun and dressed up for the occasion.
The idea, launched as a national scheme, was to give families an opportunity to become one of the characters in the traditional Christmas story.
The next Messy Club will be on January 5. All are welcome.