Last Wednesday, the 10th February, our friends at St John’s Church Southall received a visit from HRH The Prince of Wales. Prince Charles used his time in Southall to learn more about the church’s work to engage in interfaith work in this thriving multicultural area.
Accompanied by the Bishop of London and the Lord Lieutenant, the visit was aimed at demonstrating the harmony, social cohesion and strong relationships between the different faith groups in Southall and how St John’s Church and the King’s Centre have contributed to this. The event was also a chance to celebrate the brilliant projects that have arisen from interfaith collaboration in Southall and to invite local people in to learn more about these.
The visitors met with Southall Faiths Forum for a roundtable discussion, before meeting with local groups and hearing from two local school choirs.
The visit also showcased three groups who have run Near Neighbours funded projects in the past eighteen months. In attendance were A Rocha, a Christian environmental charity based in Southall, who we recently funded to run a series of workshops for local people of different faiths looking at caring for the environment; The Vibe Southall, a local youth organisation who we funded to run the United project, looking at Food, Faith and Football. And finally, the very successful Craft and conversation project, which brought together local women to create friendships and practise their language through crafts. The women presented the guests with handmade tote bags containing photobooks featuring local interfaith projects.
Our local coordinator Becky Brookman said "It’s so exciting for the church and community to host such an important visitor here in Southall! I’m delighted that HRH Prince Charles spent time with local groups to recognise the value of projects being funded through Near Neighbours and the work of St John’s Church and the Kings Centre, but also the positive and flourishing relationships between faith groups in Southall that have been built over the past years."
Author: Andrew Mathews
Date: 15 February 2016
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