Walk for peace and har­mony

DIF­FER­ENT FAITHS IN MARCH ACROSS THE CITY

Sunday Sun - - News - By Lisa Hutchin­son lisa.hutchin­son@reach­plc.com

Re­porter IT was smiles all round yes­ter­day when hun­dreds from across the North marched as one to pro­mote racial and cul­tural har­mony.

The New­cas­tle Coun­cil of Faiths’ An­nual Walk for Peace took place on Satur­day, leav­ing the Hindu Tem­ple on West Road at 10am.

Marchers snaked their way to the Church of Ven­er­a­ble Bede to learn more about Christianity be­fore walk­ing to the Cen­tral Mosque for prayer and lis­ten­ing to a short talk about the Mus­lim Faith.

Scores in at­ten­dance then stopped off for Jewish prayer at the site of the first Syn­a­gogue in the city.

They then ended at the Sikh Gur­d­wara to learn more about the Sikh faith be­fore fin­ish­ing at 12.45pm.

Young and old were among those in at­ten­dance at the Coun­cil of Faith’s yearly call for peace.

Faith lead­ers, dig­ni­taries, as well as Northum­bria Po­lice rep­re­sen­ta­tives and oth­ers, all joined in.

And Dr Hari Shukla, for­mer di­rec­tor of Tyne and Wear Racial Equal­ity Coun­cil and Vice Chair of the New­cas- tle Coun­cil of Faiths, was de­lighted to join the march.

“At the end ev­ery­one who has been on the march has lunch to­gether,” said Dr Shukla. “The march is not only for peo­ple who have a faith but also for those who don’t have a faith but are part of the com­mu­nity.

“We have an ex­tremely good rela- tion­ship with or­gan­i­sa­tions and all re­li­gions in the area, we all re­spect each other’s val­ues.

“In our area we have peace and har­mony and pro­mote diver­sity, we value peo­ple and want to demon­strate this.

“It is pos­si­ble to have a multi-racial so­ci­ety and to help one an­other. We work hand in hand from dif­fer­ent back­grounds and each other.

“We have been work­ing for the last 44 years for this. We have trained the sec­ond and third gen­er­a­tions what their par­ents had started. This area is a happy com­mu­nity and has no ten­sion and we are very proud of that. This is an op­por­tu­nity to thank all our friends cul­tures, help­ing who have helped through­out the year.”

Chief In­spec­tor Karl Wil­son, of Northum­bria Po­lice, said: “I was de­lighted to take part in this year’s An­nual Walk for Peace which saw peo­ple come to­gether to pro­mote racial and cul­tural har­mony on the streets of New­cas­tle.

“We live in an in­creas­ingly di­verse so­ci­ety and it is im­por­tant we con­nect with and un­der­stand the needs of all the com­mu­ni­ties we serve.

“The most ef­fec­tive po­lice force is one that can help, un­der­stand and re­flect ev­ery­body in our com­mu­ni­ties, what­ever age, gen­der, faith, eth­nic­ity or sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

“New­cas­tle is a very wel­com­ing, friendly city which em­braces peo­ple of all faiths and cul­tures. It’s a priv­i­lege to at­tend this week­end’s event.”

Coun Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader at New­cas­tle City Coun­cil, said: “The an­nual Peace Walk has once again brought to­gether peo­ple of dif­fer­ent faiths and re­li­gion from across our city.

“New­cas­tle is a wel­com­ing city with a rich cul­tural diver­sity and it’s won­der­ful to see peo­ple from all sec­tions of our com­mu­nity walk along­side each other in cel­e­bra­tion of friend­ship, har­mony and peace.”

The City for Peace Walk

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