Walk for peace and harmony
DIFFERENT FAITHS IN MARCH ACROSS THE CITY
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