Interfaith garden party in East Ham marks Eid with celebration of diversity

Transform Newham invited families to the East Ham community garden for an interfaith celebration to

Transform Newham invited families to the East Ham community garden for an interfaith celebration to mark Eid al-Fitr Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association - Credit: Archant

An interfaith garden party promoted values of tolerance in defiance of terror as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

Imam Sethi joined people from Newham in an Eid al-Fitr celebration to promote community cohesion Pic

Imam Sethi joined people from Newham in an Eid al-Fitr celebration to promote community cohesion Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association - Credit: Archant

More than 200 people from Newham came to East Ham’s Grow Together Be Together Community Garden in Vicarage Lane for a family festival of food, henna, face-painting, craft to mark the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.

Al Madinah Institute director Imam Sannullah Sethi said it was important that the community comes together regardless of religion in an age when terror is so prevalent in London.

“In these dark days where people live in fear of terror, extremism and hate crime, it is vital that we have events where people can come together in the spirit of harmony and love,” he said. “Through these hard times, we need to support each other and work together across faith boundaries to bring about unity and peace in our neighbourhood.”

Transform Newham funded the party, with community garden volunteers serving food and overseeing the family activities on offer.


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Pastor Dave Mann of Bonny Downs Baptist Church in Vicarage Lane joined followers of different faiths at the garden party, which he said offered an opportunity to celebrate diversity.

“These interfaith events are a brilliant opportunity to break down barriers, bring people together and build a stronger community,” he said. “We love celebrating the rich diversity of our borough and it’s been a pleasure to get to know our Muslim neighbours today and share food and have fun with each other.”

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The management of the garden is overseen by the Bonny Downs Community Association, which is also based in Vicarage Lane.

The garden’s outreach work includes offering free community gardening workshops, which run from 10am to 1pm on Wednesdays and from 1pm to 3pm on Saturdays.

The workshops offer the chance to learn how to grow your own fruit and vegetables but focus on connecting people across faith and other divides “from all walks of life” to transform Newham.

A spokeswoman for Bonny Downs Community Association said anybody is welcome to try out the workshops.

“No previous gardening experience is required and everyone is welcome to come and work together to change lives and transform our community,” she said.

Visit bonnydowns.org/food for details.

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