The Big Gathering

Many apologies - this event has been cancelled.

Senior Muslim and Christian clergy are preparing to come together in a special celebration to honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

An historic picnic and funday has been organized and it will be the first public gathering between the groups – which will include all denominations as well as community figures of no faith.

They will be joined by the so-called Vicar of Baghdad – Canon Andrew White,  a renowned Middle East peacemaker and former special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Revd Tom Hiney, North Kirklees Interfaith co-chair, said: “I worked in South Africa and we have something approaching apartheid happening in Dewsbury and Batley.
“There is growing segregation across the community's lines of division, growing misunderstanding, growing tension.
“This event is as much about bouncy castles, food-stalls and celebrating the Queen as it is about clergy and community leaders gathering under a tent in the middle of it, ” he added.

Moulana Mohammed Pandor, the General Secretary of Rabetah Al Ulama Al-Islamiyyah, Muslim Scholars Group, said: "This in part is about showing the youth the common love for Queen and Country. We want to show to everyone that Kirklees is united and show all our youth that we can all enjoy the Diamond Jubilee together and still maintain our uniqueness thus making British society richer."

The message is for everyone – faith or no faith – to bring a picnic rug, invite a neighbour or workmate and come and have fun.

Revd Hiney said: “Everyday I see decent, humble people from both sides of the divide sharing banter together and working in jobs alongside each other in good spirits. Well, let us meet up out-of-hours for once, and enjoy each other's company, and our common respect for the Queen.

“In an age of greed and corruption, she is a good leader, and we are all proud of her.  So spread the word, grab a rug and come and be part of history."

The Big Gathering will run in Wilton Park, Batley from 12 noon all afternoon on Sunday 8th July. It will be opened by the Mayor of Kirklees. 


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