Archbishop visits Hindu Temple to learn about Near Neighbors programme
Thursday 7th June 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, visited Shri Vallabha Nidhi Hindu UK Temple in Leytonstone, north-east London to learn about the local projects taking place as part of the Near Neighbors programme.
Dr Williams was joined by Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to celebrate the work of the nationwide government-funded Near Neighbors Programme, which fosters links between different religions.
Following Morning Prayer at the nearby St Andrew’s Parish Church, members of the Parish walked with the Archbishop to the Hindu Temple, where local people explained their projects to the Archbishop and the Minister, giving a flavor of the valuable work being done with Near Neighbors grants.
One such scheme was a ‘Faithful Friendship club’, which has been established to encourage worshippers from both sites to learn more about each other’s cultures, food, music and beliefs.
In his speech which followed the presentations, the Archbishop expressed his joy that ‘so much is going on because of this programme’. “It’s what we’ve been hearing about in different ways and different voices and different registers throughout the wonderful series of presentations. You can see that mutual responsibility coming alive as the Secretary of State has said across generations; within generations; between different communities of faith. And I must say I have been amazed and delighted to see that in this relatively small space in East London, so much is going on because of this programme.”
The Archbishop highlighted the significant role of the local community in achieving the program’s success: “I am really delighted to see the resources of this programme being used so creatively; so joyfully and imaginatively. I’m very glad that we’ve had the support we’ve had from the DCLG.”
Near Neighbors Programme Director Liz Carnelley said: “It is great to see a Hindu Temple and an Anglican Church begin to work closely together, and to highlight the good work going on in local communities to improve neighborhoods.”Read More »