Unite in Light brings Southend’s diverse faith groups together

A multi-faith event took place over the weekend (Sunday 20 February) as part of a series of ongoing Southend City status events.

attendees seated at Unite in Light

The “Unite in Light” event, which is a celebration of hope and light for our City year, saw people gather from Southend’s diverse faith communities at the Maritime Room, Cliffs Pavilion, to share their hopes for the City of Southend and explore what light symbolises in their faith. The event is supported by Southend.City, Citizens Essex and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Speakers at the event included members from:

  • St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Eastwood
  • Church of England churches in Southend
  • Southend Mosque
  • Southend Christian Fellowship
  • Orthodox Chassidic community
  • Church From Scratch
  • Essex Asian Women's Association
  • Street Pastors
  • The Seekers at Avenue Baptist Church
  • Southend Sikh Community
  • St Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church
  • St John’s Anglican Church
  • Southend Salvation Army
  • Leigh Quakers
  • Southend & District Reform Synagogue
  • Hindu Association
  • St Vincent's Centre Southend-on-Sea
  • Closed by : Belfairs Methodist Church

Guest were also entertained by the Fishermen’s Chapel Choir.

Juliet Kilpin, Senior Organiser, Citizens Essex, said: “Unite in Light was a truly memorable event that showed there is much more that unites us than divides us. A wonderful celebration of the people of Southend and their desire to walk together in light.”

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said: “It was great to see such a diverse representation of Southend’s faith community at the Unite in Light event. Sir David Amess had a vision of hope and light for Southend and this event is a true reflection of people coming together to make this happen. As one of many events lined up as we embrace City status, I am looking forward to seeing what this year will bring us as a community.”

The Worshipful The Mayor, Cllr Margaret Borton, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Unite in Light event, which brought together people from all different cultural and religious backgrounds to share their hopes for what is a monumental year for our new City.”

Anna Firth, MP for Southend West, said: “Unite in Light was an inspirational afternoon which saw over 25 different faith groups coming together to celebrate the launch of City week and the life of Sir David Amess. Wonderful tributes were read out and there was huge enthusiasm for this to become an annual celebration of the founding of Southend City. As we look forward to formal City status arriving on 1 March, now is the time for us to embrace Southend as a City. The City of Southend will always stand as a beacon of light in its inclusivity and vision for the future”.

Published: 22nd February 2022

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