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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The Queen and other members of the Royal Family mark Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey, but on Sunday, for the first time ever, Havering hosted its own celebration.
The event, part of the UK’s largest inter-faith gathering, was held at St Alban Protomartyr Church in Kings Road, Romford, with more than 160 guests from different Commonwealth nations in attendance.
Among them were high commissioners from commonwealth nations Bangladesh, Barbados, Sierra Leone and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
They were joined by representatives from Grenada and Nigeria for the two-hour service, hosted by Frances Bardsley School for Girls, in Brentwood Road, and the Romford Conservative Commonwealth Association.
The school’s 40-strong gospel choir and chamber singers from the sixth form performed at what was labelled a “historic occasion” by the vicar of St Alban’s, Father Roderick Hingley.
“It was marvellous,” he added, “The gospel choir were very good, very strong, and the chamber singers were a lot quieter but equally as good.”
Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations held on the second Monday in March, and marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster, where the Queen delivers an address which is broadcast throughout the world.
Gloria Adagaban, chairman of the Tory association, said: “It was a historic service and reception marking this year’s Commonwealth Day and as chairman it was huge honour to see many remarkable people, who are passionate about the Commonwealth democratic ideals anchored on justice and fairness.
Romford Tory MP Andrew Rosindell spoke about his belief that all those of Commonwealth ancestry, irrespective of political affiliation should stand together as part of a great family of nations and territories.
He told the Recorder: “It was a tremendous occasion, there was no room in the church.”
To see more photos from the service, click the link on the right.