A  remembrance service was held for Her Majesty The Queen on Tuesday 13th September at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall on Mere Road, Leicester by the Leicester Council of Faith from 5.00-6.30 pm. The event was organised to bring together faith communities to remember our late Queen and stand together in grief and mourning. It was attended by over 25 faith leaders representatives most of whom had met The Queen during her many visits to the city of Leicester..

The Queen exemplified selfless service, dedication and devotion to her work and has played an important role in bringing people together.  Her life and her contribution was celebrated by lighting 96 candles and represented her work and impact over the 96 years of her life.  One minute silence was held to have time of reflection and prayer.

Speakers from the various Faiths paid their respects by sharing their memories and thoughts.  This included Bharti Acharya of Hindu Faith, Smita Shah of Jain Faith and life long member of LCOF, Leon Charikar of Jewish Faith, Yasmin Surti of Muslim Faith and Federation of Muslim Organisations, Minou Cortazzi of Bahai Faith, Kartar Singh Bring of Sikh Faith, Father Paskal Clement of Anglican Christian Faith, Father John Lally of Roman Catholic Faith and Bishops representative and Praful Thakkar of Hindu faith. Most of them said they will miss her warm hand shake and eye contact, the Christmas message, Royal Ascot and her presence with Royal family at Buckingham Palace on special occasions and we should learn as much as possible from The Queen.

Father John Lally, a founder member of Leicester Council of Faiths and parish priest for over 40 years was recognised for his contribution over several decades to the local community and inter faith work. A wise counsel who has been very welcoming to others and has given so much to his community and the wider faith community of the city. He will be dearly missed..  He was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and a gift for his retirement.

Head Chaplain of University Hospitals of Leicester Kartar Singh Bring commented that The Queen was a great believer of Faith and tackled the problems of this country and the world and by  working together.  He reminded everyone of the televised address Her Majesty The Queen gave after the outbreak of COVID-19 on 5th April 2020 “ While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.  This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.  We will succeed- and that success will belong to every one of us.  We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

Chairman of Leicester Council of Faiths Fayyaz Suleman said “ all faith communities have immense respect and fondness for our late Queen.  For many it was a sad and sombre occasion and many people were mourning together with the nation.  As a strong faith devotee she always advocated for other faiths to work together and learn from each other.  The event was held to remember her collectively and to stand together in mourning and reflect upon her remarkable values and selflessness.  The Queen will be dearly missed and we pray foe her solace and  for the whole of the Royal family and pray that her legacy lives on with our new monarch His Majesty King Charles.

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