Prince Praises Interfaith Community Initiatives

|PIC1|Prince Charles has praised the work of faith communities and groups after a visit to various schemes set up to improve community relations in the Bedfordshire area.

The prince visited All Saints’ Church and Westbourne Mosque in Bedford as well as an all-faiths sports scheme for youngsters in Queen’s Park on Monday.

Prince Charles praised the ability of faith to unify people in an address to church leaders.

"You have set a wonderful example to this part of the world," he told those gathered.

He also pledged to do more to support the ground-breaking initiatives to build reconciliation between different faith communities.

Many of the community relations schemes are the result of efforts to collaborate and unite by members of the Sikh, Christian and Muslim communities in the area following the July 7 terrorist attacks.

Asif Nadim, of Westbourne Road Mosque, said the communities had managed to pull together and bring forward something positive, reports the BBC.

|AD|The Rev. Jay MacLeod of All Saints’ Church and interfaith adviser to the Bishop of St Albans praised the prince for his instinctive understanding of the work being done by the faith communities.

“He really understands in a way that sometimes government does not about how the faith communities can be a force for good and bring communities together," he said.

Karamat Hussain oversees 14 coaches who teach cricket to more than 140 children from all faith backgrounds.

He described the visit by the prince as “absolutely fantastic”.

“We are trying to build cohesion through sport - to use cricket as a tool to help the community to integrate a bit more and we want them to make friends," he said.
Prince Charles even partook in round of cricket himself during the visit.

Mr Hussain said: “He could do with a bit of coaching on his drive but he was absolutely fantastic. As a person he is absolutely superb."

The prince also visited the recently-opened Dallow Road community centre in Luton which provides members of the local ethnic communities with training and leisure opportunities.