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Jun 23 2014

Harrow Mayor’s Civic Service

st_marys_church_2With the sun shining brightly, and church bells ringing, it was a warm and sunny day that brought residents, councillors, public officials, school children and residents together at St Mary’s Church at Harrow on the Hill on Sunday morning for the Mayor’s Civic Service. Regardless of your views on religion, the grounds of the Church are a fascinating place to walk around, particularly the northern slope of the hill towards Harrow, with it’s derelict and overgrown graves and headstones, adding to the character and history of the place.

This is an annual, multi-faith event, which sees the church filled during the short, 60-minute service, which on this occasion, was followed by a light reception hosted by the Headmaster of the School, Mr Jim Hawkins, which gave an excellent chance for people to mingle and to take in the views across London.

The service itself included a performance by the Welldon Park Junior School choir, which adds yet another prestigious location to a growing list that they’ve performed at, which includes the O2 and Harrow Arts Centre.

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Notably absent was part-timer Cllr Dave Perry…[/pullquote]As a highlight of the Mayoral calendar, you’d expect a good turnout from the political groups. Alas not. From the frantic notes I made, I counted 19 from the Conservative group (a 73% turnout), and just 15 from the Labour group (a 44% turnout). Notably absent was part-timer Cllr Dave Perry, leader of the Labour Group. Both independents (Bond and Weston) were there, but no sign of our single Liberal Democrat councillor. Bob Blackman MP made the time to attend, but we didn’t spot Gareth Thomas MP. It was, however, good to see a number of ex-councillors, including the lovely Nickolays, there.

Also present, Paul Najsarek, the Council’s Head of Paid Service, Borough Commander Simon Ovens, and a group of very charming gentlemen from the Royal British Legion, including the rider of the trike which we always see at Remembrance Day events in the borough.

Speeches afterwards were from Jim Hawkins, and, of course, Mayor Ajay Maru (who, I’m sure, managed to get the Headmaster’s wife’s name wrong in his speech).

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Images from @BobBlackmanMP and @adviceNorm

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Image from @iharrow

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1 comment

  1. sonoo malkani

    As usual,the annual Civic Service went off without a hitch.Deputy Lieutenant General John Purnell and his wife Margaret also attended this packed Sunday morning Service.Good of the Borough Commander to also be present,despite the long ride from Merton.lWe were fortunate to have a lovely,sunny day and enjoyed every moment.

    The singing from the Choir of Welldon Park Junior School touched our hearts,especially their lively actions as they sang “Lean on Me”..

    The Mayor’s Chaplain & Temple President of the iconic Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple.,Letchmore Heath,Hertsmere,is a highly respected and learned man.He gave a beautiful address,relevant to our local needs,and emphasised the crux of the messages from the Bhagwad Gita–the Holy Book of the Hindus–which help us steer a careful course through the troubled waters of everyday life to Life Eternal.

    His Grace,Strutidharmadas,spoke eloquently and gave valuable insights into the timeless teachings of the Bhagwad Gita, providing a moral compass and practical tips for all.Like the teachings from the Bible and other Holy Books ,the messages have universal appeal.

    After singing some inspiring hymns,we arrived at the latter part of the Service—-an ACT OF COMMITTMENT—led by members of the HARROW INTERFAITH COUNCIL representing the Bahai’,Buddhist,Christian,Hindu,Jain,Jewish,Muslim ,Sikh and Zoroastrian religions—re-iterating our committment TO WORK TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD,followed by an assurance from all present to commit to the commendable values expressed by the HARROW INTERFAITH COUNCIL ,”to help bring about a better world,now,and for generations to come.This is valuable ongoing work in the most religiously diverse borough in the UK.We aim to keep support ing our Police and other partners to keep our borough harmonious and spread the message of GOOD WILL TO ALL.This year will be the 30th year of Harrow Interfaith Council.Watch this space!

    Of course,the current troubles in Syria and Iraq plus the real threat of Terrorism were not far from our minds as we prayed for World Peace and wisdom for our political leaders to help manage and resolve such serious issues.

    Reverend Tim Gosden gave us a lovely message as always.The Service ended with the congregation singing the National Anthem and Rev Gosden giving us the Blessing.We must never forget how fortunate we are to have this century old Church at the top of the Hill welcoming every incoming Mayor and blessing the Councillors and community leaders,year on year.

    Nor can we forget the generosity,warmth and hospitality of Headmaster Jim Hawkins,his lovely wife Zoe, and his staff who arranged an open air reception which we all enjoyed enormously.Great opportunity to meet and greet many friends.

    Last but not least,a big thank you to the Mayor’s office staff,in particular,Rita Gresty,who helped organise this important annual event.

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