Local MP hails Mill Hill East faith communities and their efforts to promote dialogue
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Wednesday 1st August 2018

Local MP Dr Matthew Offord has praised Mill Hill East Jewish Community and Mill Hill East Church for their efforts in promoting interfaith dialogue in the local area. Dr Offord was speaking following his attendance at an interfaith community fun day organised by the two local communities, which attracted over 130 people.

The event, supported by Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN), featured all the fun of a summer fair, including a bouncy castle and a children’s entertainer. It carried an important message that the local community is stronger when different faith groups work together to promote discourse and understanding. This message was most prominent in the creation of an interfaith mosaic mural – a Tree of Life - with the symbols of major faiths woven into its roots. As part of the day, the communities involved also planted three fruit trees to symbolise the growth of understanding in the local area.

Speaking at the interfaith event, Dr Matthew Offord, Pastor Joshua of Mill Hill East church and Rabbi Bentzi of Mill Hill East Jewish Community shared some thought provoking words of prayer and wisdom about the importance of collaboration between the local communities. While, Mill Hill East Church has been a fixture on the local landscape for over 50 years, the local Jewish community was only established in 2016 but has quickly grown to offer regular services, social action initiatives, and educational events.

Rabbi Bentzi has also recently joined Mill Hill East Jewish Community, leading the growth of the newly formed local community on Shabbatot and one evening per week. The two communities have vowed to continue their dialogue and cooperation, including plans to establish a community garden in the area.

Speaking after the event, Dr Offord commented: “As MP for these local faith communities, I’m delighted to support their efforts to engage in dialogue and build understanding across Mill Hill East. Today was a wonderful chance for local groups to create links and strengthen the wider community. I applaud Mill Hill East Jewish Community and Mill Hill East Church for putting on such a tremendous event.”

Pastor Joshua Kane, Pastor of Mill Hill East Church, said: “Our Church already functions as a community hub in Mill Hill East, and so it is an absolute pleasure to see other faith groups, and those of no faith at all, come together to promote our shared values. I hope that today’s event is just the beginning of interfaith cooperation in Mill Hill East.” Jamie Slavin, a member of Mill Hill East Jewish Community added:“We may only be a couple of years old, but Mill Hill East’s new Jewish community is determined to contribute to the wider local community, as well as grow and flourish ourselves. Today’s event was an opportunity to build bridges with other local faith groups, and we look forward to continuing to create those links in the coming years.”