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£100K to tackle Hajj pilgrimage cowboy travel agents

Birmingham City Council has been awarded £100,000 to help them become the UK's national lead tackling cowboy travel agents taking advantage of Muslims doing the Hajj pilgrimage.

The government wants them to replicate their success in other cities with high Muslim populations, to combat what is often a significantly under-reported crime.

Thousands of Muslims across the world flock to Mecca, where the most sacred sites in Islam exist, to perfom their Hajj pilgrimage. Credit: PA

The largest gathering of Muslims in the world each year, Hajj is a pilgrimage that all adult Muslims are required to make at least once in their lives, if they are physically and financially able to do so.

Tens of thousands of British Muslims will have booked trips to Saudi Arabia in October to make the pilgrimage.

However, some of these will unfortunately find that the once-in-a-lifetime trips they have booked will not live up to expectations - either due to sub-standard hotels and travel arrangements or the flights, accommodation and visas they paid for turning out not to exist.

Senior priests to lead King Richard III reburial services

It's been announced that two of the most senior priests in the Anglican and Catholic churches will be taking part in the services to mark the reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral.

The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nicols, will be involved in a week of events happening in March next year.

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Reinterment of King Richard III services announced

Richard III's skeleton in-situ during the excavation of the Greyfriar's car park Credit: University of Leicester

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury will both be taking part in services in Leicester Cathedral to mark the reinterment of King Richard III, it has been announced.

This means the most senior clergy of both the Church of England and the Catholic Church in the country will be present as the former monarch is laid to rest during a week of events from 22nd - 28th March next year.

Since the discovery of the body of Richard III in 2012, the Anglican Diocese of Leicester and the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham have worked closely to ensure that his reinterment in Leicester Cathedral, the mediaeval parish church of Leicester, will be celebrated with dignity and prayer.

Following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the body of Richard III was buried near the altar of the Greyfriars' church in Leicester.

Although the church was destroyed during the Reformation, the last Plantagenet Monarch lay there in peace until the excavations that led to the exhumation of his body in 2012.

Thousands expected at Eid Mela in Birmingham

Crowds at last year's Eid Mela in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

Thousands of people are expected to celebrate the diversity of the Muslim Community in Birmingham today at the city's Cannon Hill Park.

The Birmingham event is now in its 14th year, and this year there will be funfair rides, a sports area hosting a Kabbadi and Stone lifting, a bazaar with clothing, jewellery, music and craft stalls and a whole host of catering units selling traditional Asian food.

The event marks the end of the Muslim period of fasting, and will open with traditional readings from the Quran.

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"Muslim Glastonbury" brings thousands to Lincolnshire Showground

Thousands of people from around the country have gathered at the Lincolnshire Showground for what's been dubbed the "muslim Glastonbury." The Living Islam Festival is a mass celebration of Eid which was marked by muslims this week at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Five thousand people are expected at the festival over the weekend discussing everything from extremism to religion as well as celebrating Islamic music and food.