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Parade in Gravesend to mark Sikh festival of Vaisakhi

The parade follows a route through the town centre

A parade has taken place through the streets of Gravesend to mark the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi. The annual event followed prayers at the Gravesend Gurdwara temple, and speeches.

All members of the local community have been invited to join the celebrations.

The procession is called the Nagar Kirtan procession

"On behalf of the Management Committee I would like to invite all the residents of Gravesham to come and attend the festivities which will be taking place at the Gurdwara and in the Town Centre.

"The Sikh community has a long and proud history here in Gravesham and we appreciate the support of all our partners and the local community in making Vaisakhi such a colorful spectacle."

– Davinder Singh Bains , President of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara

Worshippers arrive to celebrate Sikh festival of Vaisakhi

People arriving at Gurdwara in Gravesend Credit: Andy Dickenson

The Sikh community in Gravesend have been arriving at the Gurdwara temple in Gravesham ahead of celebrations to mark their holy festival of Vaisakhi. Hundreds of people will parade through the streets.

Vaisakhi originates from the harvest festival in the Punjab region of India. It also marks establishment of the Sikh community - known as the Khalsa.

The temple is at the centre of today's celebrations
New arrivals ahead of Vaisakhi celebrations

Archbishop of Canterbury praised for his response to father revelations

The Archbishop has been praised by faith leaders Credit: PA

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been praised by faith leaders for the way he revealed that his biological father was not the man he first thought.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, who believed his father was Gavin Welby, said on Friday it was "a complete surprise" to find through DNA evidence that his father is the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne - Sir Winston Churchill's last private secretary.

In a statement he said: "I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes."

The Daily Telegraph revealed the story on Saturday Credit: Daily Telegraph

His mother, Lady Williams of Elvel, 86, described the revelation as "an almost unbelievable shock", but added she recalls going to bed with Sir Anthony "fuelled by a large amount of alcohol on both sides".

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and the UK's most senior Catholic cleric, tweeted that he was praying for the Archbishop and his mother and said: "Our life in Christ matters most of all."

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, told BBC Radio 5 live that the Archbishop took the DNA test thinking it would be disproved, and commended his "maturity".

Justin Welby said his childhood was 'messy' because of his parents drinking problems. Credit: PA

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, from Maidenhead Synagogue, told the Sunday Telegraph that the Archbishop had set a "good example" of how to deal with unexpected news.

He said: "The news does not affect his personal identity in any way - he is who he has become - nor does it lessen his authority as Archbishop."

The Archbishop with his wife Caroline Credit: PA

The Archbishop had discovered the news himself while visiting a playgroup in Sittingbourne, Kent, on the Wednesday before Easter.

On Thursday - a day before the news was announced - he met 50 young Anglicans from across southern Africa to discuss the environment and discipleship, and told them: "We need to be a church where I am who I am because I am in Jesus Christ.

"That's the only thing that gives me identity and you will see why I am saying that in a couple of days' time."

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Queen and Royal family attend Easter service

The Queen wore a lemon yellow outfit with blue flowers Credit: PA

The Queen and members of the Royal family have attended an Easter service at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

Credit: PA

Wearing a lemon yellow coat and matching hat, she was joined by her husband Prince Phillip and her children Prince Edward, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice Credit: PA

Also attending the traditional service was Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, as well Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the wife of Prince Edward.

Sophie the Countess of Wessex Credit: PA

Archbishop of Canterbury urges Christians to be Witnesses to Hope

Credit: PA

The Archbishop of Canterbury warned people not to succumb to fear caused by the Belgian terrorist attacks, which is a sign of a "world at war with itself, of faiths at each other's throats".

The Most Rev Justin Welby told his Easter Sunday sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, that although the world is shocked by the week's events, Easter is a chance to trust in God.

Credit: PA

He said: "In the shadow of Brussels, with the memory of Srebrenica, hope can seem far far away.

People here will feel hope has faded because of illness, bereavement, unemployment, money worries, family breakdown.

When hope fails, fear draws close, and whispers sly deceits in our minds.

"On Easter Day hope decisively overcame fear and Christians are called to be witnesses to the hope that is found only in Jesus Christ."

Credit: PA

He continued: "Fear is reasonable, a normal human reaction.

This week has shocked all of us, and risks causing us to act fearfully, to see a world in which fear triumphs.

Easter proclaims to us in flesh and blood that fear and death and terror are not the last words.

God has spoken life, hope and purpose.

Archbishop of Canterbury urges flock not to succumb to fear

The Most Rev Justin Welby at Easter Eve service Credit: PA

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to warn people not to succumb to fear caused by the Belgian terrorist attacks, which he will say are a sign of a "world at war with itself, of faiths at each other's throats".

The Most Rev Justin Welby is expected to say in his Easter Sunday sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, that although the world is shocked by the week's events, Easter is a chance to trust in God who provides "life, hope and purpose".

He is expected to say: "In the shadow of this week's darkness, hope can seem far far away. And fear can feel so close.

"In much of life fear is a valid and reasonable emotion, but hope always overcomes fear. We fear what we do not know, do not understand or cannot control. But on Easter Day we remember that Jesus Christ overcame death so that the end of all things is known.

"Jesus Christ revealed the truth so that one day everyone will live in truth. Jesus Christ put all things into the hand of God so that nothing is beyond God's control.

"In short, on Easter Day, hope decisively overcame fear and we Christians are called to be witnesses to the hope that is found only in Jesus Christ."

– The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby
Canterbury cathedral

He continues: "Fear is reasonable, a normal human reaction. This week has shocked all of us, and risks causing us to act fearfully, to see a world in which fear triumphs. Easter proclaims to us in flesh and blood that fear and death and terror are not the last words. God has spoken life, hope and purpose.

"Terror speaks of a world at war with itself, of Faiths at each other's throats. Jesus Christ reaches out not in exclusion but in embrace, this is the feast of the victory of God, and we celebrate in the midst of darkness, by our worship and praise shining an unquenchable light."

Cameron urges pride for country's 'Christian values'

The Prime Minister spoke of defeating 'pernicious ideology' Credit: PA

Britons of all faiths should join together to stand up for the Christian values that have made the country what it is today, David Cameron said in his Easter message.

In the wake of the Brussels atrocities the Prime Minister said defending the British way of life was the best way to defeat the "pernicious ideology" behind Islamic terrorism.

The MP for Witney said the UK should be "proud" of being a "Christian country" but its values speak to all Britons "of every faith and none".

Referring to the massacre in the Belgian capital, Mr Cameron said "when terrorists try to destroy our way of life as they have tried to do again so despicably in Brussels this week - we must stand together and show that we will never be cowed by terror".

"So this Easter as we pray for the friends and families of all those who lost loved ones in Brussels let us also draw hope and inspiration from the values we share and from all those who - inspired by those values - seek to help others in our country and around the world."

– David Cameron

He praised the work done by Christian voluntary groups, in an echo of his "Big Society" agenda.

"The message of Easter is a message of hope for millions of Christians in our country and all around the world," he said.

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