Live updates

Advertisement

Vicar loses 'heart of his community' as church is destroyed

A vicar of a church in Fleet has said he is shocked, devastated and horrified by a fire which ripped through the building yesterday.

The roof of All Saints Church was engulfed in flames last night as black smoke billowed over the town. The interior of the building was destroyed. A teenager is under arrest on suspicion of arson.

But as firefighters dampen down and investigate the cause, the congregation is sharing memories of the building and vowing to rebuild.

Watch Emma Wilkinson's report:

Archbishop passes on victims' letters

The Archbishop of Canterbury is on a visit to Egypt Credit: PA

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has personally handed over letters of condolence from the families of British terror victims to the leader of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East.

The gesture, believed to include letters from the family of murdered British aid worker David Haines, was made to Bishop Tawadros, the Pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians, as the archbishop made a whirlwind visit to Egypt.

The two-day trip, described as a "visit of condolence", follows the murders of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. The migrant workers were kidnapped and beheaded by Islamic State (IS) militants in February.

Advertisement

Video: PM joins Vaisakhi parade in Kent

David Cameron and wife Samantha joined the Vaisakhi celebrations in Gravesend today.

The Prime Minister, wearing a traditional orange patka, and Mrs Cameron, in a blue headscarf, chatted with the faithful and posed for selfies at the Gurdwara. It's among the largest in Europe and opened five years ago.

After briefly joining thousands of people in a parade carrying the Sikh holy book to the temple, Mr Cameron delivered a speech in the main hall.

He told the audience the Vaisakhi festival was a "big, bold" sign of their devotion.

"I wanted to make sure Downing Street was part of this too, and I'm proud to be the first Prime Minister to host a Vaisakhi reception at Number 10," he said.

Vaisakhi festival - huge crowds in Gravesend

Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha were among thousands joining the Vaisakhi celebrations in Gravesend.

It is one of the most important dates in the Sikh religious calendar, a harvest festival which also marks the founding of the Sikh faith.

We spoke to some of the people joining today's parade. Also to Gurvinder Sandher from the Kent Equality Cohesion Council - and Teja Harbhajan Singh Biring, architect of Gravesend's Gurdwara.

Load more updates