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Gravesend celebrates Vaisakhi

Thousands of people turned out in Gravesend to mark the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi.

We speak to some of those who joined the procession including:

Cllr Gurjit Kaur Bains, Gravesham council; Gurvinder Sandher from Kent Equality Cohesion Council; Jasbinder Biring, co-organiser and Cllr Samir Jassal, Gravesham council.


'Biggest building project in 500 years' offers rare views of Canterbury Cathedral - full report

It's the most famous landmark in the South East - attracting almost a million tourists a year. Now Canterbury Cathedral is undergoing its biggest restoration ever.

The conservation scheme called 'The Canterbury Journey' is costing close to £25million. A painstaking process mixing engineering with a place of quiet daily worship.

The first step - an enormous scaffolding built inside the cathedral - is now almost finished and offers stunning views of the building itself.

Andy Dickenson went to take a look and spoke to site manager Matthew Butler, head of conservation Heather Newton and Mark Hosea, project director.

Tourists flock for an encounter with a religious masterpiece - in Goring, Sussex

The great works of art can, of course, be found in the likes of Paris, London, New York and Rome...

But in recent times tourists have flocked to a new destination - a small church in Goring, in Sussex, for an encounter with a masterpiece.

It's 25 years since parishioner Gary Bevans completed his recreation of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

As Andy Dickenson reports, speaking to Anne Niven, Parish secretary of English Martyrs Church, it now has truly global appeal.

Southampton mosque opens its doors to visitors

Mosques across the south opened their doors to visitors yesterday as part of a national scheme to build bridges between communities.

Among them was the Medina Mosque in Southampton which had expected a hundred visitors throughout the day but got many more.

They were able to go on guided tours and ask any questions they had about Islam.

Interviewees are Rashid Brora from the Medina Mosque and Charlotte Barton who visited the mosque.


Residents invited to visit their local mosque this weekend

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Around 150 mosques across the country will open their doors to the public on Sunday. The event aims to dispel negative perceptions of Islam and educate more people about the religion.

Organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, six mosques in the ITV News Meridian region are welcoming in visitors this weekend.

Among them: the Medina Mosque in Southampton, Portsmouth Central Mosque, Camberley Mosque, the Aisha Masjid & Islamic Centre in Reading, Maidenhead Mosque and the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking.

The Visit My Mosque initiative hopes to shine a light on how British Muslims are helping their local communities, from providing meals for the homeless to visiting the elderly and sick.

For more details go to the VisitMyMosque website.

Thieves steal money, raised by church for charity

Police are appealing for information after a burglar broke into the presbytery next to the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Petworth.

The burglary happened sometime 4.15pm on Tuesday 3 January and 8.20am on Wednesday 4 January in Angel Street.

Around £2,000 worth of cash and cheques, which had been donated for a charity collection and £50 in petty cash were stolen.

Bishop of Chichester hopes for less uncertainty in 2017

Dr Martin Warner

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, says he hopes that 2017 will be a year "we can look back on as a good year" after the uncertainties of 2016.

In a New Year video message to his Diocese, the Bishop reflected on what has been a turbulent year.

Images which have flashed up on our screens, particularly from Syria have been traumatic. We have seen hospitals, schools and homes targeted and it has been traumatic.

– Dr Martin Warner

He appealed for people to have what he described as "the quality of reverence" in 2017 which added up to a basic respect for people and things.

He added that he feels the church continues to be relevant in Sussex communities, by making a contribution and improving the quality of people's lives.

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