Faith groups join the Speaker for Civic Service

Leaders representing the borough’s main faith groups joined the Speaker of Hackney Councillor Muttalip Ünlüer for a Civic Service at the weekend.

Reverend Niall Weir, led the event attended by around 120 people, which took place at the Education Centre at St Joseph’s Hospice – one of the Speaker’s nominated charities.

Community Cohesion was the broad theme, reflected in Cllr Ünlüer’s welcoming speech. He said: “Since my appointment in May 2009, I have attended a large number of events within Hackney. These events have brought me closer to the community and reflect all the hard work everyone contributes for the welfare of the community. Everyone should be proud of their ethnicity, faith and heritage without fear of discrimination.

"Hackney has always taken pride in the diverse communities that live and work together irrelevant of their faiths and cultural beliefs. I am privileged to meet with these communities and celebrate Hackney’s diversity.”

Faith and community representatives continued the theme on different aspects of community cohesion, such as secure social order, and social equality; with readings from the Holy Qur’an, The Bible, The Talmund, The Bhagavad Gita and the Heart Sutra. They then joined together in a spoken declaration of commitment to safety, freedom from fear, tolerance and respect for others within the borough.

The service ended with a poem by Hackney Councillor Faizullah Khan, a farewell blessing from Kamil Boriel from The Petchey Academy and a performance by the Hackney Chinese Community Services Singing Group.

Photo caption: Faith leaders Rev. Niall Weir, Rabbi Abraham Pinter, The Speaker (Cllr Unluer), Mohammed Bilal and Reverend William Taylor.

For more information on the Speaker, his charities and how to invite him to an event, telephone: 020 8356 3350 or email: Media contact: Karyn Michael, email: or telephone: 020 8356 3261.