THE Archbishop of Canterbury was given a unique multi-faith tour of Southall after being invited to see first-hand the work faith groups are doing.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby was asked by St John’s Church to visit the area and see what the church has achieved as part of the Southall Faiths Forum on Monday.
Reverend Mark Paulson, vicar at St John’s, said: “The visit went extremely well. As a church we had a big crowd for a special service but then something incredible happened.
“The archbishop gave us £25,000 from his discretional fund to help build a reconciliation and regeneration centre in old Southall, so it was like Christmas had come early for us.”
After the service, the archbishop was taken on a walking tour of the area, stopping by sites including the Gurdwara in Havelock Road where he met with the area’s faith leaders.
Mr Paulson said: “We ended up at Featherstone High School, where we were welcomed by drummers in traditional Punjabi garb.
“The whole day went very well. The archbishop was a pleasure to talk to and was very engaged in talking with faith leaders and finding out about the work that Southall Faiths Forum does.
“The students at Featherstone High School were also great and were fascinated by what he had to say to them.”