By: Rev Richard Noble, Parish of Wellington South
Last Thursday, several hundred Newtown locals, many of them from the Muslim community, gathered on a balmy Autumn evening in the grounds of Newtown School to eat and talk together in a show of unity across religious and cultural divides.
The event was pulled together at very short notice by the Newtown Collective, an umbrella group for local community groups, including our St Thomas’ Parish family and the Wellington City Mission. Both St Tom’s and the ‘Mish’ (as it’s known locally) contributed to the organisation of the event and turned up in force on the day, with the City Missioner Murray Edridge, and St Tom’s clergy Rev Mark Johnson and myself and a host of parishioners present. The MP for Rongotai, Paul Eagle, spoke briefly, followed by speeches from the Muslim community expressing gratitude for the love and support they have received from the New Zealand community in the aftermath of the atrocity of the 15th of March.