Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.
Redbridge became a centre for diversity and vibrance when Christians celebrated the resurrection of their Lord Jesus Christ in Ilford Town Centre on Easter
Local people were entertained by diverse performances including Sega dancing from Mauritius, Acro dancing, Military drumming, drama, Dholl drumming Asian Zaboor (psalms) rap, hip hop, soul and gospel singing. The performances were a mixture of Christian and secular but every performer was Christian in an event that sparked great joy and frivolity amongst local residents.
The range of Christians from different origins and cultures created an awesome illustration of the diversity of the church and it's relevance to all people. Moreover, Easter messages, prayers and performances ensured that the Gospel was shared with local residents many of whom were counselled and prayed with experienced outreach officers.
A bible book stall was available and many visitors took free literature through an interest to learn more about Christianity - ensuring the event removed the myths about the Christian faith.
The event began on a more serious note and was opened up in prayer by Revd Andrew from Ilford High Road Baptist Church, who prayed for the safety of the event and the borough. He also presided over a 1 minutes silence for the victims of the Gulshan Park Bomb attack in Lahore that killed 69 people on Easter Day last year.
The Second Minister for Diplomatic Services Dr Hassan Rabbani from the High Commission of Pakistan was present to receive a trophy for the sterling work of the Pakistani security forces who risk life and limb to protect all citizens of Pakistan from extremism. The trophy was presented by Shaheen Zar, Chairman of Ilford Asian Church and Hannah Chowdhry daughter of Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association.
At 3pm a minutes silence was also held for the victims of the Westminster Bomb attack which was closer to home and a prayer for peace and reconciliation was said by Wilson Chowdhry.
The Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra who greeted Dr Hassan Rabbani to the Borough was dressed in full regalia for one of the few times in the year that he can been seen publicly in this fashion. He also met with local residents as he intermingled with the many visitors to Easter Parade.
The event had a mixture of Christian and secular performances all performed by Christian performers. This was the first year secular performances were permitted at the event after the organizing committee decided to use the event to build community cohesion, after the tragedy of the Westminster attack. It is belived this is why the 2017 event had its largest ever participation at Redbridge Easter Parade.
A free bouncy castle, free face-painting and free art workshops for children, commercial stalls and support from London Fire Brigade made the day a family event to remember. With so much to do and so much excitement the event will be talked about for many months we are sure.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"This year was our best event ever, more churches then ever before joined us to celebrate Easter in style and thousands of non-Christians shared our joy during one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar.
"Every participating church enjoyed the experience and has committed to returning next year. Moreover, further churches have expressed a desire to join the event next year.
"Redbridge has a great diversity people and holding such a successful Christian event in the heart of our borough without any major incident is a testament to the wonderful community cohesion we share locally.
"Easter may be about bunnies and chocolates in many places but in Redbridge we have ensured Jesus' ultimate sacrifice of His life that we all might enter heaven through belief in Him, is remembered and praised."
We would like to give special thanks to Kenson Contractors whose sponsorship for the event made it possible for us to proceed.
A zumba performance by Ilford Seventh Day Adventists
It felt like the whole of Redbridge turned up!
Ilford Asian Church sang Zaboor during a larger then expected procession
London Fire Service engaged with local people
Dr Hassan Rabbani Second Minister from the High Commission of Pakistan spoke of the need for global communities to unite against terrorism.
The bouncy castle was popular
People packed the streets.
Young and old joined the procession.
Pakistani Christians celebrated Christ's resurrection in full song!
13 year old Hannah Chowdhry sang a beautiful solo.