Mosques and churches from different faith groups across the UK are taking part in Thank You Day this weekend to recognise Her Majesty The Queen’s commitment to promoting religious harmony and friendship across different groups and communities.
Thank You Day will fall during The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary of serving as the ruling monarch and Head of State in the UK.
Today marks the first of two Bank Holidays to celebrate the occasion, with thousands of events being held across the nation over the next few days
Thank You Day will be celebrated nationally on Sunday, 5 June but the event in Leeds will be held on Saturday, 4 June at 2pm.
Makkah Mosque, in the heart of Leeds City Centre, will be hosting a lunch with the neighbouring Christian church, Hallows Church, providing cakes.
A mosque in Bradford will bring families from Eastern Europe and Sytira together in its welcoming efforts and bridge connections between these communities.
Imam Qari Asim, Chair of Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board has been a driving force behind making Thank You Day happen. He said: “This weekend marks a historically significant moment in the reign of Her Majesty The Queen as she becomes the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.
“Throughout her 70-year long reign, the Queen has shown deep commitment, affection and admiration for her country, the Commonwealth and the people across the world, as well as the ability to adapt and evolve with the changing world around her.
“In increasingly uncertain times, the reassuring presence of the Queen has been a source of continuity, strength and stability for our country and beyond.
“I have had the honour of meeting the Queen a few times. The Queen’s soothing voice, wisdom and exceptional commitment to public service inspire much admiration for her. Whist Christianity has been the guiding light in her life, The Queen has demonstrated a deep respect for other people’s beliefs, and values religious freedom.”
Imam Asim, added: “I have had the honour of meeting the Queen a few times. The Queen’s soothing voice, wisdom and exceptional commitment to public service inspire much admiration for her. Whist Christianity has been the guiding light in her life, The Queen has demonstrated a deep respect for other people’s beliefs, and values religious freedom.
“The Queen has always encouraged religious harmony and friendship across the many different faiths and communities.
“The Queen has said that ‘diversity is a strength and not a threat’ while emphasising the need for empathy with why different people feel anxious about it to bridge divides.
“The question 70 years ago was still whether Britain wanted to be a multi-ethnic society; today that is a settled fact, and the challenge of our times is to strengthen the quality of our relationships and connections with each other so that we can have the broadest possible confidence in the society we have now become.
“During the four days of celebrations, as Chair of MINAB and a Board Member of the Thank You Day initiative, I am participating in many celebratory events, across the country, organised by Mosques and other faith organisations.
“Making new connections to bridge divides is a central aim of Thank You Day. Many in the Muslim communities are hosting events to say thank you to The Queen for her extraordinary life of public service; but also, to say thank you to families, friends, neighbours and the whole society for continuing to spread kindness.
“At my Makkah mosque in Leeds, we will host a big lunch and provide, whereas our neighbouring All Hallows’ church will bring cakes for the people. A Bradford mosque will bring children and families from Syria and Eastern Europe together in its local welcoming efforts. These events can contribute to ‘bridging’ connections between communities.
“The incredible examples of unselfish service by The Queen and people of all walks of life deserve a huge thank you from us!”