On Sunday 16th Aug 2020, I had the honour and joy to join the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, Chairman of Surrey County Council, Tony Samuels and Col. Patrick Crowley (Rtd) DL Chief Executive of South East Reserve Forces & Cadets Association, to mark the end of WW2 in Japan - the VJ75 anniversary. I read the following poem at the services, which reflects where we as a society.


And the people stayed home. and read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. and listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced, some met their shadows.

And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

A huge thank you to the Dean of Guildford Cathedral, the recording of the music - prepared by Choir of St Paul’s Church in Canterbury, along with live music by Organist Richard Moore and the clergy. It was our duty to pay our respect to the Fallen and the contribution made by the Surrey battalions, many lives lost for our Peace. We will Remember Them.

This morning I visited and prayed with second of five congregations which are being performed at Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking. During these challenging times and observing restrictions, the mosque committee and the volunteers have been extremely well organised in controlling of the visitors. Muslims all around the UK are to start celebrating Eid ul-Adha, the most important of Islam’s annual holidays. With approximately 4 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom, many people across the country are expected to take part in the Islamic celebrations. For my friends and colleagues and those of us who are not familiar with Islamic religious practices may be asking ourselves, what exactly is Eid ul-Adha? And how is it celebrated? The name of the holiday ‘Eid ul-Adha’ means ‘the celebration of the sacrifice’. This name refers to a tale of sacrifice mentioned in the Quran, in which God asks the Prophet Ibrahim in a dream to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a test of his faith. Those familiar with Christianity will notice parallels between this story and that of Abraham and his son Isaac found in the bible, called the ‘binding of Isaac’. The Quaran explains that at first, Ibrahim ignored the dream, but after it had reoccurred for several nights in a row he decided to follow God’s orders to prove his faith. As he tried to decide his course of action, Muslim’s believe that the devil had tried to convince him not to kill his son. In response, Ibrahim threw rocks at him. This is considered a significant act and one that is now copied by pilgrims at Hajj who throw stones at pillars. As Ibrahim began to carry out God's command, God swapped his son for a goat, which Ibrahim was allowed to sacrifice instead. Hence why Eid Ul Adha means “celebration of Sacrfice” The Imam Hashmi performed the prayers this morning and it remains me on behalf of all wish everyone Eid Ul-Adha Mubarak, peace to all and we prayer for wellbeing all mankind. #EidUlAdha #shahjahanmosque #woking

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

I along with Lord Lieutenant Michael-More Molyneux, my Police Cadet Fin Wells, Mayor of Woking Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, Zafar Iqbal - Woking borough Community Engagement officer, and the representatives of Air Force along with Hafiz Akram, had the honour and pleasure to lay the annual wreath at the Muslim Peace Garden to recognise the contribution made by the Armed services in WW1 and WW2, in particular the Commonwealth soldiers.

The 27 Silver Birch trees that were planted at the Peace Garden represent the 27 Muslims soldiers who were buried there during World War 1 & 2. It's vital that we should no forget all the Allied Forces who sacrificed for our today. We will remember them All.

Photos: Steve Porter