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/ 7 July 2016

St Paul’s Hammersmith leads the way in promoting community relations

St Pauls Hammersmith- (c) Will Pryce

The congregation at St Paul’s Hammersmith have come together to produce a book of goodwill messages following an incident where the local Polish Social and Cultural Association became a target for racist graffiti. The incident, which took place towards the end of June, came in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU and has coincided with a sudden spike in racially motivated hate crimes across the country.

The congregation of St Paul’s Hammersmith, led by Vicar Simon Downham, have responded to these incidents with a show of solidarity and have produced not only a book of goodwill messages to the Polish Social and Cultural Association, but on Monday also took part in a unity event alongside West London Citizens at Hammersmith Broadway Tube station, where they handed out sweets, stickers and information on how to report hate crimes.

These actions were specifically highlighted by the Bishop of Kensington, Dr Graham Tomlin, when he appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire to discuss what role the church can play in helping promote community relations.

Simon Downham said:

“The vote to leave the European Union has revealed the divisions in our country and it is more important than ever that we rally together against xenophobia. St Paul’s Church has an important role to play in this, and I have already met with the Mayor of Hammersmith and our local MP Andy Slaughter, to discuss what steps are going to be taken to counter such behaviour.

The full interview with the Bishop of Kensington can be found on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire page, starting at about 40 minutes in.

If you have experienced or witnessed hate crime you can report it by calling the police on 101, contacting Crimestoppers or using the True Vision website. More information can be found online about St Paul’s Hammersmith.

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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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