Different faiths coming together

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Library chiefs in St Helens have staged a first of its kind, multi-faith lighting ceremony.

Representatives of the three major Abrahamic religions attended the service at St Helens Central Library.

The evening celebrated the songs, prayers and traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and was the first of its kind in St Helens.

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah was celebrated with Rabbi Abel lighting the Chanuki candle and leading the crowd in song and a presentation was delivered by Basem Khalil, consultant paediatric surgeon in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, on Moses and Jesus in the Light of Revelations given to the Prophet Muhammad.

Readings were provided by young people from the Central Library Reading Hack group and carols were sung by children from Holy Cross Primary school.

Rev Martin Wood from Wesley Methodist Church gave a blessing followed by the tree lighting.

Guests included mayor and mayoress of St Helens, councillors Steve and Lyn Glover, former mayor and mayoress, councillors Geoff and Carol Pearl, and Coun Jeanie Bell, cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing.

The tree was kindly donated by Rainford Christmas Tree Land and decorations were provided by members of the St Helens Women’s Institute.

The event was deemed so successful and well-attended that there are plans to repeat it annually.