Christian and Islamic communities in Hitchin come together for Syria Crisis Appeal street collection

Please give generously: John Richardson, Tricia Reed, Robin Sternberg and Ali Sheriff are among the

Please give generously: John Richardson, Tricia Reed, Robin Sternberg and Ali Sheriff are among the volunteers supporting the Hitchin street collection in aid of the Syria Crisis Appeal. - Credit: Archant

Christian and Islamic communities in North Herts are coming together for a street collection in Hitchin this Saturday to help raise money for victims of the civil war in Syria.

Volunteers in Red Cross regalia will be out with buckets at six locations around the town centre from 10am to 2pm as part of the Syria Crisis Appeal.

The money will go to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which provides food and medical relief for victims of the war trapped, starving or injured in their home towns and cities.

“I’ve got plenty of volunteers – I’m struggling to fit them all in, it’s wonderful,” said chief organiser Tricia Reed, a churchwarden at St Mark’s.

“They will be out in pairs by Churchgate in the Market Square, outside Waterstones, by Marks & Spencers, next to Boots and M&Co in the High Street, by the war memorial, and in front of Wilko in Bancroft.”

The drive is being spearheaded by the Hitchin Parochial Church Council, in partnership with Churches Together in Hitchin and other faith groups including Hitchin Mosque.

Almost £1,000 was collected for the cause at the special benefice service at St Mary’s on Sunday, where the members of six Anglican congregations celebrated the addition of St Paul’s Walden and Preston to the Hitchin team ministry, and further collections will be taken at church and mosque services and prayer meetings this week.

Most Read

“The initiative sprang from the Anglican churches, but it’s extended to all the other demoninations,” said Robin Sternberg, a St Mary’s churchwarden who will be out collecting on Saturday along with his wife and daughter.

“This is an exercise in community response to the situation in Syria. It’s not just a St Mary’s thing, it’s not just an Anglican thing, it’s across the whole community.”

Tricia added: “People in Hitchin, and friends and family of those organising it, are already giving to this appeal – there seems to be a huge amount of sympathy for the victims of the Syrian civil war, especially those unable to escape the violence.

“I am hopeful of being able to offer some real support and continue to raise awareness of the dreadful conditions in which the people of Syria try to survive.”