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New neighbours

28 February 2014

A PARTY to cheer up February is always a good idea, and this was a "Love Migrants" party in Walthamstow, the part of east London that is in Chelmsford diocese. More than 100 people from at least 20 nationalities gathered to enjoy Filipino dancing, Spanish song, Congolese music, and food from around the world.

"The Love Migrants party epitomises all we love about Walthamstow," a local resident, Ulrike Schmidt, said. "The vision of colour, joy, music, and dance brought by migration is a true celebration of multi-cultural Britain."

The event was hosted by Canon Steven Saxby and members of the congregation at St Barnabas's, and had been organised to raise funds for the Walthamstow Migrants' Action Group. Among the guests were the local MEP, Jean Lambert, and local councillors. "Without migrants," Councillor Keiran Falconer said, "we would struggle to have a working NHS, transport system, or construction industry. Rather than knee-jerk demonising, there should be more empathy and understanding, as shown by the lovely mix of migrants and non-migrants shown here today."

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