The world in Walthamstow

Walthamstow means “welcome place” and has a long history of being a town of hospitality for incomers and a positive example of multi-culturalism.

This inspired local vicar Canon Steven Saxby to put together the World in Walthamstow photo exhibition for the E17 Art Trail at St Barnabas Church.

This exhibition, which was on display in June 2014, celebrated multiculturalism in particular, by demonstrating the huge diversity of nationalities which dwell, study or visit E17. The project was a personal journey for Canon Saxby.

Every one of the 130 photos displayed around the church were taken in Walthamstow and were either taken by or featured him. Each one includes someone of a different nationality.

“Many are members of the beautiful multi-cultural congregation of St Barnabas Church,” he said, “And all people with whom I have at least had a conversation here in E17.”

The on-going project celebrates migration and has been embraced by the Walthamstow Migrants’ Action Group.

Group chair Dr Shaukat Khan said, “The wonderful project features some of our work, including our Love Migrants Party and our Welcome to Walthamstow action which sought to counter the negativity of the Government’s Stop and Search activity at Walthamstow Central and the abominable ‘Go Home’ vans.”

During the E17 Art Trail, the church held a World in Walthamstow party which was attended by people from over fifty nationalities and special guests Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, Waltham Forest Mayor Nadeem Ali and an imam from Lea Bridge Road mosque.

At the party Stella Creasy said, “Great things happen because of people like Steven making Walthamstow God’s own country.”

The on-going project is hoping to find people in Walthamstow from the 75 countries not yet represented in the exhibition. To get involved contact stevensaxby@btinternet.com.

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