Tributes have been paid to the work of community stalwart the Reverend Bob Shaw of Holy Spirit Church in Beeston Hill, who has retired after 10 years in the area.
One of Rev Shaw’s final acts was to attend Saturday’s Eid event at the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Hardy Street.
Tributes to Rev Shaw’s work came from Hilary Benn MP, who praised his work in bringing the community together.
Praise also came from Mahboob Nazir, from the mosque, who said Rev Shaw had ‘worked very hard to bring community cohesion’ to Beeston Hill and had championed events like Saturday’s. He said:
“A lot of things have happened after 7/7 but if it wasn’t for the likes of Bob Shaw and a few others similar to him I do not think people would have got through what they did. He has sought to bring everybody together.”
Mr Nazir said community stalwarts like Rev Shaw and Harbans Sagoo from the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurudwara deserved recognition and asked attendees to think where the next generation of community pillars would come from.
Rev Shaw addressed the meeting on Satrurday. He said his time in Beeston had been ‘a wonderful privilege’:
“This is the fouth time we have had this get-together and I’m pleased to be here with so many friends. I’ve been pleased to be able to work with so many different parts of the community. I have always felt comfortable and at home here. We have worked together and achieved results.”
He added that Hamara and Building Blocks had been set up and were now important community resources for the area and that the community could ‘go forward with confidence’. He said of his 40 years in Leeds the last few years ‘had been the best’.
Speaking about the themes of unity at Saturday’s event, Rev Shaw said that the second commandment was ‘love they neighbour’.