Despite the rain and dull weather of most of June, the 9th dawned bright and sunny and got better through the day. Of course it did, It was the day of our annual picnic and the 5th Interfaith bike ride!
Several bike riders arrived at the Arena and at 10.15 set off towards Croydon through the Addiscombe Railway park. At the Smooth Bean Café we met some more bike riders and the one motor cycle rider. There was also an electric van with signs on all sides advertising the ride and this was driven round the rest of the route with the 30 riders.
They made stops at a Hindu temple in Thornton Heath, at the Mosque in London Road and at St Georges church in Shirley. Many thanks go to the hosts at these places of worship – videos and pictures will be on the website soon.
Several committee members came to Parkhill to help set up and a huge team from the 7th Day Adventist church came with a lot of healthy living information including blood pressure, weight and height and healthy heart equipment. There was also information from Oasis on healthy mental health. A team from the Asian Resource centre came with sports equipment which was used all afternoon.
The new mayor of Croydon came and greeted the bike riders as they arrived (a little late because of a puncture). He spoke about the communities of Croydon and how this event is so important, he also spoke about fundraising for his five Croydon charities. There were also speeches by Councillor Ali, also about the importance of communities getting together and working with each other, and Councillor Cummings, who spoke about the Windrush events coming up in Croydon. We then had some lovely food brought and served by members of the Muslim Association.
Finally, we cleared up at about 5 o’clock having had a really great afternoon playing and talking with all sorts of people from many different worshipping groups. There were 30 bike riders and about 200 people came and went during the afternoon. There will be another picnic next year so please do come!

Penny Smith-Orr
Chair FTiC