The importance of bringing people of different backgrounds together was among the key messages when dozens took part in a pilgrimage to five places of worship in Watford town centre as part of Interfaith Week.

The pilgrimage was organised by Watford Interfaith Association (WIFA) and saw participants visit St Mary’s Church, the Al-Zahra Centre, Beechen Grove Baptist Church, the Central Mosque and the Gurdwara.

The group assembled at St Mary's Church in High Street to be greeted by Revd Tony Rindl.

The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Liz Green, said how she was looking forward to walking together with others as such gatherings are important in these difficult times.

Watford Mayor Peter Taylor agreed that it was important to bring people of many backgrounds together in understanding in this way.

Watford Observer: High Sherriff of Hertfordshire Liz GreenHigh Sherriff of Hertfordshire Liz Green (Image: WIFA)

Harjit Singh, chair of WIFA, reminded everyone of the importance of all working together in the community, and Revd Rindl spoke about several aspects of the church, the oldest building in Watford.

Around 70 people then moved to the next venue, the Al-Zahra Centre, along with five members of the police safer neighbourhood team.

It is the only Shi'a Muslim mosque for 20 miles around, and president Azhar Shah and Azhar Abedi, interfaith officer, spoke about how this branch of Islam arose and how this mosque has become more open to visitors of all faiths and none.

This was the first time Beechen Grove Baptist Church has taken part in the annual interfaith pilgrimage, and it was a great surprise for the pilgrims to find that a Romanian wedding was taking place at the same time.

The pilgrims were allowed to walk down the central aisle, among the wedding guests in all their finery, with a brass band playing and the happy couple seated on a dais waiting to be married.

Watford Observer: Mr Esoof sings the call to prayer at the Central MosqueMr Esoof sings the call to prayer at the Central Mosque (Image: WIFA)

The fourth venue was the Central Mosque where pilgrims listened to the singing of the muezzin's call to prayer from Abdool Esoof, which was then translated into English. He asked for everyone to pray for peace in their own way for a silent minute or two.

The pilgrims then moved on to the Gurdwara where they were welcomed in the sanctuary upstairs. Harminder Singh spoke about the tenets of Sikhism and answered questions before being invited to walk past the priest seated under a canopy swishing his whisk to keep the Guru Granth Sahib holy book clean and fresh.

Watford Observer: At the GurdwaraAt the Gurdwara (Image: WIFA)

Downstairs a martial arts gatka session was in full swing and the teacher explained that Sikhs will always defend right and the downtrodden, which is why they learn these fighting techniques.