A rabbi, a pastor and Muslim leader meet at a Bristol train station

Few people would think about litter picking as a way of breaking down barriers, but members of three religious groups in Easton did just that.

Teams from the Liberal Synagogue, St Marks Road Baptist Church and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community joined hands to collect bags of litter from Stapleton Road train station.

More than 20 people – from children to adults – took to the streets on Sunday, November 19, to keep their community clean.

The small group was joined by Easton councillors Ruth Pickersgill and Afzal Shah, together with UWE SU’s president and members of the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum.

Organiser Valerie Russell Emmott, from the synagogue, said it was the first time all three groups had done this together.

Decked in high-vis jackets, the group started on the pedestrian paths near the station around 2pm.

“We split into groups and picked up litter around the pedestrianised areas where the clean up trucks can’t normally get to,” Valerie said.

“It felt really great to work with everyone, and really rewarding as well, a very constructive act of civic togetherness.

“It was a lovely opportunity as well for people from different backgrounds and beliefs to come together for a helpful purpose. We talked to each other about where we came from, and broke down many misconceptions.

“It was really good.”

It started when the Muslim group was invited to visit the synagogue last week, and together decided to do something for the community.

St Marks Road Baptist Church got involved, and they came up with the clean up operation.

“We found a lot of plastic bottles, cans, some glass bottles, a wet pillow and a lot of cigarette ends,” Valerie said.

More than 15 bags of rubbish were collected from the effort, and the crew then headed back to the synagogue for tea and cake.