Worldham prepares for 30,000 strong religious convention

Flags NEW

THE village of East Worldham will in two weeks become the focus once again for people across the globe interested in thePEACEFUL true teachings of Islam.An estimated 30,000 will converge on this tiny community, on the B3004 to the east of Alton, for Britain’s biggest annual Islamic convention – with millions viewing proceedings via liveSATELLITE multi-lingual transmission.

One of the first things women, children and men in aTENTED village at Oaklands Farm – now named Hadeeqatul Mahdi – will see is the hoisting of the Union flag, as Ahmadi Muslims pledge their loyalty and citizenship to the country they reside in. The message of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, one of Britain’s oldest Islamic communities, established in the UK since 1913, is: “Love for All, Hatred for None.”

To run from Friday to Sunday, August 21 to 23, this will be the 49th Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in UK – the 10th since it moved to East Worldham and, according to the organisers, “the community prides itself in making traffic management and good neighbourly relationships an absolute priority.”The traffic management arrangements in place this year include special ‘Jalsa Trains’ – put on as part of the Southwest Trains (SWT) service, which will operate throughout theTHREE days of the Jalsa.

There will be bus shuttle services operating from Alton train station, via Wilsom Road and the B3004 to the Jalsa site from 8.30am to 11pm each day.

Most Jalsa goers will be using the train to minimise the number of cars on the surrounding roads, notably the A31, A325 and A3.Most of those arriving by car will be parking at Country Market, further along the B3004 at Kingsley, and a park-and- ride service will operate between 8am and 11pm on all three days, managed bySTAGECOACH Buses.Around 3,000 cars are expected to park on site at Hadeeqatul Mahdi, and there will be some delay during the three days for traffic wishing to use the B3004 Green Street). A traffic management company has been hired to manage the traffic, along with temporary trafficLIGHTS managed by Hampshire police and the traffic management team.

For security reasons, entry to the Jalsa Salana will be restricted to those carrying invitations. Neighbour-ing residents, with verifiable addresses in East Worldham, Alton, Kingsley, Bordon and the surrounding area, are welcome toAPPLY for an invitation card at local short range Radio Jalsa 87.7FM will operate during the three days, and a twitter feed @JalsaUK is alreadyACTIVE for people to interact with the Jalsa administration.

The website comprehensive information on the event, and an information and helpline is already operating at 01420 87222.