Events commemorating the life and work of Nelson Mandela will take place across Leicester this Saturday.
Leicester Cathedral, Leicester City Council and faith organisations will be joining together for an afternoon of thanksgiving and tributes. These will include a gathering in Nelson Mandela Park, a walk by young people through the city centre and a vigil with ribbon-tying at the Cathedral.
At 2.00pm the thanksgiving service for the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela will begin at Nelson Mandela Park, featuring poetry and readings containing Mandela’s most inspirational quotes and messages.
Following this the symbolic Walk of Freedom, the journey from the park to Leicester Cathedral will take place and is designed to reflect Mandela’s own ‘walk to freedom’ emerging from 27 years of imprisonment.
Young people from all the faiths represented in our city and county from the St Philips’s Centre, Evington, will also carry the South African Flag while walking from the park.
Starting at 3.00pm, the Cathedral service will include music by a gospel choir, and the lighting of a candle in remembrance and reflection of Mandela’s extraordinary life and struggle against oppression. At that point, the public will be invited to create a vast Rainbow Tree, with everyone tying ribbons of all the colours of the rainbow onto a tree outside St Martins House, next to the Cathedral.
The Rt Revd Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester said: “The death of Nelson Mandela marks the end of one of the most remarkable and significant public lives of the last century. His life has meaning for countless millions of oppressed peoples who looked to him, not only in South Africa, as a symbol of courage and defiance in the face of the most severe pressure.”