Cheetham Festival is inviting residents and visitors alike to sample a taste of the area’s multi-cultural flavour.
From Friday 12 to Sunday 14 September, Cheetham's places of worship, museums and other cultural centres are throwing open their doors for a weekend-long cultural celebration.
The festival, which reflects the strong sense of belonging shared by the different faith and cultural communities in this lively part of the city, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.
All events are free. And as usual, there are a diverse range of attractions on offer.
The weekend leaps into action on Friday 12 September with a feast of music and dance, including a full Irish supper, at the Irish World Heritage Centre on Queens Road from 7.30-9.30pm.
St Chad's RC Church plays host on Saturday 13 September, from 1-3pm, to an exhibition about nun Elizabeth Prout, hailed as the Victorian 'Mother Teresa,' who is being considered for sainthood by the Vatican. Her spirit and vision built homes, ran schools and changed lives in 19th Century Cheetham.
Dashmesh Sikh Temple in Heywood Street offers visitors a chance to learn more about Sikh religion and traditions while sampling a variety of vegetarian dishes in its langar, or 'free kitchen' on Saturday 13 September 2-5pm. The langar is a key feature of Sikh life where everyone, regardless of their faith or background, is invited to share in a free meal at the temple.
This year's Cheetham Festival falls within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Alongside the tradition of fasting, Muslims are encouraged to enter into the spirit of giving and sharing. The Jamia mosque on Woodlands Road extends a warm welcome to everyone to share in the Iftar meal to 'break the fast' shortly after sunset at around 7pm on Saturday 13 September.
Higher Crumpsall Synagogue in Bury Old Road is a fine Grade II-listed building, a 1920s treasure with fine art deco windows. Dr Sharman Kadish, author of Jewish Heritage in England, an Architectural Guide' leads a guided tour of the building. Spend some time at the synagogue between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday 14 September, including the guided tour at 10.30am.
Manchester Jewish Museum plays host to an exhibition of the hats and headwear of the area's diverse communities between 10.30am and 5pm on Sunday 14 September, including kosher food tasting from 2pm.
The museum is also the final port of call of a guided walk taking in the sites and stories of Jewish settlement in Cheetham Hill on Sunday 14 September. It departs from Victoria Station at 12 noon, arriving at the museum around 2pm. Pre-booking is not necessary.
The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bury Old Road has ministered to its community for over one hundred years from this site. On Sunday 14 September, from 12noon to 2pm, visitors are being given the chance to see one of Manchester's most ornate church interiors.
The festival closes at Grade II-listed St John's Church in Waterloo Road, also on Sunday 14 September. The closing event for the festival will see this beautiful church dressed in harvest displays from different cultures. The church will be open from 3pm, with a rousing closing celebration featuring songs, music and even an Eritrean coffee ceremony at 7pm.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: "Cheetham has a centuries-old tradition of embracing different cultures which has given it a rich character. It's so close to the city centre but has a feel all of its own. The festival gives neighbours and visitors alike the chance to experience the area's warm welcome."
The Rev Daniel Burton, priest in charge at St John's Church and festival committee chairman, said: "Cheetham Festival is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity of the Cheetham Hill area. We are very lucky to live in area which so many faiths and ethnic groups have chosen to make their home and this is a unique opportunity to learn about our neighbours."
Cheetham Festival is part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days event. For more information about the festival contact The Rev Burton on 0161 2051734.
Roger Williams, tel: 0161 234 3275