Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

Celebration of Peace church service held to remember Salford student Anuj Bidve shooting

Celebration of Peace church service held to remember Salford student Anuj Bidve shooting

By Mihaela Ivantcheva

Indian student Anuj Bidve's shooting on Boxing Day prompted a special church service in Salford to promote peace, yesterday.

‘Celebration of Peace’ at St. Clements Church, Ordsall and Salford Quays, was prompted by recent acts of violence on the estate, including the fatal shooting of the Indian postgraduate student.

Attended by over 70 people, the service aimed at spreading peace and encouraging open communication.

Rev Sandra Kearney, organiser of the service, said: “Recently Ordsall has been in the news for the wrong reasons.

“We want to use the Celebration of Peace as an opportunity to gather together the people of Ordsall to show the world we are a peaceful community and to explore ways of working together to prevent violence.

“The aim was to promote open communication and to demonstrate that Ordsall residents are people of peace and not violence.”

Manchester-based Mothers Against Violence (MAV) and Salford Forum for Refugees and asylum seekers also attended the event.

In an opening speech, Patsy McKie, founder of MAV, told the story of her son, Dorrie McKie, 20, who was killed in Hulme, Manchester during a fatal gang shooting in 1999.

MAV was brought into being by concerned mothers who were in direct contact with victims of gang shootings or other violent acts.

When telling her story and the history of MAV, Mrs McKie said: “I want to know why, when children grow up, the gangs have such an attraction despite all the violence. I have learned a lot from listening to them. A gang is their family. There is oneness, acceptance, agreement, and togetherness in a gang and for many it is the only way of being listened to and being heard.”

In her address to the audience at Clements Church, Mrs McKie brought up the issues of firearms and the role of communities in preventing violence.

The service also included a presentation by Salford Forum for Refugees who work with refugees and asylum seekers from the Salford area.

“We need to learn to understand each other, to be tolerant of each other and to be one with each other as well as depending on our faith,” Ms Kearney said.

Anuj Bidve, 23, student at Lancaster University, was shot in the head as he walked along Ordsall Lane with friends on Boxing Day.

Kiaran Stapleton, 20, of Salford, has been charged with Mr Bidve's murder.