People of all backgrounds and faiths joined hundreds of Muslims in a parade through High Wycombe today to mark the birthday of the prophet Muhammad and highlight the unity of the town.

As part of an annual event, scores of people walked from the Wycombe Islamic Mission and Mosque Trust in Jubilee Road before stopping in Wycombe High Street and then returning to their starting point.

In a show of togetherness, members of the Council for Christian and Muslim Relations (CCMR) led the parade while community leaders including Mayor of High Wycombe Councillor Khalil Ahmed joined in speeches near the Guildhall.

Before the procession, the chairman of the CCMR, Zafar Iqbal, said: “We are hopeful we will get a lot of people join us for this, it is great to bring all our communities in the town together for a celebration.

“This is an annual event which usually sees more than a thousand people join us..

“It is a celebration of the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and we hope to spread his messages of love and care.”

The vice-chairman of the CCMR, Rev Hugh Ellis of All Saints Church said: “I am here representing the church and in that role I am here to welcome our Muslim friends as a religion of peace, love and compassion.

“My other role is with the Council for Christian and Muslim Relations and at its heart we are here to bring people of all faiths together.”

The speeches varied from religious topics to prayer, while others used the opportunity to condemn the recent terrorist-related atrocities across the globe.

In his speech, the Mayor of High Wycombe reflected on a very difficult time following a number of terror-related attacks.

Shoppers, tourists and residents all showed an interest in the event with many joining in the procession, while flowers were also given out to passers-by, while an open-top bus transporting people also caught the attention of others.

Readers will be able to read further reaction, pictures and videos from the event soon on the and in this week’s newspaper.