How you can help Croydon Refugee Day Centre

Posted on October 11th, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. 3 comments

Refugees welcome here: a smile and a helping hand from Croydon to some of the most desperate people on Earth

Whether your local school sings about fluffy cauliflowers, ploughing fields or that samba song that rhymes vegetable with festival, chances are it’s had a letter from Croydon Refugee Day Centre asking whether it would like to donate its harvest festival goodies.

Those car boot-fulls of baked … Read More »



Event review: The Asylum Monologues at Theatre Utopia

Posted on June 6th, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. No Comments

Croydon’s asylum seekers, in their own words

On the day after the Manchester bombing, it was good that the Croydon Amnesty Group decided not to cancel its showing of The Asylum Monologues at Theatre Utopia, Matthews Yard , because it was honest, simple story-telling: story-telling of the sort that recalls you to your sense of humanity, develops your empathy, calmly informs your mind and reduces the temptation to generalise and … Read More »



Event report: the Croydon interfaith gathering, Sunday 22nd May at the Ahmadiyya mosque, St James Road

Posted on June 1st, by Rosie Edser in Culture. 3 comments

Rosie Edser admires the tolerance of Muslims and Christians alike as an audience member goes rogue

What does integration look like? Not being a sporting enthusiast, in my head it’s basically carrying your Oyster card (essential), library card (desirable) and Nectar card (optional). Plus not picking flowers, being homophobic or dropping litter. You don’t have to reference the queen reverently every five minutes (or re-name … Read More »



Event review: CODA Croydon performs ‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’ in Wandle Park bandstand, 15th-18th July 2015

Posted on July 17th, by Rosie Edser in Culture. No Comments

Rosie Edser goes Wilde in the park

Last year Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was performed successfully in the open air of the newly landscaped Wandle Park. Given that the entire first half of Oscar Wilde’s “trivial comedy for serious people”, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, takes place indoors, it doesn’t seem the most obvious choice for CODA’s second open air theatre performance – until … Read More »



Through the doors of… Croydon University Hospital chaplaincy

Posted on April 28th, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. No Comments

From bleep to bedside: in the latest of her series on faith communities in Croydon, Rosie Edser meets the chaplain of Croydon University Hospital

On the last Friday each month Hilary Fife, the senior chaplain at Croydon University Hospital, cleans her Smart car then reverently lays out a purple drape and fills the car carefully with small white caskets. Acting as funeral director, she drives this poignant … Read More »



Croydon goes to the London Peace Symposium, Baitul Futuh Mosque, 14th March 2015

Posted on April 3rd, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. 22 comments

Rosie Edser accompanies Croydon’s Ahmadiyya Muslims to the 12th London Peace Symposium

Asking whether Ahmadiyya Muslims are Sunni or Shia is like asking whether Jehovah’s Witnesses are Catholic or Protestant. They’re neither, they’re entirely different. There are approximately seventy-three different sects of Islam and the belief that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a messiah places the Ahmadiyya community in conflict with many mainstream Muslims. By way of … Read More »



Through the door of Croydon Buddhist Centre

Posted on March 3rd, by Rosie Edser in Culture. No Comments

In the second of a series examining faith and community, Rosie Edser wraps herself in blankets and silence at Croydon Buddhist Centre

While Saturday morning shoppers stride or dawdle among the shops of Croydon’s South End, behind one of the shop fronts twenty-five people are wrapped in blankets and silence, making the inward spiritual journey.

Wardrobe-wise I thought I was prepared: leggings under skirt in case … Read More »



Through the door of… Croydon gurdwara

Posted on January 23rd, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. 2 comments

In the first of a series examining faith and community in Croydon, Rosie Edser visits a place of worship for Croydon’s Sikhs under the guidance of Virgo Fidelis school pupil Divya

I’m off to visit the Croydon Gurdwara. Toe-nail varnish in decent condition? Check. Pashmina for covering my head? Check. Sense of respect and preparedness for worship? Check. A lifetime of yoga and nice loose … Read More »



Planting wild flowers at Wandle Park

Posted on October 28th, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. No Comments

Rosie Edser joins the green crowd at the October wildflower planting event at Wandle Park

For those of you who haven’t discovered the little gem that is Wandle Park, it’s a couple of stops from Centrale shopping centre on the tram. If you draw a triangle from Purley Way’s John Lewis to Reeves Corner to the Factory Lane recycling centre, it nestles unexpectedly in the middle, … Read More »



Halal meat on Croydon’s school menus: striking a difficult balance

Posted on May 14th, by Rosie Edser in Politics & Society. 27 comments

Rosie Edser examines how the vexed topic of halal meat impacts on children of all ethnicities in Croydon’s schools

‘But Rosie – if you buy the wrong kind of sausages for dinner we will burn in a lake of fire when we die!” said my daughter’s schoolfriend. She was 8 years old, coming to tea and we were standing in the aisle of the Turkish supermarket in … Read More »