LOCAL dignitaries and friends of Pinner hostage Norman Kember held a vigil for him at Harrow Civic Centre on Thursday last week.

The leader of Harrow Council, Councillor Navin Shah, led the tributes to the 74-year-old professor before reading a statement from the people of the borough.

Although none of Professor Kember's family attended the reflection, Councillor Shah told them the thoughts and prayers of every section of the community was with them.

He said: ""The multi-cultural, multi-faith, peace loving community of Harrow is united in expressing its hopes and prayers for the early and safe release of Norman Kember and other hostages.

"We plead to the Swords of Righteousness Brigade to release Norman Kember, James Loney, Harmeet Singh Sooden and Tom Fox.

"We can vouch from our experience that Norman, one of our own from Harrow, is a dedicated peace campaigner, a man of God and a man of peace.

"Release him and allow Norman to continue his mission for peace."

After Councillor Shah signed the statement the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Paddy Lyne, Harrow Council chief executive, Joyce Markham, Reverend Robert Gardiner of Harrow Baptist Church and members of Harrow Interfaith Council all added their signatures.

Councillor Shah also asked visitors to remember the family and friends of British Muslim pilgrim Husain Mohammedali, murdered in Iraq on the same week Professor Kember was kidnapped.

Reverend Gardiner, who is minister of Professor Kember's church in College Road, Harrow, thanked the community for its support.

"We are all very grateful to the people of Harrow, Harrow Interfaith Council, the church community and other religions who have sent cards and letters.

"Although it is not easy for Norman's wife Pat at this moment she is grateful for the support she has received and it has done something to strengthen her courage and resolve."

Reverend Gardiner asked visitors to observe a two-minute silent reflection.

Ms Markham read an extract from Piers The Ploughman by William Langland before a closing prayer by the Mayor's Chaplain, the Reverend Terrence MacMath.