A WOMAN whose son was shot dead by a gunman was in Huddersfield to promote peace.
Patsy McKie, from Hulme, Greater Manchester, is chairwoman of the Mothers Against Violence campaign.
She was one of a number of speakers at a two-day event at the New Testament Church of God at Great Northern Street, Huddersfield.
Patsy's 20-year-old son Dorrie was shot dead in Hulme in 1999.
She told the congregation the church had a major role to play in addressing violence.
She said: "Mothers Against Violence work with young men and women who are susceptible to gang violence.
"The problem is growing, in every area.
"It is not just guns. Stabbings are increasing too.
"People use violence to settle arguments, to protect themselves, to get respect.
"The church has a major role to play. If people's spiritual needs are not met, moral values go out of the window. You need to believe in something and be accountable."
Mrs McKie was one of several guests at the community weekend at the church, which was held to promote religion in the community and to celebrate Black History Month.
On Saturday, a variety of local agencies held information stalls at the church.
These included black education and arts charity Abacus, Victim Support, the Black Police Association, black rights group The Harriet Tubman Agency, the Salvation Army and the Carriacou and Petit Martinique and Grenada Association.
Displays of prominent figures and stories featured in black history were also on show.
The Rev Paul Thomas, senior pastor at the church, said: "The aim was to let the community find out about the church and celebrate Black History Month. It's gone very well and we've had a lot of interest."
On Sunday, guest speakers addressed the congregation between worship.
Dr Franklin Smith, from Oxford, spoke about Caribbean history and the church's role in it.
Dr Smith, who grew up in Jamaica, said: "Generally, people don't know much about their history. Understanding it shapes you and is very important."
The Rev Dennis Hines, from Northampton, the director of the National Prison Ministry, which advises prison chaplains on how to deal with people of different faiths, told the congregation about his work and gave a short lesson.
He said: "The church has a big role in the prison service and I wanted to raise awareness of that.
"I was also telling the story of the Prodigal Son to encourage people to accept those who are different from themselves."
Pastor Gloria Hanley, of West Yorkshire African Caribbean Churches, was also at the event. Her organisation acts as an umbrella group to link black majority churches.
She said: "This event has been brilliant and is long overdue. It is something WYACC will be promoting in future."