I LEFT South Africa in 1961 to live in England, writes Brian Oosthuysen.

I left behind a country full of race hatred and in which the president said: “The only time I wish to see a black person on his knees in a white church is when he is cleaning the floor”.

I arrived in a country which also had its faults (“No Irish, No blacks, No dogs”) but which showed a kind, friendly welcome to immigrants like me and my family.

Sadly now we have the rise of the far right in our country and race hatred is growing, with acts of violence against the Muslim community becoming the norm.

The horror of Christchurch in New Zealand, a friendly, warm nation, must be a warning to us here in England.

I think we should show our friendliness to the Muslims living within our country, welcoming them and ensuring that they become accepted members of the country in which they now live.

I think we should go out of our way to greet Muslims and, of course, others, who have chosen to live in this country.

I believe firmly in the diversity I see around me and am not worried, where Nigel Farage is worried, about people I hear walking around, speaking in a language which is not English.

I thought of having a meeting in, say, the front of the Sub rooms simply to show our horror at the events in New Zealand, where 50 people, including young children, were mercilessly killed.

It would be a meeting where all the church leaders, the Muslim Imams, Jewish Rabbis and those without any faith but sharing a feeling of love for all our fellow citizens could meet and show that we will not accept the vile behaviour of those filled with hatred.

I was very moved by the Muslim man in Christchurch who had lost a member of his family but who nonetheless said he forgave the assassin and loved him.

If he can show such love then surely we can do the same.

Brian Oosthuysen