HUNDREDS gathered to break the Ramadan fast together in an evening filled with community spirit.

Makkah Mosque in Great Lever welcomed the wider community to its fourth annual community Iftar on Friday night.

The event was attended by more than 300 people including councillors, interfaith representatives and the local MP, Yasmin Qureshi.

Guests were given a guided tour of the mosque's facilities at the former Victorian boarding school

Children from the community performed prayers and poems in English for the audience eager to learn about the holy month.

Muslims and non-Muslims dined together just before the clock struck nine and the fast was over for the night.

The service was led by Imam Adil Shahzad who organised the first community Iftar at Makkah Mosque four years ago.

Sajid Malik, general secretary of the Grecian Crescent mosque, borrowed a phrase from the Imam when he spoke of the importance of the event.

He said: "As the Imam said: building bridges, breaking barriers. The whole purpose is for the wider community to visit the mosque and make up their own mind as there’s all sorts of funny myths going around.

"I want you to leave with your own thoughts at the end of the evening. It’s our initiative to say this is a place of worship so it’s a community centre."

Chan Parmer, who recently stepped down as chair of Bolton Interfaith Council, also spoke at the event.

He praised the efforts of the organisers and told the crowd that humanity is the starting point of all faiths.

Mr Malik added: "I was born in this country. I've lived here all my life. I was brought up here. I have lots of friends from different cultures and backgrounds.

"[The event] is similar to what would be the done in church groups, faith-based and non-faith-based groups."