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Faith Minister calls on religious communities to bridge divides

People and faith groups urged to reach out to one another and build local networks to support their communities and to bridge divides and extend understanding.

Faith Minister, Lord Bourne today (14 November 2018) urged people and faith groups across the country to reach out to one another and build local networks to support their communities and to bridge divides and extend understanding.

The call came as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published a new report to mark Inter Faith Week, championing the role faith groups play in their communities and highlighting the valuable inter faith work taking place around the country.

The report, Belief in communities: bridging the divide, follows the Minister for Faith, Lord Bourne’s second national faith tour, which saw him visit places of worship around the country to better understand their role bringing people of different faiths and backgrounds together.

From Holy Island in Northumberland to Canvey Island in Essex, Lord Bourne travelled far and wide to witness the work many religious institutions do alongside other faith groups from their communities to support the most vulnerable, help make their areas safer and cleaner, and tackle social issue such as loneliness.

Minister for Faith Lord Bourne said:

“Over the past year I have travelled across the country meeting many religious communities, which have established hugely impressive interfaith networks, where religious groups come together to bridge divides and raise awareness.

“As we mark Inter Faith Week, there is no better time to celebrate faith groups around the country who are making a profound impact on their communities, and to encourage people of all faiths to support and lead inter faith activity in their area.”

The report details how inter faith networks can encourage social mixing and play a key role in building strong, resilient communities. Reflecting on this evidence, Lord Bourne issued a call for individuals and religious institutions around the country to:

  • recognise the valuable contribution of faith and belief institutions
  • remain open to understanding those of other faiths and beliefs within your community
  • reach and establish partnerships with other organisations
  • encourage your faith institutions to join a local interfaith network
  • establish interfaith networks in those areas where they don’t already exist

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