Interfaith & Faithful Neighbours
Faithful Neighbours is a diocesan initiative helping Christians to interact with confidence as they meet people of different faiths - showing respect and hospitality whilst witnessing to our distinctive beliefs. According to the 2011 Census, there are over 300,000 people across our diocese following different faiths. Many of us know neighbours, colleagues and friends from a different religious community, and issues of religion are prominent in the media, so Faithful Neighbours is for every church.
Faithful Neighbours' strap line Churches sharing across faiths focuses our work on supporting Churches as they meet people of different faiths. We often share the same neighbourhoods as well as many common concerns about social and economic matters. We share some beliefs, values and creeds, but we also differ on some key matters of theology and ethics. Faithful Neighbours encourages open dialogue in safe spaces, enabling people to speak honestly, including on difficult subjects, learning to disagree well in a way that respects individual positions.
Faithful Neighbours aims to:
- Inspire Engagement - encouraging more Christians to get involved
- Facilitate Safe Spaces - helping people to discuss difficult issues
- Transform Communities - through prayer and practical action for the common good.
Faithful Neighbours will work across the diocese through Local Hubs in each Episcopal Area, so that our work focuses on the particular needs of our different churches and communities..
A host of different agencies and people are already active in this field and Faithful Neighbours aims to work with them as well as encourage more church leaders and others to get involved.
Bishop Toby Howarth is the Chair of Faithful Neighbours and Richard Bennett the Chief Executive.
Find out more on the Faithful Neighbours' website
Faithful Neighbours is part of Presence and Engagement - a national Church of England initiative, open to all denominations, supporting churches in their Ministry and Mission in a world of many faiths. Bishop Tony Robinson chairs the National Presence & Engagement Task Force.
Near Neighbours working through the Church Urban Fund is a close partner with Faithful Neighbours encouraging people of different faiths and none to understand each other better and work together on initiatives that improve their local neighbourhood.
Ian Fletcher is the Common Good Fund Link Officer for our area offering small grants for local groups to address tensions between faith and ethnic communities. Find out more about the criteria and application process for the Common Good Fund.
Other Interfaith Initiatives
Calderdale Interfaith Council Vice-Chair: Revd Canon Hilary Barber
Huddersfield Interfaith Council Contact: Revd Leslie Pinfield
Leeds Faith Forum Chair: Revd Canon Sam Corley
Leeds Faithful Neighbours Hub Co-ordinator: Dr Helen Reid
Wakefield District Interfaith Group
The Interfaith Network