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News / Mayor Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority to sign Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion

Mayor Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority to sign Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion

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The Faith & Belief Forum

07 / 11 / 19

Mayor Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority will sign the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion in the presence of the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, and other leaders of Greater Manchester Faith Communities at an event next week.

The Charter signing ceremony is taking place in Manchester Cathedral on Monday 11 November.

The Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion is an initiative of the Faith & Belief Forum and brings together organisations across society who believe in a society which is welcoming to all people, of all backgrounds and beliefs. Signatories of the Charter commit to working together to promote good relations between people of different faiths and beliefs in their communities, workplaces and wider society.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester is a tolerant city-region, a place that welcomes and has a home for people of all faiths and none. Our 10 boroughs are diverse and proud of it. Our doors and hearts are open, which is why I have placed great importance on the GMCA signing this Charter – it demonstrates our commitment to the power of faith and the power of community.

“Greater Manchester is home to more than 1.6 million Christians, almost 250,000 Muslim believers and significant numbers of followers of Hinduism and Judaism. We are committed to equality, the value of diversity and the end of discrimination, which is an essential part of Greater Manchester’s culture, vision and values in the 21st century.”

Bishop David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, said: “Our faith and our beliefs lie at the heart of our lives, both as individuals and communities. The strength and resilience of Manchester is a tribute to how people of diverse beliefs and faiths work in harmony here. This Charter sets out very simply how we will continue to do so, for the wellbeing and flourishing of all.”

Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum, said: “At a time when some are seeking to drive our communities apart, the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion presents a more positive vision. It recognises that a good society is one in which people of all backgrounds belong and participate in building stronger, more connected communities. We look forward to working with Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to champion good relations between people of all faiths and beliefs.”

Mrs Qaisra Sharaz and Rev Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Co-chairs of Faith Network for Manchester: “We have been working across Manchester’s communities with the other interfaith and multifaith groups in Greater Manchester for more than 15 years to create greater understanding, represent the voice of faith communities and to involve them more in the life of the city and Greater Manchester.  We believe that signing this charter is a significant marker in our work to foster cohesion, understanding and harmony across Greater Manchester and are proud to be associated with it.”

The principles of the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion:

  1. We believe in an inclusive society where people of different faiths and beliefs have strong and positive relations. We believe that intolerance has no place in our communities or workplaces, and that diversity adds value to our society.
  2. By connecting people of different faiths and beliefs, we can create a society which is fair to people of all backgrounds – religious and non-religious. We encourage people to engage more across differences and learn to understand each other better.
  3. We recognise the need to create a more open conversation about faith and belief in our communities and in all of the UK. We will have these conversations in a spirit of mutual respect and curiosity, and be open to different perspectives.

The Charter launched in 2018 with 15 founding signatories, a number that has now grown to over 60. Signatories include the Department for Education, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Muslim Council of Britain, Humanists UK, and many more.

Full list of Charter signatories: https://faithbeliefforum.org/about/the-charter-for-faith-belief-inclusion/

For more information
Email: philip@faithbeliefforum.org

 

Notes for editors

The Faith & Belief Forum has worked for over 20 years to build good relations between people of all faiths and beliefs, and to create a society where difference is celebrated. The organization creates spaces in schools, universities, workplaces and the wider community where people can engage with questions of belief and identity and meet people different from themselves. We were founded in 1997 as the Three Faiths Forum. Over the years our work expanded to include people of all faiths and beliefs, both religious and non-religious. In 2018, we changed our name to the Faith & Belief Forum to better reflect this inclusive ethos. For more information, see https://faithbeliefforum.org

The Faith Network for Manchester (FN4M) was established in 2004 with the backing of the Community Network for Manchester and the Manchester City Council with the specific brief of engaging faith communities in the decision-making processes of the city. FN4M has developed into an able and committed body that delivers effective tools for engagement through conferences, meetings, schools work, women’s groups, and collaborating with other local Interfaith groups across Greater Manchester.

It focuses on both inter-faith and multi-faith work, the former brings people of different faiths together to improve awareness, understanding and respect, the latter seeing people of different faiths undertaking social action projects and representing a joint faith perspective to other bodies. FN4M hosts the Greater Manchester Interfaith Network and the accountable body for the Greater Manchester Interfaith Health and Social Care Network.

For further information: Rabbi Warren Elf MBE, warren@fn4m.org | 07879 454292

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