Press release: Faith Minister calls on religious communities to bridge divides


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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
Further information

Read the full report, Belief in communities: bridging the divide.

To see where Lord Bourne visited use #FaithTour2 on Twitter.

Lord Bourne visited approximately 55 places of worship/faith projects during Faith Tour 2 – see below for a full list.


  • London - Muslim Association of Nigeria (MANUK)
  • North West - Khirza Mosque
  • North East - Razia Jamia Mosque
  • North East - Abu Bakr Mosque and Community Centre
  • West Midlands - Bahu Trust
  • West Midlands - Abrahamic Foundation
  • Luton - Ali-Hira Centre
  • Luton - Al-Hikmah School Madrasahs Bury Park site
  • Leicester - Baitul Ikram Mosque
  • Leicester - Masjid al Husayn
  • North West - Islamic High School for Girls

  • Manchester Multifaith Centre
  • Bristol Cathedral (Multifaith)
  • Solihull Faith Forum
  • Birmingham Council of Faiths

  • Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford
  • Manchester - Gita Bhavan Hindu Temple
  • Luton - Hindu Mandir
  • Leicester - BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

  • Kent - Moses Montefiore Synagogue and Mausoleum
  • London - Bevis Marks Synagogue
  • Manchester - Jewish Museum
  • Canvey Island
  • Bristol and West Progressive
  • Progressive Synagogue Newcastle
  • Luton United Synagogue
Church of England

  • Bath Abbey

  • Manchester - Sikh Gurdwara
  • West Mids - Sikh Council UK
  • Luton - Sikh Temple
Other Christian

  • Kent - Greek Orthodox Church and Community
  • Hull - Seventh-Day Adventist Church
  • Essex - Mountain of God, Calvary Church of God in Christ
  • Bristo l- Methodist New Room
  • Bath Moravian Church
  • Lindisfarne Priory / The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin/ St.Cuthbert’s Centre / St.Aidan’s Roman Catholic Church
  • West Midlands - Lozells Methodist Centre & Church
  • London - Newington Green Unitarian Church
  • London - Oasis Church and Hub (Baptist)

  • West Midlands - Shree Krishna Temple
Faith Projects

  • Bradford - Thornbury centre
  • Bradford - Anchor Project (Near Neighbours)
  • North East - The Holy Biscuit
  • Open Door North East

  • Kent - Global Generation Church
  • Manchester - Chinese Buddhist Temple
  • Kent - Shrine of St Augustine
  • Luton - Roma Church
  • Leicester - Jain Centre
  • Leicester - Bahá’í Community
  • North Lincolnshire Museum (Gypsy/Roma Roundtable)
  • Wilberforce House Museum
  • London - Green Room St Mungos
  • Kent - Global Generation Church
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