Bishop challenges faith communities to get connected

Jenny Warbrick and Saraya Hussein prepare a meal for a Christian-Muslim women’s group in Birmingham(Photo: Dee/Outroslide)

The Bishop of Birmingham is encouraging people of different faiths to get connected this Inter Faith Week.

The Right Reverend David Urquhart will today be launching a photographic exhibition celebrating the relationships between people of faith.

The Faithful Friends exhibition features 15 portraits of people who have met each other through the Near Neighbours programme, a government-funded initiative encouraging people of different faiths and ethnicities to meet each other, build trusting relationships, and work together to transform their areas.

Bishop Urquhart is speaking at the exhibition launch. He is encouraging people of different faiths to make connections in their schools, workplaces, streets and neighbourhoods.

"Friendships that build bridges between people of different faiths and ethnicities are really good for us as individuals, enriching our lives, challenging our stereotypes and broadening our imagination," he said.

"They are also good for communities, strengthening them, removing prejudices and healing fragmentation.

"Friendships have the potential to move us from distant respect to deep appreciation, from mere tolerance to full participation in founding healthy, peaceful and generous communities.

"Most of the major faiths urge us to love God and love our neighbours. Let us together build friendships that change us and transform the places in which we live."

The 'Faithful Friends' exhibition will run at St Martin in the Bullring Church from 18 to 24 November.

There is a free photography workshop at the church on 20 November at 2.30pm.

Inter Faith Week 2012 takes place across England, Northern Ireland and Wales from 18 to 27 November.

It has been specially extended this year to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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