Buckingham Palace reception celebrates people of faith making positive change in their communities

The Queen has a deep personal Christian faithReuters

People of faith who are working for the good of their communities are to be celebrated this week at a reception at Buckingham Palace with the Queen.

The reception on Tuesday brings together 160 men and women who are inspired by their faith to make a difference in their communities. 

The Daily Mail reports that the Queen, who is Defender of the Faith and a committed Christian, was keen to hold a "faith reception" at the palace.

Those invited come from different faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Baha'i. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "As head of the nation and head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty recognises and celebrates religious diversity in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth.

"Across the UK, individuals of all faiths and beliefs are working at grassroots and community level to support their local neighbourhoods and bring together different backgrounds and ethnicities." 

One woman invited to the reception is Emma Holton, who worships at St Paul's Church in Walsall, in the West Midlands.

She was inspired in her volunteering by the faith diversity in Walsall. 

"I have been involved with the church for around four years. We are open seven days a week and there is a huge variety of people coming in each day to use our coffee shop and other facilities," she told the Daily Mail. 

"In fact, it's that diversity that drew me to it. We have people of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu religions visiting on a daily basis. It is a broad mix and has been such a positive experience."

She held a Remembrance Sunday last year incorporating the diverse faiths and creeds of the Walsall community. 

The event included an exhibition of photos submitted by members of the community showing their loved ones who had served in the First World War. 

There were also talks by speakers, including a historian who was an expert in the Muslim contribution during the War and a Caribbean speaker who shed light on the little known role of people from that region in the War effort.

"I wanted our commemorations to reflect the community that we live in," she said.

The success of the Remembrance Sunday event has inspired Ms Holton to plan more with members of Walsall's diverse faith community.  A community curry is next on the list. 

"I can now call the local mosque, gurdwara... anywhere for help," she said. "We are planning community curry next."