UK's 10 biggest faith groups unite in push for Commonwealth diversity

The leaders of Britain's largest faith groups have come together in a 'a display of religious unity' to highlight the importance of ethnic diversity in the Commonwealth.

The 10 groups backed the Commonwealth Big Lunches project, an initiative launched by Prime Minister Theresa May, aimed at bringing people of different backgrounds together around the Commonwealth.

Facebook / Archbishop of CanterburyJustin Welby, the most senior Anglican leader in the UK, is good friends with Vincent Nichols (right), who is the most senior Catholic leader in the UK.

The Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, the Catholic archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth are among the high-profile backers.

They join the Duke and Duchess of Westminster who attended lunch preparations last month.

The series of community events started on Commonwealth Day on March 12 and will continue through to April 22. The initiative coincides with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is set to take place this week in London and Windsor.

The archbishop of Canterbury preached to the Commonwealth heads in a service at Westminster Abbey on Sunday afternoon. He told senior Church of England bishops in a letter: 'As part of the Anglican Communion, the body of Christ, we are connected with our brothers and sisters across the Commonwealth.

'The Commonwealth Big Lunch is a wonderful opportunity for parishes in your diocese to celebrate the Commonwealth diaspora in their local community, as the Big Lunch can be teamed with a street party, discussion, sports, debate, or other event to bring the community together.'

The archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, added: 'I am sure that many Catholic parishes will be holding parish lunches. Special occasions like this can build enduring warmth, friendship and understanding between people.

'I hope many people will take part and I send my prayers and best wishes to all involved in organising it.'

Ibrahim Mogra, a representative of the Muslim community, said: 'I am delighted to support the Commonwealth Big Lunches that facilitates the coming together of neighbours near and far.

'I am very proud that there are communities from every country of the Commonwealth living in the UK.'

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