We’re living and working in an increasingly multicultural and multi-religious society. How do we relate well to one another? That’s the question at the heart of the Archbishop’s work with other faiths.
As Christians, who have freely received God’s love and grace, we’re called to love our neighbours as ourselves. We’re called to seek the flourishing of all by working together for the common good. That’s why engaging positively and lovingly with those of different faiths is an important part of the Archbishop’s ministry.
All over the country, the Church of England is present in diverse communities. All around the world, Anglican churches exist in countries alongside other faiths. If we want to understand our friends and neighbours, we need to listen and learn from them. We must be prepared to be challenged by them – and ready to work together for the common good.
That comes down to relationships.
Building relationships of trust and mutual respect with other faith leaders and communities is crucial. Learning about each others’ beliefs – what we cherish, what motivates us – helps us get beneath the surface. It means we can share what is unique about our traditions and beliefs. And it helps us disagree well on those things where we fundamentally differ.
There are three ways the Archbishop is seeking to engage with other faiths:
Whether it’s meeting regularly with the UK Chief Rabbi, having dialogue and partnership with international Muslim leaders, joining Iftar meals and or hosting faith communities and charities at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop builds relationships of integrity and trust across faiths.
The Archbishop seeks to learn from others and share best practice with the Church and beyond. He does this by making visits across the UK and around the global Anglican Communion – and working to raise the level of religious literacy throughout the Church. As part of this work, the Archbishop hosts training courses for charities, government departments, civil society and third sector groups and organisations.
All over the country, the Church of England is present in diverse communities. The Presence and Engagement programme gives support and resources to churches, as they explore what mission and ministry looks like in multi-religious contexts.
Diverse communities give us exciting opportunities to think creatively about how to get to know our neighbours of other faiths. The Near Neighbours initiative funds social action projects that bring people together in local communities.