Religious faith is a vital part of life in this country and across the world. We find ourselves living and working in an increasingly multicultural and multi religious society but it’s not always obvious how we can relate well to one another.
Central to the Christian faith is the recognition that all human beings are made in the image of God. An important part of Archbishop Justin's ministry is to engage positively and lovingly with those of different beliefs, with the understanding that each person is a uniquely and wonderfully created child of God.
If we want to understand our friends and neighbours of different faith backgrounds, we need to listen to them and to learn from them, to be prepared to be challenged by them and to seek to work together for the common good.
The Archbishop seeks to engage with those of other faiths in three ways:
Whether it’s meeting regularly with the UK Chief Rabbi, having dialogue and partnership with international Muslim leaders, including the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, 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.
As Christians, who have freely received God’s love and grace, we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves and therefore to seek the flourishing of all by working together for the common good.
Watch the Archbishop's previous adviser for inter-religious affairs, the Revd Mark Poulson, talking about Archbishop Justin's work with other faiths: