Community cohesion is a "day-to-day reality" in Luton, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said while visiting the town during his three-day visit to St Albans diocese.
The Archbishop also backed local faith groups calling on far-right party Britain First to call off a planned march through the town and engage in dialogue.
Speaking to faith leaders at Luton Town Hall yesterday on the first day of his visit to the diocese, the Archbishop said: "It’s very easy for people to talk about cohesion in abstract terms, but the thing about this community is you are doing it in a concrete way. It’s not abstract - it's day-to-day reality.
He added: “What you are doing is so important in this country, where the challenges of cohesion are getting greater and greater.
“We need to hold up alternative ways of doing things – which you are doing – which are more attractive than the negatives that we hear around us so much."
Speaking to the Luton News outside the town hall, the Archbishop said he supported "very strongly" efforts by local faith leaders in urging far-right party Britain First to call off a planned march in Luton and "do things through dialogue and not confrontation."
He said: “Confrontation gets you nowhere and Luton shows that very clearly. The church leaders have made a very clear stand on this.”