Manchester has the UK's largest Jewish community outside London. Over a quarter of a million people are Muslim; big Hindu and Sikh communities are here too. Greater Manchester is more than just a window on the world. What happens here counts globally.
Presence and Engagement is the Church of England's inter-faith programme: present to every community through parish church and chaplaincy, and engaged positively in relationship with all our neighbours. We are true to our message whilst sensitive and aware of our neighbour's way of seeing the world.
So, we work visibly with leaders of other faith communities on matters of common concern - such as the frequency of race-hate incidents, response to terrorist attacks, the effects of poverty and climate change, and local neighbourhood emergencies, to name a few.
We also build frank and open relationships, where people from our churches can engage with members of other faith communities in friendly, honest, and open exploration of our beliefs. We do this through local forums, programmes like Friendship First, and dialogue events run by groups including the Council of Christians and Jews.
We are open to the questions that a parish church or chaplaincy will naturally face, such as:
- being invited to mark a birth, marriage, or death that involves someone from another faith-community
- when a group want to use church-owned premises
- when someone needs our help - in anything from seeking asylum to observing a holy day
We are here, too, to help churches which welcome people from other faith-communities who have come to a personal faith in Jesus.
We have a network of local people who have first-hand experience of working in the diverse parishes of Greater Manchester. We belong to a national network of people who have worked out answers to these issues that they can share. The national Presence and Engagement website is a great hub for resources and guidelines.
Alternatively, you can contact Revd Canon Steve Williams to be put in touch with someone who can deal with your question.