Faith in the Community: we need more than tolerance

FITC cover

“Building strong working relationships between local authorities and religious communities should not be based on mere ‘tolerance’. It should be about talking, listening, and growing together. Together, working in unity of spirit, we are stronger than when we try to do things in isolation.”

Tolerance is not enough. That’s what Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, says in his forward to the Faith in the Community report out today. Produced by Christians in Parliament and the Evangelical Alliance it follows a survey of more than 150 local authorities detailing their relationships with faith groups.

The report finds that faith groups provide a vast quantity and range of activities and services for and with their community. They are valued partners and they are achieving results in part of the country where the formal structures of local government struggle to reach. Preston City Council commented that faith groups are “close to the ground to the communities they serve, have access to ‘hard to reach’ communities, and have a better understanding and knowledge of communities and their needs.” In (almost) the words of Heiniken, refreshes the parts others cannot reach. Continue reading