Bradford Faith ‘Twinning’ Project To Be Celebrated

The twinned organisations meet regularly, and hold community events that bring the different faith groups together.

A project that “twins” places of worship in Bradford will be celebrated at City Hall event on Tuesday.
 
The project, the first of its kind in the UK, involves 16 places of worship – including mosques (masjid), Church of England and Catholic churches, gurdwaras, Hindu temples and Buddhist centres.

The twinned organisations meet regularly, and hold community events that bring the different faith groups together.

On Tuesday afternoon Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Zafar Ali will recognise the significant project at a City Hall event.

The project has taken place in six areas of the Bradford district: West Bowling, Leeds Road, Manningham and Great Horton in Bradford, plus Keighley and Shipley.

Within each area, at least two places of worship have committed to meet regularly, work on a joint project, honour each other’s faiths and provide mutual support “in times of need.”

The faith group representatives will be presented with a certificate of acknowledgement to show thanks for their commitment to creating faith links for the common good.

Over 20 guests are expected at the ceremony, which will also be attended by Steve Hartley, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director, Department of Place; Ian Day, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director, Neighbourhood and Customer Services and Councillor Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety.

Steve Hartley, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director, Department of Place, said: “Bradford Council is committed to supporting community cohesion within our district. We already have strong links between our faith communities and this project builds on this foundation. Each twinning arrangement helps increase understanding and respect between different faith organisations, and leads to further joint work, for the benefit of local people living and working in those areas. I’d like to thank all the faith groups who have taken up the invitation to get involved.”

In the West Bowling area two places of worship just yards from each other, Madini Masjid and St Stephen’s Church, hae been involved in a successful partnership.

Saleem Hussain, of the Madni Masjid, West Bowling, said: “Madni Masjid BD5 and St Stephen’s Church have built up strong bonds of friendship through collaborative work over many years, which have contributed to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

“Our collaborative work started nine years ago working together on a drugs awareness project for parents and children. Each year Madni Masjid and St Stephen’s Church also collaborate on helping homeless people over the cold winter months – with St Stephen’s Church providing bed and warm shelter and Madni Masjid contributing towards food.

This twinning project, with such a number of different faith groups participating, is the first of its kind in the UK. It is based on a church/mosque twinning principle originally devised in London.

The Places of Worship Twinning agreement requires participating organisations to meet together at least twice annually, undertake at least one joint project annually, “respect and honour each other’s faiths” and support each other in times of need.

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