The guest speaker at the Stretford Deanery Synod of the 21 April 2015 was the Revd Canon Steve Williams* who presented a very interesting view of interfaith activities within the Diocese of Manchester.

Much of his presentation developed from his own personal life experiences as a parish priest in a multi-faith community and the friendships formed by the interactions with people active in these other religions within this community.  He suggested that a simple guide to getting closer to neighbours is to become familiar with their customs and religious calendar.  They in turn will often return this and a mutual respect develops.

Interfaith activities are wide ranging and becoming more common within communities.  Interfaith marriage for example is one were different faiths come together and there will be problems and opportunities.  These can be explored in advance by becoming familiar with key websites offering an inter-faith resource list to help guide people in becoming closer to all our neighbours within our parishes and communities.

A list of some of these is included here:

The Church of England website is Presence and Engagement –

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland -

Churches Together in England – Inter Faith Gateway - faith.aspx

Inter Faith Network for the UK -

Calendar of Festivals -


*At the prestigious Manchester Jewish Community Awards 2014 Revd Canon Steve Williams was acclaimed “Friend of the Community” in recognition of his interfaith and communal work.

Friend of the Community Award is made to someone who is not Jewish, but who has helped and supported the Manchester Jewish community in an exceptional manner.

Revd Canon Steve Williams is Priest in Charge at St Gabriel’s Church Prestwich. He is also Interfaith Advisor to the Bishop of Manchester and is widely known and highly regarded in the Greater Manchester region for his interfaith and community work. For several years Steve has served as Co-Chair of the Council of Christians and Jews where he has won the admiration and friendship of colleagues.

The nomination for Steve concluded: “In short, Steve’s many personal qualities and virtues, his integrity and selfless commitment, and his sheer hard work have made him an indispensable, true and constant friend of our community."

Commenting on his award, Revd Steve Williams said, “This is a generous and gracious award from a community that I am proud to call my friends, too.”  (Published 18th March 2014)