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Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:19 pm on 29th May 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Neuberger Baroness Neuberger Crossbench 12:19 pm, 29th May 2012

My Lords, I, too, am grateful to my noble friend Lord Sacks for initiating this debate. Interfaith relations have come a long way in the 60 years of Her Majesty's reign with her blessing and that of members of her family. The CCJ was in place 10 years earlier but these 60 years have seen a burgeoning of interfaith understanding with the World Council of Religions for Peace, the Abraham Fund, the International CCJ, the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, the Inter Faith Network, the Three Faiths Forum, the Coexistence Trust and the Woolf Institute. I could go on and on but we have only a minute.

We now need to move beyond interfaith dialogue to interfaith action. It is my dream, alongside that of many others, that before this Jubilee year is out, firm plans will be in place to establish a multifaith school, something that some of us, including my noble friend who is in his place today, have been planning since the Golden Jubilee and for which we need the Government's help. We have managed a multifaith hospice and now we must learn to educate our children together in all faiths, following the wonderful example of the integrated schools in Northern Ireland and the Hand in Hand schools in Israel. For me, that would be the culmination of the faiths' contribution in this Diamond Jubilee year and in its spirit.