Home MPs John Grogan Inter-faith Dialogue

Inter-faith Dialogue

The Right Hon. Member for Meriden, Representing the Church Commissioners Was Asked – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th July 2018

John Grogan Labour, Keighley

To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent steps the Church of England has taken to promote inter-faith dialogue.

Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church of England continues to take active steps at local and international level to promote inter-faith dialogue. The Church works through organisations like the Council of Christians and Jews and the Christian Muslim Forum alongside close working with the Office of the Chief Rabbi and senior Muslim clerics.

John Grogan Labour, Keighley

Does the right hon. Lady agree that many Church schools, both C of E and Catholic, with multi-faith intakes, such as Our Lady of Victories Catholic School Keighley, pupils from which came down to Parliament last week, including many Muslim pupils, bind our communities together from a young age and teach respect for others?

Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I could not agree more. Church of England schools are open to the whole community and reflect the demographic profile of the community they serve. Thus in some parts of the country 80% or 90% of pupils in a Church of England school may be Muslim. If you will forgive me, Mr Speaker, I would like to commend what the new Home Secretary had to say about his own education as a Muslim in a Church of England school, and how important a part of his own upbringing was an awareness of religious literacy in our world today.