City leaders in Preston to sign Faith Covenant

Faith groups and community organisations are set to have formal links with the city council for the first time.

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 5:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 5:11 pm
Commmunity and faith leaders gather at the Harris Museum to show solidarity following the Manchester bombing in 2017

Councillors will be asked tomorrow for their approval for the town hall to sign a Faith Covenant.

The agreement will form a pledge for the local authority to “endeavour to work with faith groups to empower, enable and promote cohesion and mobilise social action.”

A report set to go before a meeting of the full council on Thursday highlights that the city council “has a long history of working alongside the rich variety of faith groups in and around Preston.”

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And the concept of Faith Covenants is the result of an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) recommendation to “highlight the contribution to society by faith-based organisations.”

A total of 10 councils across the country have adopted their own covenants in recent years, including Blackpool Council in September last year.

The council hopes “as many groups as possible will be co-signatories”.

The report reads: “It demonstrates a joint commitment between faith communities and local authorities to a set of principles that will guide engagement and promote open, practical working on all levels.

“Over 10 years ago the council helped to establish the Faith Forum and during his leadership of the council, Coun Peter Rankin, has taken a personal lead in supporting its work.”

The proposed Faith Covenant for Preston, will be built on a set of principles, one of which is: “Faith communities are free to practise their beliefs and religious observances without

restriction, and to raise their voice in public debate and to be respected, within the framework of UK law.”