Many people contact the Church of England for help and advice about new religious movements (NRMs). With more than 4000 such groups known to be operating in the UK, it is ever more likely that Christians will encounter them. NRMS also often approach churches and clergy looking for somewhere to meet or to create relationships.
People sometimes call such groups ‘cults’ or ‘sects’ and while some are entirely peaceful and friendly, others cause problems and difficulties. A very few are engaged in fraudulent and unlawful activity and some are groups using religion as a cover for other interests and agenda.
The Church of England’s adviser on new religious movements is Dr Anne Richards. She carries a range of resources to advise clergy, churches and members of the public on how, and whether, to engage with new religious groups. There is also a network of diocesan advisers on new religious movements some of whom are specialists in particular movements.
The Church of England also has a partnership with INFORM at the London School of Economics which provides information about NRMs to enquirers.
You can find out more at:
There are nine primary schools in the two parishes of St Clements and St Augustine and between them they have between 4,000 and 4,500 children. Seven primary schools have sent cohorts of children to visit one of our church buildings as part of their RE programme. In May we will receive five groups of children in the two parishes and last year over 500 children visited one of our places of worship. In addition there is one large secondary school and the whole of year eleven recently visited a church building as part of their RE programme. The context is substantially Muslim and the schools reflect largely separated communities.
This research project commissioned by the Hindu Christian Forum and the department for Communities and Local Government interviewed Hindus and Christians in London, Leicester and Preston. Its final report, from June 2011, outlines preconceptions the different groups have about each other and sets out a range of ideas for future Hindu Christian interaction.
Discusses the theological, pastoral and liturgical dimensions of interfaith marriage.
In the midst of a recession how can we develop cohesive communities?
Brief interiews with Ted Cantle, Guy Wilkinson and others in response to the Communities Role
This summary of the Theological consultant to the Council of Bishops' paper on the Uniqueness of Christ was presented to the General Synod.
Full text of 'Generous Love: the truth of the gospel and the call to dialogue.' Published in 2008, Generous Love is an Anglican theology of interfaith relations, from the Anglican Communion Network for Interfaith Concerns (NIFCON).
Both Christians and Muslims are deeply committed to their faiths and wish to bear faithful witness to them. This paper was produced by Christian Muslim Forum and offers guidelines for good practice, which you may wish to use as an agreement for interfaith activities.
This is a legal document developed by the Church of England to set procedures by which other faith communities, under very rare circumstances as this is a sensitive issue, might be able to worship in Church Buildings. Church buildings are generally reserved for Christian worship, but if a Bishop and a local community are willing to advocate strongly for another faith community in the area then they may be allowed to use the Church building. Note that this document refers primarily to closed churches being acquired by other faiths, rather than the use of buildings still used by a Christian congregation.
This 1995 report was prepared for General Synod by the Board of Mission’s Inter-Faith Consultative Group. It covers historical debate and previous documents on this issue from the 1970 and 80s. It considers scriptural and theological perspectives on ideas of holy places, as well as issues around the use of church buildings by other faiths - both those still in use and those which have been closed.
This 1992 report offers questions and suggestions from the Inter-faith Consultative Group. It gives examples of potential situations where this issue might arise, and gives an overview of the relevant publications from the 1970s and 80s. It provides theological and scriptural perspectives, as well as practical guidelines for visiting places of worship, hosting visitors of other faiths and planning a shared service. It also sets out the legal position on the use of churches and of clergy participation in events held elsewhere.
To rotate the view of this file, once you have opened it, hold down Ctrl+Shift and press - on the Keyboard
These guidelines from the Diocese of Southwark look at questions which arise when planning a multifaith event either in a church or a civic/secular venue.
This guide contains a set of sessions on how to build relationships with families from different faiths living in your neighbourhood. It was put together by the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and one of the authors was Nicholas Wood from the Christian Muslim Forum.
The Archbishop's Council for Mission and Public Affairs produced these guidelines in 2010 for the Church's response to extremist right-wing parties. The BNP and other groups have in the past presented themselves as the defenders of England's Christian heritage. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York responded by warning the public to be wary of voting for any political party ‘whose core ideology is about sowing division in our communities and hostility on grounds of race, creed or colour’.
This report presents a selection of the most vital and innovative inter faith work being done in the Church of England today. It was given as a report to General Synod in April 2010 on the uniqueness of Christ in the context of Britain’s multifaith society. The report includes case studies of good practice in sharing God’s love from Leicester, Southall, Birmingham, Bedford, Burnley, Bradford.
Encouraging Reading is a series of ten Old Testament studies, which came out of a workshop on Iona in 2008. It was developed specifically for P&E Parishes but it is also a great resource for any Bible Study group. Edited by Michael Ipgrave and Guy Wilkinson.