An initiative encouraging interfaith dialogue between Jewish and Christian students is to be launched next week at a landmark campus event featuring Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
The Council of Christians and Jews’ Student Presidents will facilitate opportunities for students of different faiths to meet and work with the organisation and their peers to campaign for religious tolerance within their campus communities.
An annual national conference for CCJ campus members is being planned, while an interactive website will be set up as a conduit for information and opinion exchange.
CCJ’s Bishop Nigel McCulloch said: “We are very excited to be engaging students on the topic of interfaith and are delighted that the Archbishop of York and the Chief Rabbi are supporting the initiative.”
“We hope that we can be a great source of information and support for appointed students who can use their involvement to further their networking, experience and studies.”
CCJSP’s will be invited to major events involving high-profile religious figures and each year a one-term scholarship will be offered to one CCJSP to study interfaith relations.
Next Wednesday will see Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Archbishop John Sentamu lead discussions on the dynamics of interfaith in the 21st century at Durham University.
“Dialogue between faiths has never been more important,” said the Chief Rabbi. “Celebrating what we share and respecting differences are a vital part of the CCJ’s work and it is this that we hope the new initiative will help foster. Today’s students are our lay and religious leaders of tomorrow.”
Saying he was looking forward to joining Rabbi Mirvis in addressing students from Jewish and Christian societies around the UK, Archbishop Sentamu said: “It’s important that we look to help one another in our communities, to respond to our neighbours in need, whether we are people of faith or none at all. Together we can achieve so much more.”