Representatives of the main faiths gathered at the Board of Deputies to bid farewell to Toby Howarth, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s secretary for inter-religious affairs.

Reverend Howarth has taken up his new post as Bishop of Bradford, and will be replaced by, Mark Poulson, who was also welcomed at the event on 13 January. 

Board President Vivian Wineman said: “”The party was a fitting tribute to Toby Howarth’s great work in inter-faith relations.”

“In these difficult times it was also an excellent opportunity for us to re-affirm the excellent relationships we have with representatives of all the main faiths.”

Board Vice President, and founder of Mitzvah Day, which drives Interfaith social action, Laura Marks, paid tribute to Mr Howarth’s work in inter-faith relations.

Rev Toby Howarth hailed those behind the Board and Muslim Council of Britain’s join statement in relation to the Gaza war, praising the two bodies for their “great courage and leadership”. He said the statement had been a “real sign of hope”.

During the Board reception, Rev Howarth was presented with a menorah which he vowed to take to Bradford, and His successor Rev Mark Poulson received a book on the history of the community’s representative body.

He said such interfaith gatherings were “the act of defiance in the light of the people of violence and those who want to divide us”.

Photo credit: John Rifkin

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