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Bishop Paves, for the future of Christianity

Church leaders expressed concern over the growing diversity within the Church of England and its potential to undermined the position of the church — but one Bishop says this may be a good thing.

There is rarely a case of complete autonomy in the world today as almost every country is overflowing with multicultural influences.

People from all over the world immigrate and enhance England by sharing their cultural beliefs and enriching the lives of citizens, so why not acknowledge the diversity?.

For Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Bradford, some of his parishes are 95 percent Muslim — but to him this should not be seen as a problem but rather an opportunity to grow.

“This is a fantastic opportunity,” said Baines.

“It is a challenge, yes, but it’s an opportunity to rethink what it means to be a Christian community. We often ask Muslims to learn what is to be a Muslim as a minority culture is. Maybe we could benefit from learning some of the same lessons in some of our cities.”

After speaking during the Church of England’s national assembly, Baines began discussing a scheme that would use £5 million of government money to go to projects that promote interactions between people of different faiths.

In Bradford, people of different faiths will be able to apply for grants and create individual projects — much like the Bradford Centre for Dialogue and Diversity.

While the Bishop welcomed this ingenious project, he admitted that the money was not a huge amount because it will be split between four areas over three years — but that doesn’t dampen the Bishop’s faith.

“If we can do a really good job with it maybe we can go back to the government in three years and say how about more?” said Baines.

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