Big plans to bring community closer start with a bang

NEAR NEIGHBOURS A gathering at Dewsbury Minster. (d522g440)

NEAR NEIGHBOURS A gathering at Dewsbury Minster. (d522g440)

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Faith leaders gathered at Dewsbury Minster for the opening of a huge project designed to bring communities together.

Near Neighbours is a funding and networking enterprise, with backing from the Department for Communities and Local Government, that will facilitate and pay for projects to bring people from different ethnicities, cultures and religions together.

People gather at the minster welcomed speakers from different faiths and performances from Thornhill Primary School’s choir.

Bishop of Wakefield Tony Robinson said: “For Christians being a good neighbour is not an option, it is a duty.

“When people sit down and talk they find that despite their differences they agree much more than they disagree.”

Canon Paul Hackwood, executive chairman of the Church Urban Fund, told the meeting: “Near Neighbours is about good connections, it is about how we can bring people together.”

He said that troubles around the world meant the work of bringing communities together was more important than ever.

“People want to exploit those difficult times for their own political ends. But we can work together to change things for the better.”

Grants of between £250-£5,000 can be applied for to pay for projects that involve or bring together people from different communities.

Advice can also be sought from project coordinators.

More information can be found at www.near-neighbours.org.uk.