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The multifaith reference group (MFRG) is formed from representatives from major world religions and higher education institutions and chaplains at St Peters Chaplaincy. Its purpose is to facilitate multifaith activities in Greater Manchester. The mission statement of the group is given below.

Multifaith reference group
    
‘a group of students and staff, community leaders and University Managers whose concern is with religion and the Higher Education Institutions in Manchester (HEIs); 

the group will be a place for the discussion of any issues of moment and will try to be a bridge between the HEIs and people of faith and their communities,

engaging the HEIs, community/faith leaders and students and student groups and staff in dialogue, interaction, sharing of awareness,  information and concerns for the benefit of all     members of the academic community in Manchester’

The idea/hope is that the MFRG will be both reactive and proactive:
 

Reactive:  

to the needs of the HEIs; able to be an authoritative source of reference and advice around such issues as: provision of student services, accommodation, catering, religious festivals, needs and practice, their impact upon exams and timetabling, staff appointment procedures etc, equal opportunities, discrimination/equality, arrangements in the event of a death (and associated policies), hardship issues etc

Proactive:  

modelling good multi-faith relationships

celebrating the presence and contribution of the faith dimension to the HE community

informal teaching about our faiths to all interested parties as and when
building bridges between the worlds of the campus and the surrounding local communities

joint social and welfare/practical  projects
- eg hardship fund for overseas students
- multi-faith development worker post
- a follow-up conference: eg ‘multi-faith dimension to the design and delivery - of student services’
- a week-long celebration of faith in 2006
- social events of different sorts

To know more about MFRG contact Terry Biddington (Chaplain at St Peters House Church and Chaplaincy), at Terry.Biddington@manchester.ac.uk