All our six bishops will be taking part in the first-ever national Virtual Community Service from Batley tomorrow morning to celebrate the Great Get Together weekend, with the aim of bringing together people of different faiths and beliefs through songs, poetry, artwork, conversations and prayers.
The annual ‘Great Get Together’ is an event held in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox and is taking a new form because of COVID-19.
The 11am service will conclude with a special inter-faith Act of Commitment featuring voices from all over the country echoing words from Jo's maiden speech. This will include contributions from Chief Rabbi Mirvis, all six Bishops from the Diocese of Leeds, including the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines alongside Andrew Copson (CEO Humanist Society), Imam Mohammed Mahmoud OBE (Senior Imam at East London Mosque and ‘hero Imam’ from the Finsbury Park Mosque attack), and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner (Senior Rabbi Reform Movement).
Revd Canon Mark Umpleby, Associate Priest in the United Benefice of Batley, said: “It will be really special in this time of pandemic with many feeling excluded or isolated, to be able to ‘join together’ in this way as part of the Great Get Together weekend. People of difference joining together and sharing across the country.”
Sheikh Irfan Soni, Imam in Batley, said: “I’m so looking forward to joining with friends and making new ones from across the country at the Virtual Community Service. All faiths encourage us to live and work in love and respect - and the Great Get Together will be a fantastic weekend, but in a different way to previous years.”