A FAITH leader who helped reassure communities in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack has received an MBE.

Prince William presented Rabbi Warren Elf with his award for services to the community.

Mr Elf, who lives in Sunnybank, Bury, plays a pivotal role as a faith leader in Greater Manchester and in developing strong links between people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths.

He was a leading voice in restoring calm and reassurance to all communities following the Manchester Arena attacks in 2017, through his work as the community development officer for the Faith Network for Manchester.

Mr Elf, aged 59, previously told The Bury Times: "I feel very honoured to be receiving an MBE.

"I am proud of the work that I do in Manchester and in Bury in the area of interfaith work in particular. I believe it is important to develop community and social cohesion.

"We all have so many things in common and where there are differences between us and between different groups, I believe these enrich us and our community and are to be celebrated. I encourage others to realise this too.

"The voluntary work I have done and continue to do, in addition to my professional work as a Rabbi, teacher and community leader, has been focused on helping those I meet and work with to understand this. I look for and create opportunities for us to meet, know and understand each other.

"I think this is very important in our society at this time and am honoured that the significance of this work is recognised. I share this honour with all those good people who are also working to increase understanding, cohesion and friendship in Bury, Manchester and further afield."

In the immediate aftermath of the Arena attack, Mr Elf attended the strategic emergency meeting at Manchester Cathedral, and was involved in planning community responses with Manchester City Council and other statutory agencies including Greater Manchester Police. This involved arranging and giving interviews, as well as organising visits of support to demonstrate cross-communal unity in the face of terror.

Mr Elf also organised a series of around 20 vigils and other gatherings for the faith communities, as well as arranging Manchester's participation in a joint commemoration event which brought more than 200 people together.

In addition to his responsibilities as an esteemed Rabbi, Mr Elf is a married father-of-two teaching maths at Bury Grammar School.

Mr Elf is a prominent member of Manchester’s Challenging Hate Forum, helping to organise the annual Peace and Unity event in the city. He is also co-Chair of a national charity (FODIP), which promotes positive dialogue within and between the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities on the Middle East and facilitates workshops for young people.