THE Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority will sign a charter to champion the importance of inclusivity and cohesion.

Mayor Andy Burnham and representatives of the GMCA will sign to declare their commitment to equality, an inclusive society, and openness.

The latest signatories of the charter are also committing to working together to promote good relations between people of different faiths and beliefs in their communities, workplaces and wider society.

The Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion — a written grant — was launched last year by the Faith & Belief Forum in Greater Manchester, to promote good interfaith relations.

Mayor Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is home to more than 1.6 million Christians, almost 250,000 Muslim believers and significant numbers of followers of Hinduism and Judaism. We are committed to equality, the value of diversity and the end of discrimination, which is an essential part of Greater Manchester’s culture, vision and values in the 21st century.

"Greater Manchester is a tolerant city-region, a place that welcomes and has a home for people of all faiths and none. Our 10 boroughs are diverse and proud of it. Our doors and hearts are open, which is why I have placed great importance on the GMCA signing this charter — it demonstrates our commitment to the power of faith and the power of community."

Mr Burnham is one of the Faith & Belief Forum's champions, who commit to support and promote the cause of good interfaith relations.

Along with representatives from the GMCA, he will sign the charter in the presence of the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, and other leaders of Greater Manchester faith communities.

The ceremony will take place at Manchester Cathedral today.

Bishop David Walker said: “Our faith and our beliefs lie at the heart of our lives, both as individuals and communities. The strength and resilience of Manchester is a tribute to how people of diverse beliefs and faiths work in harmony here. This Charter sets out very simply how we will continue to do so, for the wellbeing and flourishing of all.”

The charter launched in 2018 with 15 founding signatories, a number that has now grown to more than 60.

Signatories include the Department for Education, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Muslim Council of Britain, Humanists UK, and many more.

Phil Champain, director of the Faith & Belief Forum, said: “At a time when some are seeking to drive our communities apart, the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion presents a more positive vision. It recognises that a good society is one in which people of all backgrounds belong and participate in building stronger, more connected communities. We look forward to working with Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to champion good relations between people of all faiths and beliefs.”