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Blackburn Cathedral's Education Department has brought together 120 young people from different communities and cultural backgrounds in Lancashire to help build bridges and dispel myths.

On January 9 three schools from very different communities in the County gathered 120 children from years 5 and 6 at the Cathedral.  Young people from Christ Church, Carnforth; St Thomas, Blackburn and Griffin Park, Blackburn had the opportunity to work together, take part in team challenges and to find out more about each other in order to share their common values and respectfully appreciate their differences.

Christian and Muslim faith leaders were involved, modelling positive relationships.  This included a Q and A with the Cathedral’s Canon Missioner, the Rev Dr Canon Rowena Pailing, and local Imam, Salim Jogi from Jaame Masjid in Blackburn.

Dr Pailing said: "Head to Head is a really important initiative for celebrating hope and building trust in communities which have often been presented as divided.  We are all part of God’s family and this provides an opportunity to share together and build positive relationships as neighbours.’

She also said: "Salim and I started the day by modelling a getting to know you conversation.  We follow different faith traditions, but we are both people of faith ... and we also discovered a shared love of cricket, food and travel.’

Salim Jogi said: "It was a fantastic morning; this is what building stronger communities is all about."

This event, expected to be the first of many, included craft activities, food, team games and story based messages of hope and acceptance.

The Head to Head event was held in partnership with the Blackburn with Darwen Our Community our Future programme.