l-r PM David Cameron,Anthony Bailey, Grand Magistral Delegate for Inter-Religious Relations, HSH Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg, Mrs Anthony Bailey.
Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street for the 70th Anniversary of the Council of Christian and Jews, which was attended by Christian and Jewish leaders, including The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, Mr Anthony Bailey, Grand Magistral Delegate for Inter-Religious Relations for the Constantinian Order, and HSH Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg, Mrs Anthony Bailey.
The Prime Minister has often stressed the importance of interfaith work in helping to ensure that Britain’s diverse society is healthy and charitable in preventing conflict and promoting collaboration. During the reception he said: “There is hope for the future, particularly if people can follow the example of charities like your own. This government is trying to put charities, charitable groups, and charitable giving on a whole different footing. Right across the board you can see that we are saying you’re not the third sector - we believe charities have a huge role in delivering great public services.
“It’s what I call the Big Society – the idea that there’s a huge space between government and the individual that can be filled by organisations, faith-based organisations perhaps in particular, that can deliver great public services, that can do great things in terms of tackling some of the problems of our time.”
CCJ Vice-Chairman, Maurice Ostro, whose father, Max, survived the Holocaust with the help of individual acts of kindness from Christians who risked their lives to do so, explained how the CCJ was established during the darkest days of the Second World War. In October 1942 the then Chief Rabbi and Archbishop of Canterbury came together to form the organisation and it quickly mushroomed as a popular movement that proved to be both innovative and creative. He said: “This celebration has come at the end of a year of commemorative events – starting with a reception attended by Her Majesty The Queen who has been our Patron since 1952, and Prince Philip, and culminating today with the Prime Minister. It is gratifying to see the fantastic support for our vision from supporters around the country and around the world.”
After the reception, guests attended a celebratory dinner at St James’ Palace and enjoyed a performance by cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber.