Faith and Belief Advisory Panel

Faith and Belief Advisory Panel

About Greater Manchester’s equality panels

The Greater Manchester Equality Panels have been established to advise, support and challenge Greater Manchester’s political leaders and policy-makers to tackle the discrimination and disadvantage that cause injustice and inequality in society, and champion Greater Manchester as an inclusive city-region. They do this by working together with the GMCA and partners to:

  • Provide insight into Greater Manchester’s diverse communities, enabling political leaders and public bodies to listen and engage in a more targeted and effective way

  • Communicate key messages to our communities as trusted sources

  • Codesign policies, programmes and strategies to ensure they work effectively for communities

  • Support an asset-based approach, highlighting new opportunities (and challenges) for positive collaboration that build on the resources and strengths within our communities

The Faith and Belief Advisory Panel is one of seven equality panels established and funded by the GMCA. Other equality panels include:

Aims of the Faith and Belief Advisory Panel

Greater Manchester’s Faith and Belief Advisory Panel was established in March 2021 and meets every two months to discuss issues relating to faith and belief equality. They work towards resolving these issues in four main ways:

  • Optimise the faith and belief contribution to the Greater Manchester Strategy

    • Sustainability and equality outcomes are achieved through collaboration on shared missions and experience, making best use of assets and resources in the community

  • Ensure that the role of faith and belief in society is recognised and valued

    • Faith and belief organisations are a respected partner, alongside the public, private and voluntary sectors, and their voice is equally heard in policy and decision making

  • Foster good relations and dialogue between people of faith and belief (who share a protected characteristic) and people who do not share it

    • Greater Manchester’s cultural heritage and history of community inclusion and social justice is championed

  • Advance equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation (and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty) between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it

    • Public agencies are proactive in their approaches to meet their Public Sector Equality Duty and tackle all forms of discrimination within their organisation and the structure they contribute to in relation to faith and belief

The Faith and Belief Advisory Panel oversees the progress of public agencies in tackling inequality, tracking agreements to improve equity and providing insight to inform new ways of working. In addition, the panel works collaboratively with public service officers to design new ways of working, which positively uses the assets, strengths and resources in our community, engages partners and local people at the earliest possible stage, and prioritises creating an inclusive society that recognises all faiths and beliefs have full and equal rights.

Action Networks

The Panel’s priorities come from faith and belief networks and organisations represented - via the panel members. Panel members engage in existing Greater Manchester Action Networks, which currently focus on:

  • A Real Living Wage city-region

  • Digital inclusion

  • Green city-region

  • No Child Should Go Hungry campaign

  • Reduce homelessness and end the need for rough sleeping

  • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Accord

The Panel proactively contributes to each one of these priorities, through the structures set up to achieve them. Panel members’ are involved as delegated representatives, and input into discussion and activities on behalf of the Panel.

Faith and Belief in Greater Manchester Contribution statement 

The Faith and Belief in Greater Manchester contribution statement was developed by the panel to affirm the significant role of Faith and Belief in society and the support faith organisations provide, often to the most disadvantaged, both in terms of spiritual wellbeing and practical services.

The statement sets out:

(i) The importance of values

(ii) The distinctive role of faith in society

(iii) The contribution of faith groups

(iv) The practical collaborations

(v) The aspects essential to the development and sustaining of good partnerships

Faith and Belief in Greater Manchester: A statement (pdf, 150KB)

Greater Manchester Faith, Belief and Interfaith Covenant 

The Faith, Belief and Interfaith Covenant builds on the Contribution statement by setting out how the contribution of faith and belief communities can be utilised to achieve our shared ambitions for Greater Manchester. The covenant outlines a set of principles and commitments that guide engagement, collaboration and delivery. 

Greater Manchester Faith, Belief and Interfaith Covenant (pdf, 248KB)


The Faith and Belief Advisory Panel consists of 33 organisations. They represent all boroughs across Greater Manchester, as well as aiming to reflect the city-region’s diverse faiths and beliefs. To ensure the Panel is inclusive, membership is open to new networks. For further information contact the facilitators (details below).

Inter-faith organisations

Baha’i community

Buddhist community

Christian community

Hindu community

Humanist community

Jain community

Jewish community

Muslim community

Sikh community

The Panel is co-chaired by Jill Brennan (Faiths United Tameside and Soka Gakkai International) and Rabbi Warren Elf (Faith Network for Manchester and the Greater Manchester Interfaith Network).

Contact the Faith and Belief Advisory Panel

The Faith and Belief Advisory Panel is facilitated by Pulse Regeneration. To get in touch with them, please email Chris Hart at:

New panel will provide strong voice for faith communities (news story)

Faith and Belief Advisory Panel - Terms of Reference - August 2021 (PDF, 176KB)

Faith and Belief Advisory Panel - Annual Report 2023 (PDF, 394KB)

Faith and Belief Advisory Panel - Annual Report 2021-22 (Word, 195Kb)

Faith and Belief Advisory Panel - Quotes on crisis in Middle East - 24/11/2023 (PDF, 22KB)