MORE THAN half of the
parishioners in the Revd Lisa Battye's parish of St Paul's, Kersal,
are Orthodox Jews, and their numbers are growing; so Ms Battye
(above, right), who was being licensed as Area Dean of
Salford, in the Manchester diocese, was anxious
that they should also be invited to the reception after the
That meant that the
refreshments needed to be acceptable to the guests, and so she
enlisted the help of Dr Irene Lancaster (left), who chairs
the Broughton Park Dialogue Group, to help her buy kosher food and
drink from local Jewish shops. Their shopping included kosher
cheese and crackers, hand-made chocolates, and wine and juice for
about 80 people, which, considering the weather - it was snowing
heavily - they believed would be more than enough.
In the event, the guests
included the Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Revd Chris Edmonson
(centre), and the Archdeacon of Salford, the Ven. David
Sharples, together with three Orthodox rabbis, a rebbetzin (rabbi's
wife), and 12 members of the Orthodox Jewish community of North
Manchester. This is the first time that there have been so many
Orthodox Jews at a Christian event in the area. There were also the
Mayor and Mayoresses of Salford and Bury, and members of the two
churches where Ms Battye is Vicar - a total of 154 guests in all.
"I was shocked. I wished I had bought more wine and juice for
them," Ms Battye said.
Before they all tucked in,
Dr Lancaster was asked to address the gathering on behalf of the
Jewish community in the area, and also to explain the meaning of
"kosher". It did not imply anything negative about other people's
food habits, she said, but "was part of the covenantal Jewish
relationship with God".
By buying all the food and
drink from kosher shops, Ms Battye and her church were helping to
support the local Jewish community, their nearest neighbours, and
allowing everyone in the parish, from whatever religion, ethnicity,
or creed, to participate in the event.