York archbishop Dr John Sentamu: I bake challot

Jewish-Christian relations were on the agenda at a private dinner attended by Manchester rabbis and the Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Anglican church's most senior cleric, was joined at Manchester University by its Jewish chaplain Rabbi YY Rubinstein and Manchester Reform Rabbi Reuven Silverman together with Manchester's other religious leaders. The dinner followed a lecture the archbishop which addressed citizenship in the UK.

Rabbi Rubinstein said Dr Williams importantly argued for continued religious representation in the Lords.

"It is important for religious representatives to be there to make the case that the British state has both secular and religious components. It legitimises why it's good for our community to have the Jewish voice in the form of a chief rabbi in the Lords," he said.

Also present was the African-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who surprised Rabbi Rubinstein by telling him he made his own plaited challot as part of his traditional Ugandan Friday night meal. He said it had led to warm relations with York's Jewish community.

Rabbi Silverman, who discussed Jewish-Christian relations with Dr Williams at Lambeth Palace two weeks ago, said the Anglican neutral position on Israel was of major benefit.

Last updated: 2:20pm, March 3 2011