Bishop John Arnold of Salford said his presence aimed to show 'we have more in common than what might appear to divide us'

Bishop John Arnold of Salford is to speak at a parade celebrating Mohammad’s birthday on Sunday.

The bishop will be among a number of speakers addressing the crowd before it sets off. A spokeswoman said he will talk about “recognising our differences, understanding and tolerance”.

In a statement Bishop Arnold said it was important to strengthen relations between faiths “at every level”.

He said: “In the increasing diversity of our society, it is important that we take opportunities to value different faiths and strengthen interfaith relations at every level. Recognising and participating in feasts and celebrations such as this demonstrate that we have much more in common than anything that might appear to divide us.”

The annual parade is organised by Manchester Central Mosque in Victoria Park and Dar ul Aloom mosque in Longsight, Manchester.

The observance of Mohammad’s birthday is called Mawlid, or Mawlid-un-Nabi. It is celebrated by most Muslims around the world and is a national holiday in many countries. Some denominations – including Wahhabism and Salafism – disapprove of it, considering it an unnecessary innovation.