A Huddersfield man working to improve community relations has received the MBE at a Buckingham Palace ceremony.
Canon Yaqub Masih, of Salendine Nook, was presented with the honour by the Prince of Wales for services to community cohesion and inter-faith relations in West Yorkshire. He was named as a recipient in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Canon Masih, the first Asian to be made a lay canon in the Church of England, said Prince Charles asked him about his 25 years involvement in seeking to improve relations between communities across the county. Canon Masih, who was accompanied to the palace by his wife Shamim and daughters Farah and Naz, said: “It was a fantastic day. It was very cold, but that did not matter because we were very excited. My daughters kept saying how proud they were.”
Canon Masih told how guests were surprised when he was asked to say grace at Bradford Textile Society’s annual dinner – and used the occasion to remind people not to judge by appearances.
He said: “I always encourage people to stand for what they are and what they believe and to be proud of British values and culture if you want to have community cohesion – because replacing Christmas signs with ‘Winters Festival’ or removing ‘British’ from ‘British Values’ is not going to improve community relations.”