This paper focuses on a hitherto unstudied segment of the broad ‘third sector’: organisations and groupings that aim to build bridges (that is, increase interpersonal contacts) between people of different faiths and/or ethnic groups. We draw on the findings of an empirical study, conducted
in three diverse urban areas of England, of community-level projects with bridge building as an explicit aim. We describe the characteristics of bridge-building activities and the challenges they face; both the organisational challenges and those that arise from the nature of bridge building
itself. We conclude by exploring the implications of our findings for an understanding of the third sector generally and for the potential role of the sector in responding to our diverse society.
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