Church of England’s synod takes on Brexit divisions as zero hour approaches

Religion News Service | 2/21/2019 | Staff
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LONDON (RNS) — The Church of England’s most senior leaders are expected to rebuke Britain’s political leaders over their handling of Brexit at the church’s General Synod this week.

In a special motion at synod, just weeks before the Brexit deadline, the archbishops of Canterbury and York will urge politicians to do more to heal divisions in society.

Motion - Justin - Welby - Archbishop - Canterbury

The motion, put forward by Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, and John Sentamu, archbishop of York, says that “social divisions feel more entrenched and intractable than for many years.” It also refers to “the divisions within the major political parties which are stifling the emergence of a hopeful and viable visions for the common good in our communities.”

Although the motion does not explicitly mention Brexit, it says that “the nation’s leaders must work together for the common good at this time of division” and that the Christian commitment “to putting the voices of the poor and marginalized at the heart of the nation’s concerns” must be reaffirmed.

Archbishops - Diocese - Parliament - Members - Government

The archbishops call on every diocese and parish to pray regularly for Parliament members and the government, seeking God’s strength and wisdom for the responsibilities they bear.

The synod debate comes in the same week that Prime Minister Theresa May has written to all 317 Tory MPs, urging them to unite behind a Brexit deal while warning them “history will judge us all” over the process. But three of her Conservative MPs quit their party. Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen wrote a joint letter to May saying that the government’s “disastrous handling” of Brexit was the final straw. Meanwhile, May was striving yet again this week to persuade the European Union to agree to changes to the “backstop” plan to prevent the return of customs checks on the Irish border.

UK - Course

The U.K. remains on course to leave the...
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