General Synod to debate call for reconciliation for divided nation


The UK’s political leaders should draw on “Christian hope and reconciliation” to help steer the country through a time of seemingly “entrenched and intractable” divisions, according to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
View of the Assembly hall during General Synod from the balcony Keith Blundy

The call comes in the text of a special motion on the state of the nation, tabled by the two archbishops, to be debated by the Church of England’s General Synod, which meets in London next month.

It speaks of divisions within the major political parties and calls for every parish and diocese to pray regularly for their local MPs, other politicians, the Government and civil servants.

The timetable for February's meeting of Synod had been amended to make time for the special debate.

An updated timetable and full agenda are published today alongside the first set of papers

A further batch of papers for Synod will be published next Friday (February 1, 2019).

Synod meets at Church House Westminster from Wednesday February 20 to Saturday February 23.

Notes to editors

The motion tabled by the two archbishops reads:

That this Synod, knowing through the experiences of parishes across the country that social divisions feel more entrenched and intractable than for many years, and concerned at the divisions within the major political parties which are stifling the emergence of a hopeful and viable vision for the common good in our communities:

  • call upon every diocese and parish regularly to hold in prayer their local MPs and politicians and the members of Her Majesty’s Government and civil servants, seeking God’s strength and wisdom for the responsibilities they bear;
  • reaffirm the Christian commitment to putting the voices of the poor and marginalised at the heart of the nation’s concerns; and
  • call upon the nation’s leaders, drawing on Christian hope and reconciliation, to work together for that common good at this time of division.