The leaders of the Church of England have called for an urgent debate on the state of the country after the recent terrorist attacks, the Grenfell of the fire Tower and the inconclusive general election result, saying that this is “a critical moment in the history of the nation.”
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The archbishops of Canterbury and York have taken the unusual decision to exercise their powers to insist on the debate in next month’s Synod, a meeting of four days of the church, of the governing body in York.
The C of E is to provide a “still, small voice of calm” in the confusion that is facing the country over the past month, says the motion, by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the archbishop of York, John Sentamu.
He adds: “The recent general election has left many unanswered questions about the shape and priorities of our government at a critical time in the history of the nation.”
The archbishops of the call to prayer “for all the elect to the parliament that is going to prioritize the common good of all the people in all that they do, especially in the negotiations between the parties to secure support for a legislative program”.
His motion calls on “all Christians to put pressure on politicians of all parties to put the cohesion of the nation and of their communities at the center of their programs.”
The dr. John Sentamu, archbishop of York. Photo: Cameron Lynne/PA
Christians need to “pray for courage for our political leaders as they face the limitations and opportunities of uncertainty and weakness, and for the people of the nation, as they also face unprecedented questions about the future.”
In a press conference to present the Synod of the agenda, William Nye, the C of E of the secretary-general, said the movement was “an opportunity to reflect on what the church can offer in this period of uncertainty.”
Faith organizations central in the immediate response of the fire at Grenfell Tower, gathering donations and offering support to the families of the victims and those displaced by the hell.
San Clemente church in the North of Kensington became a focal point for politicians, Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May and Sadiq Khan’s meeting of local residents in their facilities.
Churches, along with other faith groups, were also actively involved in the support of people and communities in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the Manchester Arena, the London Bridge and Finsbury Park.
Although it is rare for the archbishops to invoke its legal powers to change the published schedule of the Synod of the business, it is the second time in 12 months have done so. A year ago, insisted in a Synod in the debate on the Brexit referendum.
The movement commended the increased participation of the recent elections, and urges the parties to “build on this by addressing the causes of voter apathy and non-participation”.
The move follows an unconfirmed report that May, the daughter of a vicar, an Anglican, had sought the spiritual guidance of Welby in a private prayer sessions. The report said that the prime minister and the archbishop is thought not to have been meeting in private since the election.