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Church of England flocks to York for General Synod

by Alex Collett

Climate change, Ukraine and how to elect the next Archbishop of Canterbury are all on the agenda at this weekend's Church of England General Synod.

The governing body, made up of bishops, clergy and Church members, are meeting in York.

One of those attending is Rev Barry Hill from the Diocese of Leicester.

Rev Hill told Premier Christian News some of the issues that will be discussed: "One of the things that we will be talking about is assisted suicide.

"It's clearly and rightly,  a challenging and an emotive issue and one which is dear to all of our hearts in different ways and our experiences.

"As well as reaffirming the sanctity of life and wanting to put important safeguards in place for the most vulnerable in society.

"The motion also recognises that currently palliative care in the UK is only funded to about 37% of the total cost from government and as well as reaffirming the sanctity of life for all.

"We are calling on the government to expedite really adequate, much better funding for palliative care, so that those in the later stages of life might know the same excellent care, which we hope for all ages."

Rev Hill also talks about inclusion for disabled people within the church: "One debate before us, is on affirming and including disabled people in the whole life of the church that Canon Timothy Good, will bring before us. 

"In his introduction, he talks about words from the baptism service in the Church of England, right in the beginning, where we say in God, we have a new dignity, and a God that calls us to fullness of life. 

"This is debate that really helps us to think, how is it that we live out that baptismal promise for all of God's people, and ensure that there are no barriers to full participation and inclusion for all."

According to Rev Hill,  a lot of debate on the war in Ukraine is about showing solidarity. 

He says: I think, to reflect the sense of the solidarity that we share with the people of Ukraine, the fact that we're praying for them, to reiterate, as the report before says, The the sense of horror and the unprovoked attacks, that has affected so many people."

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