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Archbishop Justin Welby: give up cynicism for Lent

Thu 21 Feb 2019
By Alex Williams

The Archbishop of Canterbury's urged fellow leaders in the Church of England to give up cynicism for Lent and to show more love towards those they disagree with.

Speaking at the start of a meeting by General Synod, Most Rev Justin Welby admitted members disagree on issues such as "inclusion".

He said: "As we journey towards Lent some of you may be considering what you might give up during the penitential season.

 

"I urge you to consider especially as members of General Synod giving up cynicism and renewing love for those with whom you and I differ."

Strong divisions over new guidance on baptism-style ceremonies for transgender people are expected to resurface at the summit - due to conclude on Sunday.

In his presidential address, Archbishop Justin continued: "It is not easy.

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"Some of them have views we find so obnoxious that we wish they were not in the Church. We even convince ourselves that really, in God's mind, because he agrees with us, they are not with us in the Church.

"Yet, they and we are equally loved by God in Christ, equally sinners needing to repent, equally part of the body of Christ. So, let us hear a little of why each of us has hope in Jesus Christ."

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The Anglican leader also told bishops, clergy and lay members it was an "absurdity" to view truth and love as alternatives - saying Christians needed to demonstrate both.

He added: "Yes, we argue, yes, we fail, yes, we disagree about inclusion and we let people down and we mess up, but do not leave the wonderful work of the Spirit of God out of the equation.

"And thus, we have good news to share and show."

Planting more churches in housing estates, extending outreach to the UK's Roma communities and concerns about gambling are among the other issues set to be discussed at the General Synod.

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