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Listen to people on the margins, Welby pleads

13 December 2019

PA

The Archbishop of Canterbury at the CBI’s annual conference, last month

The Archbishop of Canterbury at the CBI’s annual conference, last month

PEOPLE on the margins should be placed at the centre of political life by the new Parliament, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

In a statement published on social media on Friday afternoon, Archbishop Welby said that he would be praying “that every effort is made to ensure every person and community in our wonderful country is able to flourish”.

He said that he was: “Praying for everyone who has been elected to serve in government and opposition — you bear a great weight of responsibility and I pray for strength, wisdom and hope for each of you. May you know the love and presence of God as you prepare for the challenges ahead.

“Please join me in praying for everyone involved in politics to disagree well — for kindness, respect and hope to lead the way towards a vision for our country that truly serves the common good.

“Prayers too for those who put themselves forward as candidates — and everyone who works so hard behind the scenes to make our democratic processes work so well.

“Throughout this new parliament, I pray that the voices of those on the margins are placed at the centre, and that every effort is made to ensure every person and community in our wonderful country is able to flourish.”

Following a campaign in which the Labour Party was dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism, and the Conservative Party of Islamophobia (News, 29 November), the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, released a statement which said that racism continued to flourish.

“The election may be over, but concerns about the resurgence of anti-Semitism very much remain. Islamophobia, racism and other forms of prejudice continue to afflict our communities and, as has been well publicised, even our political parties.

“It is vital that we now bring the country together, ensuring that the voices of people from across our society are heard and respected. We must focus on our shared values and leave all hatred and prejudice far behind us.”

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