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Europe General Synod Reps In Migration Debate

The Diocese in Europe was given a good hearing during a General Synod debate in Westminster today (25 November 2015)  Details of the motion’s wording and its near unanimous acceptance can be found below.

Paul Needle reports on diocesan contributions to the debate.   MIGRATION

The Bishop of Durham moved:

'That this Synod, recognising that almost 60 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict or generalised violence, a fifth of them because of the tragic conflict in Syria, and noting the compassionate response of British people to the suffering and needs of those displaced by conflict and other causes:

(a) urge parishes and dioceses to work closely with local authorities and other community partners, to provide practical and sustainable resources and structures for the resettlement of vulnerable refugees and to pray for all those seeking to address the causes as well as the symptoms of this crisis;

(b) welcome both the scale of the aid provided by Her Majesty's Government to those suffering as a result of the conflict in Syria and its decision to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees, while calling on it to increase the number significantly beyond its initial target of 20,000 over five years;

(c) call upon the Government to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure that vulnerability to religiously motivated persecution is taken into account when determining whom to receive into Britain;

(d) call upon the Government to work with international partners in Europe and elsewhere to help establish safe and legal routes to places of safety, including this country, for refugees who are vulnerable and at severe risk;and

(e) call upon the Government to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees now within the EU, particularly those with family already legally resident in the UK.'.

The Synod carried the motion, including an amendment moved by the Revd Canon Giles Goddard (Southwark) which is shown in italics.

Voting figures from the whole Synod for the motion are as follows:

For: 333 Against: 0 Abstentions: 3