Archbishop of York attends his last General Synod in the city

Justin Welby and John Sentamu, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Picture by James Hardisty.
Justin Welby and John Sentamu, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Picture by James Hardisty.

The Archbishop of York attended his final Synod in the city as his senior clergyman spoke of “a crisis of the spirit of the nation”.

A Eucharist service including members and officers of the General Synod of the Church England took place this morning at York Minster.

Speaking about the UK’s divided political climate, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the congregation: “This is a crisis of the spirit of the nation. We appear to be stuck in our divisions, in Parliament, in the country as a whole.

The passion of different positions is good, to express it is the privilege of democracy, a hard won, wonderful privilege that we enjoy, but the hatred we have seen is not good, especially directed at minorities, other faiths, at a couple of women who love each other on a bus, at a bus driver who looks Muslim, and wasn’t, at people walking in the streets, at synagogues, at foreigners and people who even ‘look like foreigners’. From such hatreds we have seen a result of ever deeper wounds.”

He continued: “We may be wounded healers in a wounded country but we bring the hope of our healing and our country’s healing, we bring the message of reconciliation”.

It was announced in October last year that the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will retire on June 7 2020 – Trinity Sunday – three days ahead of his 71st birthday.