Church of England: Gaza and Israel

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 27 November 2023.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Anglican diocese of Jerusalem is taking to help people impacted by the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I am only able to answer on behalf of the National Church Institutions of the Church of England, and cannot on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem.

One of the significant contributions the Anglican Church makes as a global body is in the provision of healthcare. The Church of England is supporting the Diocese of Jerusalem’s request to launch a financial appeal to support the work of the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. More information is here: https://j-diocese.org/wordpress/2023/10/24/joint-gaza-appeal-letter-from-the-most-revds-hosam-naoum-and-justin-welby-the-anglican-archbishop-in-jerusalem-and-the-archbishop-of-canterbury/

Bishops in the House of Lords have committed to continuing to raise issues with His Majesty’s Government around the treatment of the Christian community in Israel, Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Archbishop of Canterbury paid a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Jerusalem on the 19th of October where he met with Christian and Jewish leaders in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He also met with families affected by the attacks on the 7th October. More details of the visit can be found here: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/news-and-statements/archbishop-canterbury-arrives-jerusalem-pastoral-visit-anglican-church#:~:text=The%20Archbishop%20of%20Canterbury%20has%20begun%20a%20pastoral,Archbishop%20in%20Jerusalem%2C%20the%20Most%20Revd%20Hosam%20Naoum.

Subsequently, the Archbishop spoke in a special debate in the House of Lords, and the House of Bishops released a joint statement, which can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/house-bishops-oct-30-nov-1-2023

The Archbishop of Canterbury also addressed the conflict in his presidential address to the November meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England, which also included a pastoral message from the Archbishop of Jerusalem. You can read the presidential address here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/archbishops-presidential-address-synod The Archbishop of Jerusalem’s speech is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/archbishop-jerusalem-addresses-synod-call-ceasefire-and-plea-peace

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