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'I am deeply concerned' - New bishop's plea for MPs to treat each other with respect

PUBLISHED: 12:02 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:02 01 October 2019

The new Bishop of Norwich Rt Rev Graham Usher speaks at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new Bishop of Norwich Rt Rev Graham Usher speaks at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The new bishop of Norwich has called on the region's MPs to treat one another with respect as the debate over the type of language being used in Westminster and beyond rages on.

The Rt Rev Graham Usher, has reached out to every member of parliament in Norfolk and Waveney in a letter also shared with this newspaper.

In this letter, he urged MPs to maintain harmonious relationships with one another, despite clear divides on the political spectrum - largely around the current Brexit situation.

He wrote: "The use of language in the debates inside and outside of parliament has become unacceptable.

"I am deeply concerns about the increasingly hostile tones and the impact it is already having, and what it could lead to.

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"In conversation with people in the last few days in King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Norwich, including on some tough estates, I am very aware that I am not alone in having this concern."

Bishop Graham's letter comes following a statement issued by all the bishops of the Church of England regarding this matter condemning confrontational scenes in parliament.

He added: "As you will well know, we can use our words to build up or shake apart, to heal or to hurt, to see the good in each other or to victimise.

"There is an urgent need to heal the divisions and create a vision for the country that will draw people together rather than driving them further apart as seems to currently be the case.

"That work of building a united country needs to start now before the anger and divisions become even harder to heal.

"In writing to you [the MPs] I want to simply encourage you to continue modelling a better way - speaking with respect, listening to each other, hearing from the marginalised whose voices are often left unheard and, in the words of Jesus Christ, to learn what it is to love one another even with our difference.

"Of course, many MPs are perfectly well aware of this and I thank you for all the moderation you are able to bring."

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