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Tuesday, July 28, 1998 Published at 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK


Lambeth Conference debates debt

All of the 800 bishops are in agreement about debt

Leading Anglican bishops from around the world are to discuss the problem of international debt at the Lambeth Conference.

Rt Rev Macleod Ochola, Bishop of Kitgumi, Uganda: "Justice must be done"
The meeting of 800 bishops in Britain for the conference, which takes every place every 10 years, will be addressed by president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, and other leading financiers.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair will address the meeting hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey.

UK Chancellor Gordon Brown will also be attending the debate.

Although the bishops have been divided on some moral issues, such as homosexuality, all are united on wanting to address poverty.

[ image: Dr Carey wants debt relief to take a higher profile in 2000]
Dr Carey wants debt relief to take a higher profile in 2000
Debt was one topic that every region of the Anglican church put on a list of issues to debate.

They are hoping they can add some moral weight to the campaign to fight international poverty.

They want to use the power of the church to influence money lenders to help relieve some of the $250bn which hampers development in the poorest countries.

The 200 bishops from Africa attending the conference are particularly keen to press the issue.

[ image: Gordon Brown will meet the bishops]
Gordon Brown will meet the bishops
The Archbishop of Canterbury wants debt relief to take a higher priority for the millennium,

He hopes that meeting by with Mr Brown and representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund the bishops can voice their concerns and approach a realistic resolution.

This will be voted on next week.

Bishops then can return to their countries with the knowledge that their campaign has the backing of the Anglican church.

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