The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has invited all the members of his Diocesan Synod – the representative body of the 600 churches making up the Church of England’s Diocese of York – to lunch on Saturday 17th June as part of The Great Get Together, a national series of events in tribute to the late MP Jo Cox.

The Jo Cox Foundation has launched The Great Get Together to run between June 16 and June 18 – an invitation to stage street parties, picnics, bake-offs and more in the biggest community celebrations since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The three days of events will mark the first anniversary of Jo’s murder on June 16, 2016, while working in her constituency of Batley and Spen. Jo, who spoke of how we have more in common than that which divides us, campaigned tirelessly for a fairer, kinder and more tolerant world. Her murder sparked an outpouring of grief and solidarity in the UK and across the world.

York Diocesan Synod includes over a hundred members representing the Deaneries and churches of the Diocese of York, travelling from as far afield as Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Hull and Selby to meet on Saturday morning at Manor Church of England Academy in York.

Archbishop Sentamu said, “At the heart of the Christian Gospel is reconciliation between us and God and in ourselves. This reconciliation, forgiveness and justice bring us into a community of trust and compassion.

“A meeting of our Diocesan family is a great time to thank God for Jo Cox. She inspired us with her passion for finding common ground with people of goodwill and building a better world with them.”

Brendan Cox (Jo’s husband) said:

"I'm both amazed and humbled that so many people have said they want to take part in The Great Get Together. I think the huge response is because we’re tapping into the national mood. A desire for unity and togetherness rather than the divisiveness of politics and the public debate in recent years.

"We are hearing about new events all the time and there will no doubt be many that just happen spontaneously. The important thing is that it will be a lot of fun and will hopefully play its part in reminding us all of the values that make this country such a great place to live.”