CHURCH of England bishops have agreed to formally adopt the international definition of antisemitism at their annual residential meeting in Oxford this week.

The College of Bishops, which finishes its annual four-day conference in the city tomorrow, has agreed to take on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

IHRA defines antisemitism as 'a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews'.

A College of Bishops statement read: "In the context of 75 years of friendship marked by the establishment of the Council of Christians and Jews, the Church of England’s College of Bishops now notes the necessity of making explicit its adoption of and adherence to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, including all examples, without qualification or exemption.

"We urge anyone involved in our political, spiritual and national life to reject all language and activity that leads to prejudice, stigma or hatred towards people on the grounds of their religion, culture, origins, identity or beliefs."

Last week the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also spoke of the need for the Church of England to adopt the definition formally.

The Labour Party adopted the IHRA's definition of antisemitism earlier this month after a long-running row.