In the wake of the EU Referendum and its result, I thought I ought to offer something in
response. Whilst I am still in an early stage of reflecting upon the events of the past few
days, I did manage to write a sermon for the first Sunday following the referendum (26/6).
Given that I preached it to a select band in the evening at Martin Way, I offer it instead of
a letter this month in the hope that you find it helpful.
With every blessing,
[Read on ...].
Following on from the EU Referendum
The Revd Steve Wild and Jill Barber, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have released this statement:
The people have spoken through the democratic process. We recognise that the result will cause pain to some people who voted with passion and integrity and that now is the time to move forward together with goodwill. The structures have changed but our hopes for a fair, just and equal society continue. We must now gather the political will to tackle poverty, climate change and the refugee crisis.
This referendum has shown both the best and the worst of our democracy. It is to be celebrated that major constitutional change has happened peacefully and transparently; something that is all too rare in the world even today. We are saddened that the referendum debate has at times promoted feelings of fear and even hatred and racism. We do not believe that most people, however they voted in the referendum, wanted this. It certainly does not represent the kind of country that Britain wants to be. We must be careful now that these narratives do not shape the way that we do politics in the future.
As the future of our role in the EU is negotiated, we cannot cut ourselves off from Europe. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Europe, and particular in our sister Churches, and assure them that our love and commitment towards them is undiminished.
The Joint Public Issues Team offers this prayer:
God of every nation and people,
at this historic moment we pray for all
who are affected by the decision that we have made.
Whatever differences this has revealed within our own society,
may they not eclipse what we have in common.
Where the narratives of political debate have caused harm and division,
help us to reclaim the true values of our shared humanity.
Where exaggeration and distortion have generated suspicion and fear,
may truth and honesty restore hope and goodness.
We pray for all the nations of Europe
that you will help us to find ways of living and working together
to pursue the mercy and justice that you require.
We recommit ourselves - together - to the values of your eternal kingdom,
and pray that along with all people
we might help your world become more as you intended. Amen.