(See also the earlier post in June: Some thoughts on the EU Referendum)
The outcome of the referendum on 23 June 2016 has far-reaching implications for the work and witness of UK environmental organisation ‘Green Christian’.
- We undertake to enable and encourage people to pray and struggle with the realities which the vote has revealed.
- We will monitor closely the fate of environmental protections which have been gained during Britain’s membership of the EU.
- We resolve to reach out to Christians and churches in Europe with a message of fellowship and solidarity, set out below.
We believe in Europe
Green Christian offer this message of fellowship and solidarity to Christians in the European Union
On 23 June 2016 the government of Britain asked its people whether the country should remain a member of the European Union. By democratic vote of 52%, the people chose to leave. Popular disaffection with the EU has prevailed. After evolving for decades with the European Union, the story of Britain has changed course.
We are grieved by the rupture the referendum has caused to our relations with other European nations. Many voters used the opportunity to express frustration at the unfairness they perceive, the powerlessness they feel, and their alienation from government of any kind. The result reveals the divisions at the heart of our country, and to our shame a very small minority are feeling encouraged to express xenophobia and racial hatred.
For citizens of Britain, this is a time of danger, opportunity and great responsibility. Beyond attributions of victory or defeat, a moment of God’s kairos has opened up; a period for reconciliation as well as parting; for searching out the Lord’s favour for the future, while lamenting what is lost. We must learn again to love our neighbour as ourselves, and God’s creation as our common home.
We in Green Christian give thanks for the incalculable contribution the EU has made to Britain, to our humanity and our part in the world. We will defend the standards the EU has set for protection of creation. For the coming years we hear a call to attentive prayer, prophetic discernment and courageous action. Far from being discouraged, our determination and hope have been renewed by this historic decision. We commit to expose and resist the forces of narrow national self-interest at work in our country, and to co-operate in common cause with our fellow Christians across Europe. Let us work with you to build a Europe which is globally responsible and locally sustainable, welcomes the stranger and lives in scale with God’s creation.
See also the earlier post: Some thoughts on the EU Referendum where Paul Bodenham, GC Chair says: “…Our task, now more than ever, is to become a nation which makes good lives possible.”