National leaders of the United Reformed and Baptist Churches both issued statements in June 2016 following the results of the EU Referendum;
From the Baptist Union:
General Secretary Lynn Green called Baptist congregations across Britain to set time aside to pray for our nation as they meet for worship in the coming days. Commending a prayer reflection published in the wake of the EU referendum result, she stressed the place which faith communities have in building wholesome and healthy communities and being an influence for good. The Revd Green said:
In recent days the issue of EU membership has become attached to many alarmist and divisive narratives - it is important that these are not allowed to take root on the basis of this decision. The pattern of voting has also suggested some significant divergences of view across our nation. It is important to recognise that in most communities, the result was quite close and attitudes are not as polarised as some would suggest. We cannot deny that some people have used this referendum to express broader discontent. As those who are committed to God's Kingdom, we would recognise shortcomings and injustices both within our own nation and the European Union. However, these will only be addressed by people coming together in common accord, and by rejecting narratives that would entrench and divide them.
Our nation is now faced with significant uncertainty, not least in the light of the Prime Minister's statement of his intention to resign. Our Christian faith reminds us that God's purposes have prevailed well beyond the Kingdoms, empires and political unions of this world. We have the potential to be a prophetic peaceful presence within our communities, and a responsibility to promote narratives of justice, hope and Common Good.
and from the United Reformed Church:
John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church said:
Most of us managed to vote. We knew that about half the country would vote the other way. None of us knew which way the result would fall. Now we know – 52:48 for leaving the EU. What do churches say and do at a time like this? Amid divided opinions, we continue to build community, offer friendship and share the love of Jesus. Amid neighbours of many races and cultures, we believe in fellowship that crosses every boundary of frontier and nation. So we value especially the friends whose roots are different from our own. We support our MPs, who now have new tasks to tackle, and surely feel fragile after the death of Jo Cox. They deserve our prayers, and perhaps a word of encouragement, in the work they do for us. We keep up our personal and church contacts in other lands. Britain still needs good relationships with the countries around us, and personal connections are part of that. And we continue to keep our eye open to the needs of the weak, in our own land and in the many poor and troubled countries around God’s world. All of this we do, for Jesus’ sake, in the world he lived in. In difficult times, Jesus spoke, acted and loved with the grace and goodness of God. So may we, the morning after.
new page 27 June 2016