Bishop's Brexit Letter
Bishops ask clergy: “We encourage you to be actively praying with and for our local communities and leaders during these uncertain times”
Today, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke and the Right Reverend Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton, have written to all clergy in the Diocese of Winchester, saying “We encourage you to be actively praying with and for our local communities and leaders during these uncertain times.” The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Clergy and Parish Leaders,
We are conscious that in the past few weeks there have been many changes to both our local politics in the region and the national government in relation to Brexit. In particular, we note the suspension of Parliament and yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling. We will also have in our prayers two Hampshire constituency MPs, Caroline Nokes and Steve Brine, now sitting as independent, having had the government whip withdrawn and a number of members of the House of Lords from the Diocese, have also resigned the government whip.
We understand that these events will have raised anxieties and tensions among parishioners across the Diocese of Winchester. We do not know what the outcome of this Brexit process will be. Despite this, the need to maintain a strong sense of hope within our communities, support reconciliation between those of divided opinion, and serve the common good remains a priority.
As visible community leaders, you have an important role to play in this. One of the ways in which you can exercise this is through regular public prayer with your congregations and parishioners. We encourage you to be actively praying with and for our local communities and leaders during these uncertain times and perhaps incorporate this prayer into your Sunday worship and weekday meetings:
God of hope,
in these times of change and uncertainty,
bring together our communities
and guide our local leaders with your wisdom.
Give us courage to overcome our fears,
to be patient and compassionate with one another,
and to seek a future
in which all may prosper and share;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We also invite you to consider the Church of England’s prayer resources available at churchofengland.org/togetherand the Archbishop of York’s prayer for Brexit and Parliament https://www.archbishopofyork.org/news/news-2018/archbishop-calls-vigil-prayer-ahead-brexit-vote.
Yours in Christ,
+Tim, +David and +Debbie