Statement on the Referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union
On 24th June, Europe woke to the news that the United Kingdom had voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union. WCRC Europe has received the news with great sadness and concern.
WCRC Europe gives thanks for the strong and consistent position taken by member churches and church members in the United Kingdom in favour of UK membership of and engagement in the European Union. This has been shared by churches and Christians across our continent. We are thankful too for the fruitful work done by partner ecumenical organisations such as the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, the Conference of European Churches and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe to build and foster good working relationships with the European Union institutions.
WCRC Europe is very conscious of the origins of the European Union, growing, as it has done, out of concern that the countries of Europe should never again go to war with one another. We are particularly conscious of the work done by the European Union to bring democracy and stability to those countries of central and eastern Europe which long suffered under communist oppression. While we remain critical of some aspects of the European Union, particularly its handling of the current refugee crisis, we recognise with thanksgiving that the European Union has done much to promote prosperity, to secure for all people in Europe basic rights and freedoms to try to live out our common values and to address damage done to the environment.
WCRC Europe, as a communion of forty Reformed churches in Europe, who are in communion with more than two hundred others around the world, tries always to live by the Gospel imperatives justice, unity, hospitality and care for others. We reach out in love to all our sisters and brothers in the United Kingdom, especially those who are now feeling distraught or unwelcome as a result of this vote. We call on all those engaged in the withdrawal negotiations to conduct these with fairness and righteousness. And we encourage all people of goodwill and faith to hold all the citizens of the United Kingdom, the citizens of all European Union member countries, and especially those whose task it is in government and politics to move forward in the new reality which has dawned in their thoughts and prayers.
May God’s will be done. May God’s Kingdom come.
26th June, 2016
16 New Street, Musselburgh, EH21 6JP UK