welby brexit prayer

Praying for this week of Brexit

Each day that passes this week shall be the last of that day we shall be in the European Union. The last weekend is already gone: the coming Sunday shall be the first time since New Year’s Eve 1972 that priests and vicars and bishops and archbishops shall preach to congregations from without the aegis of the Treaty of Rome. Some clergy are wringing their hands, implacably convinced we shall be diminished; some are weeping and wailing at the “right wing headbangers” who have foisted Brexit upon us; and some are doubtless still apologising to the rest of the world for the xenophobia and insularity of their compatriots.

Others, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, are adjusting to the new political reality, opening their hearts to grace and their minds to the new global opportunities – for justice and peace as well as trade and diplomacy. By offering a prayer every day in this week of Brexit, the Church of England is marking a historic moment in our nation’s story. This isn’t about the salvific action of God, though it may be. It isn’t about justification by faith, and yet that wholehearted personal commitment reverberates in this political schism: the drive to reorganise the church foretold the re-ordering of our world. The rejection of the sacred elite and their mysteries of ceremony forecast the individual activism of liberty, independence and national sovereignty.

As we forge a new identity, may we eschew rebellion and civil disorder. May the source of revolutionary energy incline us indeed toward peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations. As we move from elite rule toward ruling once again over ourselves, may we learn to frame our wills and doings according to the law of God.

May this week of Brexit forge a chain of love and reconciliation; an interconnection of mutual service in the new political order. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female…‘ Neither now is there Leaver nor Remainer: ‘ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’

All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony, not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.


TUESDAY 28th January:

WEDNESDAY 29th January: