April 2019

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First Thoughts : Revd Jane

As we approach Easter it looks as if any Brexit resolution remains uncertain. Our nation is living through difficult and anxious times - a place of political wilderness, where we have been beset by many destructive temptations.
 
Brexit has been a horribly divisive issue, where families, friends and neighbours have found themselves at odds with each other. I am sure we are a church community which holds a spectrum of different views.
 
It would be easy to despair as we hear the next instalment of our Brexit struggles on the news. But as Christians we are called to be people of hope. This darkness will not have the last word.
 
The Church of England has just launched some prayer resources in an attempt to bring people together. A national prayer was written for us all to use on 29th March, the day we were meant to leave the European Union. As this date has changed — and may yet change again — the prayer can be used at any time.
 
For me, such an initiative offers the possibility of a resurrection experience after the brokenness that has befallen us all since the referendum.
 
The Bishop of Lewes, Richard Jackson has got behind this initiative and says:
‘“Passions run high on both sides of the debate. Relationships and community cohesion has been damaged in many places. It has never been more important for the church to be a focus of reconciliation and unity. Together with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, I am therefore  inviting you to mark the day by joining in a national prayer initiative.”
 
Additionally there is the suggestion that we might share cups of tea with each other and explore how we can find a new unity. There are a number of suggested conversation starters, like:
 
•What effect has Brexit had in your family relationships, friendships etc?
•If you disagreed, has it been possible to disagree well?
•Putting Brexit to one side what are the three main things we have in common that we can build on for a better future as a community?
•What are the three main things as a nation?
•What would it mean to live as a people who believe in the Cross and the Resurrection?
•What might be the “cross” experience for our community – and what would resurrection look like?
•How can we work together to build a more just society which is at peace with itself and committed to a better future for the next generations?
 
These are good questions for us to consider, and ask of both ourselves and each other in the days ahead.
 
No matter what the outcome over Brexit, there will be a need for healing and a coming together to shape a new future.

Revd Jane


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