Church leaders in call for end to Brexit bitterness

Religious leaders from across the UK have today signed a joint-statement calling for an end to the "divisions and bitterness" caused by Brexit.

Church leaders have spoken out ahead of Brexit day on next week.

Church of Scotland Moderator Rev Colin Sinclair as joined with representatives from the Methodist Conference, Baptist Union of Great Britain, the United Reformed Church, Quakers in Britain and the Scottish Episcopal Church to issue the concordat.

It comes a week before Brexit day and the Christian groups say that the UK must stand up to racists and remain a sanctuary for refugees.

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“As Church leaders, we are united in wishing to seek God’s guidance and a sense of common purpose as we move from this chapter of the Brexit process into the next,” the statement says.

“As Christians, we affirm our belief that all people are equally created in God’s image. Our country should be one that offers sanctuary to refugees and is intolerant of those who hate because of a person’s race or nationality. Both Leave and Remain campaigns agreed on this – we must now make it a reality.

“The continuing challenges of the climate crisis, global inequality and conflict will require both resolve and close international cooperation to be addressed effectively.”

The Church leaders have also sent a letter to European churches to assure them that their close relationships will continue.

“We also recognise that 31 January will bring uncertainty and anxiety to many EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU," the statement adds.

"Leaving the EU cannot mean abandoning our responsibilities towards these families.”

the full list of signatories are:

Revd Dr Barbara Glasson and Professor Clive Marsh, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

Revd David Mayne, Moderator of Council, Baptist Union of Great Britain

The Right Revd Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Revd Nigel Uden and Mr Derek Estill, Moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church

Most Revd Father Olu Abiola OBE and Archbishop Fidelia Onyuku-Opukiri, Council of African and Caribbean Churches UK

Yvonne Campbell, General Secretary, on behalf of the Council of the Congregational Federation

Revd Dr Noel A Davies, Chair, Cytûn: Churches Together in Wales' Working Party on Wales and Europe

Bishop Simon Iheanacho, Overseer, UK World Evangelism Churches Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

Most Revd Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church