Brexit Blog: Who is my Neighbour

Added about 6 years ago by Catherine Pickford

In our Brexit Blog series, authors reflect on how, as a Christian nation, we can respond to the challenges and opportunities of leaving the European Union.

Note: Sacristy Press is politically – as well as doctrinally – neutral and does not necessarily share the views expressed here.

Catherine Pickford – CMD officer for the Diocese of Newcastle and Vicar of St Mary’s Stannington.

Famously, it is in answer to the question “who is my neighbour?” that Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. I voted Remain in the referendum, partly as my own answer to that question. I see myself as part of the European Union, together with our neighbours across the North Sea. It is part of my identity and the prospect of losing that relationship is painful and threatening.

But Jesus’ answer to the question “who is my neighbour” is different. Neighbourliness is determined not by kinship or proximity, it's about a response to need. The neighbour was the man who offered help.

And perhaps that is a challenge to Europhile Christians like me. When 137 people were killed in Paris, it felt as personal as though it had been Newcastle. When over 200 people were killed in Bagdad last week, it affected me far less. Who is my neighbour? Surely, as a Christian, it is the people of Bagdad just as much as the people of Paris.

I still very much do not want Britain to leave the European Union, but Christians are dawn chasers, we live with resurrection hope. We have at our head not David Cameron or Theresa May, but Christ. What then, in these challenging times, does the parable of the Good Samaritan teach the Church? Could the vote to leave give us the opportunity to be more even-handed as a nation? Perhaps this a chance to recognise our kinship with the whole of humanity, and our mission to support all those in need, whether they are from Paris or Bagdad.

Catherine Pickford contributed to Northern Gospel, Northern Church, a must-have book for anyone seeking understand the challenges of proclaiming the Gospel in the North of England.

What do you think? Have your say by commenting below, or read our other Brexit Blogs.


Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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