Brexit Blog: An Unknown Future

Added about 8 years ago by Michael Sadgrove

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.

Michael Sadgrove – Dean Emeritus of Durham, and founder of Christians for Europe

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I am hugely disappointed at the outcome of the EU Referendum. To me, it shows that for all the benefits of belonging to the European Union, Remainers did not succeed in making our case persuasively enough.

As we know, Remain focused on the economy in the debate, while Leave put immigration centre-stage. The problem is that both these approaches framed the debate in terms of what was in the UK’s interest, not the common good of our continent and what our country had to bring to it. We didn’t hear nearly enough about global politics, peace, equality, solidarity, reconciliation and climate change, nor about the real intellectual and cultural aspects of EU membership.

In Christ in a Choppie Box I included a sermon preached in Germany on the anniversary of the allied bombing of Lübeck in 1942. I said: “A united democratic Europe is our best hope for peace in a world increasingly at risk from a clash of civilisations”. I spoke about the threat posed by international terrorism: “it is many years since fear stalked the western world like this”. That was in 2004, before we had heard the name Daesh.

I concluded: “the inclusive, generous openness of a way of life built on the God-given ideals of peace, justice and service should be our vison for the future of Europe, having the mind of Christ”. It seemed to me that the part this Christian vision has played in shaping our continent should have been written into the EU’s self-understanding. Could the churches have done more to help our historically Christian country think in bigger ways about the Referendum?

The question must now be: how do we go into an unknown future with a Christian mind where loving our neighbour is a central value of human life?

Endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as “beautiful and inspiring”, Michael Sadgrove’s book Christ in a Choppie Box draws together his finest and most inspiring sermons from his time as Dean of Durham.

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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