Saying a prayer for Europe

IT’S nearly here… The Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union takes place on Thursday June 23rd, months after the date was first announced.

The decision is a massive one, and the outcome will affect this country for decades to come. I’ve been pondering whether the votes of young people (say, under 30) should carry more weight, as they will have to live with the decision for longer.

Whichever way you are planning to vote – and it could be you still haven’t made up your mind – there are Christians who will be voting alongside you.

Map of Europe







Just as the EU referendum has split the Cabinet, the Government and many political parties, so Christians have not been speaking with one voice. Yet there are clear Christian values at the heart of the referendum campaign.

One of them is Trust. Who do we trust to give us the information we need to make our decision? Do we trust what we are reading in the newspapers, on TV or on social media? Or, like many, do we find ourselves confused by the masses of conflicting data swirling around?

The other is Hope. Who is painting the most hopeful picture for the future of our nation? Is it those who want to leave the EU, or those who want to stay?

As a Christian, I’ll be looking for people and data I can trust – including people who honestly admit we can’t be absolutely sure what will happen if we leave or stay – and I’ll be looking for a future with hope (not fear) at its core.

Helpfully, the Church of England has produced a prayer for the EU Referendum:

God of truth,
give us grace to debate the issues in this referendum
with honesty and openness.
Give generosity to those who seek to form opinion
and discernment to those who vote,
that our nation may prosper
and that with all the peoples of Europe
we may work for peace and the common good;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rev Peter Crumpler
This article was first published in the June 2016 edition of the St Leonard's Parish Magazine.