From the Archbishop's desk: October 2019

By Archbishop Malcolm McMahon

By the end of this month, the Prime Minister has vowed that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union with or without a deal. It is very hard for us not to feel passionate about this, despite the years of wrangling that have taken place since the referendum that resulted in a vote to leave.

Furthermore, Church leaders are frowned upon if they express an opinion because that is mixing religion with politics and those two spheres of activity should be kept apart; at least that is what some people think. But Churches and their leaders exist to further the mission of Christ, and that means reaching out to people in need and persuading those who do not seem to care for others to think again and change their minds.
Whether we leave with or without a deal, it does appear that there will be some disruption to our lives, and those who will be most affected are the poor. Every church I have visited in recent months is supporting a much-needed local food bank. Our society is already tolerating a level of poverty which, though often hidden, is unacceptable for a developed nation like ours. Despite promises of more money for education and healthcare, I know that these services are already stretched and will be hard-pressed to ride smoothly through Brexit.

To stand up for justice in this situation is part of the mission of the Church. If that is politics, then so be it. The coming weeks and months will require us to keep a level head at times, but at all times to go out to those who are in spiritual and material need.