Given this is the weekend we were originally due to leave the European Union it seems hard not to mention the word Brexit and the current uncertainty gripping our nation. Within my own wider family, there are passionately held and opposing views over the EU referendum and this is reflected up and down our nation, within communities, political parties, everywhere. It is hard to think of a similar issue that has so divided us, igniting passions and polarising the way people view one another. The uncertainty and divisions seem to be having a corrosive effect on our society and on what holds us together.

With this in mind, it has been encouraging to hear calls from churches to gather people together of all faiths and none, to discuss, reflect and pray for our political leaders and find common ground that unites rather than divides us. Brexit may well be a cause of rejoicing for some but also of great lament for others. A mature democracy is able to hold together opposing views, respect the voice of the minority while being guided by the majority. There is a danger that passionately held views are becoming an excuse to forget basic human values of tolerance and respect and giving fuel to prejudice and more extremist agendas.

Churches Together in Romsey are encouraging their own communities to come together and pray for our nation. On Saturday 30th March 10.30am – 12pm in St. Lawrence Chapel, Romsey Abbey we will be having a time of prayer for our nation and for our future. All are very welcome to drop by for however long or short they choose. There will be tea and a member of the Abbey clergy to lead the prayers and informal discussion. I hope you may take the opportunity to join us.

Revd Thomas Wharton

Vicar of Romsey Abbey