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Reform Magazine | May 23, 2024

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A letter from... a European in the UK - Reform Magazine

A letter from… a European in the UK

Leonora Jagessar-Visser’t Hooft urges UK churches to discuss Brexit

I am preparing my sermon for Sunday and again, I will make mention of Brexit. I will say: ‘There are many things that leave an imprint on us as we journey through life… culture, experience… and I am sure Brexit will also leave an imprint on our lives and especially on the lives of those youth who feel they are losing opportunities and are worried about the negative impact and damage to Britain’s image as an open and tolerant society.’

Why do I mention it? Am I trying to elicit a response from the congregation? Yes, probably I am, but the response is not forthcoming. Only when I came home from holiday a few days after 23 June 2016 did an elder share his frustration with the Brexit referendum result and recognised that I certainly would be disappointed. Not long after, a very nice and encouraging letter from the United Reformed Church General Secretary came through the letterbox, written in recognition that the Brexit vote would be unsettling for me (and other European colleagues who work for the URC).

While I have heard quite a few British colleagues exclaim in the strongest terms how upset they are about the UK leaving the EU, I find the general silence on the subject in many local churches rather strange. I have no idea whether people are indifferent, resigned or, who knows, quite pleased? After all, Daily Mail readers in my congregations are fed a daily dose of pro-Brexit news and xenophobia. Not to mention those glued daily to their television screens…

Leonora Jagessar-Visser’t Hooft is minister of St Andrew̕s, Kingsway and Trinity churches in Iver, Buckinghamshire, and Slough, Berkshire


This is an extract from an article that was published in the February 2018 edition of  Reform

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  1. As an ardent Remainder I have been on 3 marches. I wear an EU badge and email MPs and tweet daily. I cannot understand why all Christians are not taking action on this. I have a flag in my front window. Many people believe that politics and Christianity do not mix but to me seeking fairness and inclusiveness is where my Christianity is based. The EU is a beginning of working towards one world. I am willing to break the law in support of breaking Brexit

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