Like many of you reading this, we still don’t know if we will be in or out on November 1st and how the consequences of either will affect us. I guess either way there will be uncertainty and some turmoil, whether it is in the continuing wrangling in Parliament or wrestling with realising the implications of the changes in crossing borders, price increases and possible shortages. As an improved deal emerges from Brussels to be debated and voted upon, the EU negotiators have talked warmly about the relationship shared with the UK as members of the European Union and their recognition that the shared history and experience between us is precious and will lead us into a new relationship and partnership, which is my earnest prayer.
Remembering the Fallen and those who have served their Country in conflict and in times of peace building and peace keeping reminds us of the bond between the Nations and people of Continental Europe and the UK. Thousands of British personnel lie in European cemeteries, buried often close to where they fell fighting for freedom from tyranny and it is always moving to hear of villages and towns in France, Belgium and other countries welcoming families who visit the graves and making their own tribute as a community on the anniversary of their liberation, pledging never to forget the sacrifices made.
As we bow our heads in common remembrance and thanksgiving on November 10th and 11th as a Nation, perhaps we may pledge in our thoughts our recognition that this begins the journey towards reconciliation between families, friends and communities in Britain, divided as they have been between Leavers and Remainers. The recalling of the loss, bloodshed, bereavement and destruction that afflicted so many millions of souls during the Wars we commemorate should re focus our thoughts on why people gave their lives and futures- for the hope of a peaceful, just, compassionate, caring, tolerant and loving world, that begins with our attitude, commitment and care for our neighbour.
Brexit is not about cutting us off from our brothers and sisters or taking back control in order to be selfish and isolationist. As we remember, so let us pledge to heal and to work together for the unity and peace God desires for all people.