The following letter has been sent to the Prime Minister having been signed by 97 Religious, Deacons or Priests of the Church of England and in Wales:
The Rt. Hon. Theresa May, MP
The Rt. Hon. Theresa May, MP
House of Commons
Feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, 2016
Dear Prime Minister,
We, deacons, priests and Religious of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, are writing to you as someone who publicly affirms that they are a Christian and a practising member of our Church.
It has come to our attention that, as Prime Minister, you are not prepared to support the rights of EU citizens who will live in the UK post-Brexit. We find your support of this denial of rights deplorable and call on you to review your decision in the light of your membership of the Church, the Body of Christ. It is clear that your refusal to guarantee these basic rights indicates you have not rejected using human beings as bargaining chips in the political games concerning Brexit. It is increasingly apparent to us that we are losing our national sense of being part of a common humanity and are allowing ourselves to be dominated by those who espouse the least admirable – if not deplorable – aspects of human nature. However, we believe that the majority of our people are better than those voices suggest, as loud as they may be in the nation and in your own Party, voices which call us to embrace a spirit of selfishness rather than compassion. What makes a country great is not the power it wields but the humanity by which it seeks to govern – and this is equally true of national leaders.
As we begin to prepare for the coming of our Saviour and proclaim His gospel of peace and goodwill we are only too aware that when He comes He will encounter fear and hatred, greed and selfishness which stalk our towns as they have not done for many years. In preparing for Christmas, if the heart of that Faith which proclaims God among us is to be more than a charade but, as many say, is still important to the identity of our Nation, then we urgently call on you to consider your own calling as an Anglican and a Christian. At this time to whom do we lend our ears? To the voices of extremism or to the Gospel of God?
You are playing with the lives of thousands of our fellow human beings – and that is wrong. We call on the Government to do the right thing and unilaterally declare that, no matter what other countries might fail to do we, as a nation conscious of its civilised heritage, will grant all members of the EU living in the UK at the time of Brexit equal rights with our own citizens.
Fr. John-Francis Friendship SMMS
cc. The Rt. Hon. Jeremy Corbyn PC MP
The Rt. Hon. Tim Farron MP
“You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today
is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear.
Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.”
St. Teresa of Calcutta