In the coming days our Members of Parliament will continue to face enormous pressure, and have to make decisions which will have a far reaching impact on our nation. The House of Commons has agreed what it does not want (exit from the EU without an agreement with the EU), and in the week ahead must try to agree what the House does want.
As Edmund Burke, the 18th century member of parliament put it to his Bristol electors, this is a time for those elected members to use their judgement, putting the future of the nation before their own futures, using their wisdom and political skill particularly with the needs of the most vulnerable in mind. I am aware that many of our parliamentarians, particularly the women, have already paid a heavy price, putting their safety and wellbeing at risk as they have tried to bridge the great divide there is currently.
I was living in Yorkshire during the floods of early 2016. As the River Ouse threatened to flood most of York the members of Batley Mosque drove to the city and spent the night filling sandbags. They left, without giving us a chance to thank them, at dawn. Six months later their Member of Parliament was dead, killed by a hate-filled constituent. Jo Cox, in her maiden speech, had affirmed that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.
Please pray for your member of parliament, that they may work, speak, decide and vote this week for the good of our nation. And please pray too for their safety.
Bishop of Bristol
God of reconciling hope,
as you guided your people in the past
guide us through the turmoil of the present time
and bring us to that place of flourishing
where our unity can be restored,
the common good served
and all shall be made well.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
(prayer written by Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark)