Whilst we'd love church to be a "Brexit free zone", politics impacts us all.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, wrote on Facebook at the start of September in response to some verbal comments he had made earlier.

We've reproduced this below because we have a range of views within our congregation, it's a really helpful insight and it can inform our prayer life together with our relationships with others.

Here's what Justin Welby wrote.

"I am aware of the upset after I talked about the need to “stop whingeing” about the Brexit referendum result, during a Q&A at the Greenbelt festival recently. Clearly, I expressed myself carelessly and insensitively in the moment. I apologise for that and the hurt that people have felt. Christians are expected by the Bible to “walk in the light” – to admit when they go wrong.

What I was aiming to say was that in this political situation, just talking in increasingly hostile language does us no good. Nor is it helpful to only look backwards. What has happened is past, and every Christian, every citizen, from every side of the debate, should be aiming for reconciliation and working to reunite our country.

Before the referendum, I said that I would vote Remain, but that I was not seeking to shape other people’s votes. Since then, I have been very clear that the result must be honoured. I have also been clear in saying that a No Deal Brexit, if it impacted most seriously on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, would be a moral failure. It would be as serious as not honouring the referendum itself.

I remain concerned about the risks of No Deal Brexit for the people least able to bear them. These risks may or may not turn out to be reality, but we must be very sure that those who need protection are protected.

The Church of England is wonderfully diverse and of course contains a spectrum of views on Brexit. What unites us is our faith in Jesus Christ. We recognise that through His undeserved love, there is hope and purpose and full life on offer to every person.

There is no single Christian view of these matters. We all hold our different political beliefs and ideas within the love Christ calls us to have for each other, even our political opponents. We will disagree passionately about politics, and robust disagreement is essential.

In that disagreement we must find better language (me included) that helps us remove the bitterness and prioritise each other’s dignity and humanity. What is clear is that, no matter the outcome of the Brexit process, bullying one another, misrepresenting the situation, and disparaging each other’s convictions and genuinely held views only leaves us all weaker.

I pray we might find a way to debate and discuss that is distinguished by compassionate listening and disagreeing well, as we work together towards a society where everybody can flourish, economically, emotionally and spiritually.

Politicians bear the brunt of this daily. Let us continue to pray for them, whether we agree or not, for wisdom and strength.”

September 2019.