The dust has no way settled, the ramifications have been going on, many words are being spilt on re defining the UK in view of its post referendum status, especially those from within the church. There’s been a fair few who have proclaimed that it is a redefining moment for the church in the world, a wake up call for the church to think about their community.
I ask – where has this kind of church been, to have avoided thinking about its community up until now?
Hiding from the headlines about foodbank use? not seeing young people queuing outside job centres? or youth centres close around them? not wondering if people were a ‘bit’ upset about the government during the riots in 2012, not see the wave of cuts to benefits, the bedroom tax, disability benefits, to think that people might be real on benefit street.
No, the Brexit vote has been the wake up call to the church. Why now? is it because people might be angry at the establishment that the church might also be complicit in? or that people might actually have disagreeing opinions that might threaten the status quo, and be a ‘bit’ pissed of with the treatment theyve had by successive governments, or ‘the system’.
It feels odd that the brexit vote is the catalyst for church to re think how it engages with its community. Yes to recognise that it too has left people behind, left the poor that should be with the church, outside the church. Left the margins to find solace in the centre. But a call to the margins should be from God, and is contained theologically as Jesus inhabited the border towns and walked the highways, Brexit shouldnt be the spur, and if it is – what kind of church has ignored not just the poor, but the other, the other who isnt like it is, thus far?
Yes it might well be a wake up call, but really the signs have been there all along.
After all, its not like food bank use hasnt been rocketing? and unless im mistaken, the church is actively involved already in this.