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Bishop calls for grace, respect and understanding ahead of Brexit vote

The Bishop of Carlisle is calling for a collective demonstration of grace, respect and understanding on the eve of the Parliamentary vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

The Rt Rev James Newcome sits in the House of Lords as the Church of England’s lead bishop on health issues. He was also a co-signatory of a joint statement released by the House of Bishops before Christmas and which called for ‘courage, integrity and clarity for our politicians’ in the Brexit debate.

Ahead of the vote in the House of Commons on the Brexit deal secured by Theresa May, Bishop James is renewing his call for understanding to be shown by all.

He said: “To love our neighbour as ourselves is one of the greatest commandments that Christians can uphold. This holds true regardless of whether we choose to agree or disagree with one another on certain issues and so it follows that all our discussions and debates should be conducted in a spirit of grace, respect and understanding.

“However, for many months across our nation we have seen a Brexit debate which has created divisions and uncertainties and consequent anxieties and fears at all levels: individual and corporate.

“Prayer offers a soothing balm; a chance to bring those worries before our Creator God. So at this time my prayer is that our politicians can come together for a vote on the Brexit deal with listening ears, open hearts and gracious spirits.

“I pray that as a nation we have the grace and integrity to accept Parliament’s decision in order that we can come together for the benefit of all in the United Kingdom and Europe.

“I know that there has been much prayer in churches across the diocese throughout the whole Brexit process and that this will continue as we move on from Tuesday’s vote.

“I also pray that whatever the outcome of the debate this week that our churches may be able to contribute to a process of true reconciliation across the nation.”



For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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