We went along to help out at Ealing Deanery Synod on 6 November 2019 by leading a session for local clergy and lay people. The event was organised and filmed by Capital Mass, the partnership between the Diocese of London and the Church Urban Fund.
Healing a Fractured Society: the Church’s role in post-Brexit Britain
In this period of political volatility and social fragmentation, the need for a Common Good approach becomes sharper every day. But what does this look like in practice, and how should people across the churches respond?
Refusing the temptation to be tribal would be a good start. Common Good Thinking is about building a culture of encounter, and until a new political settlement is formulated that honours all our communities, morbid symptoms will continue to play out. Without a renewed sense of belonging, no political promises will save us, no policy will be sustainable and we will face an even greater unravelling. It may take some time.
Some assert that Brexit is the cause of the current upheaval, but is it not a symptom of a much bigger phenomenon going back decades? A profound dealignment between the governing class and large sections of society has been revealed. Deep beneath it all, a culture of individualism, affecting both the right and the left, has undermined our common life together, the way we treat each other and the natural environment. There is a need to strengthen the bonds of social trust.
The situation is too great to be fixed by government alone. Civil society must step up too, and that includes the churches. Rooted in place, parishes and their people can help in distinctively Christian ways by fulfilling their vocational responsibilities.
By building social solidarity across class and opinion; by resisting the temptation to hold others in contempt; by honouring our neighbours; by putting Common Good principles into practice from the grassroots to the boardroom. In all these ways we can play our part to restore a sense of national community, and help pave the way for a culture of the Common Good.
This is the great task of our time.
The blog above was first published on the Capital Mass website here. You can watch the full talk via YouTube below.
If you want build the capacity of the people in your church to play their part for the Common Good, you can host T4CG’s one-day Here: Now: Us People workshop. Find out more.