On 20 January 2015, I launched this book, “On Rock or Sand? Firm Foundations for Britain’s Future”. Immediately, the book received two reactions. Those who hated it. And those who read it.
Two and a half years on, with a Referendum and an unexpected General Election behind us, the world may have moved on, but the key questions remain the same.
It is impossible to consider the kind of policies which should shape our future as a nation without first focussing on moral principles and virtues – and indeed the vision for our society – which undergird them. Recent political storms, and the tragic events of recent weeks, have caused many to pause and reflect. The Archbishop of Canterbury and I have asked that as a Synod we spend this next hour reflecting upon these things today. The Christian vision is of a world in which we are created for fellowship and mutual responsibility rather than for individualism and consumerism. A world in which the principal aim of policy is to enhance the well-being (that is, the personal and communal flourishing) of all in society.
As we now seek to reassess our relationships, in our local communities, in Europe, and internationally, our goal must always be the common good of all. At the outset, and with the presence of our beloved brothers from Finland and Germany in mind, I would add that this must involve a fresh commitment to building relations between European and British churches – at central and at local level – to lean against the tendency to pull apart which will get worse as negotiations go forward towards leaving the European Union.
We need to go on asking, what is it that well-being and flourishing looks like in our communities?
Read it all.