This month, as last, I write about something that has its roots in the aftermath of World War Two. Like Christian Aid the European Union grew out of a sense of “never again”. Whilst one concentrated on a direct response to the very human need of hunger and dislocation the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC, 1951) and the subsequent European Economic Community (EEC, 1958), were attempts to link the countries of Europe economically. The argument was that if they were strongly linked economically they were less likely to fall out.

Over the years the EEC enlarged and morphed into the current European Union (EU) which some say has grown unrecognisably. There are now twenty eight member states, with a diversity of geography that extends across mountains and valleys, seas, lakes and rivers, good fertile land and some desert areas too. Its population however is highly urbanised, with some 75% of its population living in towns and cities. Its role in peacekeeping was recognised by the Nobel Committee who awarded the EU the Peace Prize back in 2012.

On Thursday 23 June the UK will vote to either remain in or leave the European Union. This is an important decision that we will have to make. I am probably not alone in being confused by argument and counterargument, and even I who am interested will admit that the coverage can be tiresome because both sides start to rant and appeal to emotion rather than logical argument.

However, I would urge you to “Think, pray and vote” as we approach this important decision. As Christians we are called to live out the gospel of Christ in Church and Society. Voting is one way we can all participate. As we approach the Election Day the Joint Public Issues Team of which the URC is a member have published some materials to inform our vote. Copies will be available in Church.

“May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.”
Psalm 33:22