European Christians pledge co-operation — whatever the outcome of Brexit

22 March 2019

EURODIACONIA BRUSSELS

Attendees spend an evening at the Scottish Parliament, during the conference

Attendees spend an evening at the Scottish Parliament, during the conference

CHRISTIANS from across Europe pledged to continue co-operating despite Brexit, at a conference in Scotland which brought together Christian groups campaigning for social justice.

The Church of Scotland was hosting the Eurodiaconia conference last week, attended by a network of Churches and Christian organisations that provide social and healthcare services.

Delegates from 32 countries discussed the need for Churches and civil-society groups to be seen as an honest voice in an increasingly polarised world.

In her opening message, Eurodiaconia’s Secretary General, Heather Roy, said: “Holding the Eurodiaconia annual conference here in Scotland at this time emphasises that European co-operation will continue despite Brexit.”

Dr Alasdair Allan, a member of the Scottish Parliament, said: “Here in Scotland we have been working hard to ensure that everyone is welcome, and that the culture of hospitality that Scots are well known for, as well as the understanding of the common good, is not overshadowed by negative narratives.”

The Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, the Revd Dr Richard Frazer, said: “With uncertainty around our relationship with the rest of Europe, connections such as those we enjoy with Eurodiaconia become more and more important as we seek to build bridges rather than erect barriers.

“Christianity transcends borders and differences of any kind. The agencies affiliated to Eurodiaconia exist to enable people to find their true identity as children of God, worthy of justice, opportunity, and the chance to thrive.

“In times of uncertainty, where there exists the potential for division, it is vital that those who stand for Christ-inspired social justice stand together.”

In the UK, only the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches Group, a network of 24 national churches in the Free Church, Evangelical, and Pentecostal traditions, are members of Eurodiaconia, which pledges to work for transformative social change across Europe.

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