After Brexit - The Book Launch: Making Other People Great

If a day off is defined as a day when you are free to do anything you like, then last Saturday was my first day off for ages. I drove to Edinburgh, clambered around Arthur’s Seat, swam and queued to see the Queen leave Edinburgh’s Parliament, followed by a grand parade down the Royal Mile. The Queen told SMP’s ‘one hallmark of leadership in such a fast-moving world is allowing sufficient room for quiet thinking and contemplation, which can enable deeper, cooler consideration of how challenges and opportunities can be best addressed. I am sure, also, you will continue to draw inspiration from the founding principles of the Parliament and the key values of Wisdom, Justice, Compassion and Integrity that are engraved on the mace.’

In contrast to the Queen’s words, a newspaper columnist wrote of the main Leave EU campaigner ‘he has been exposed as an egomaniac whose vanity and ambition was so great that he was prepared to lead his country on a path he knew led to disaster, so long as it fed his own appetite for status’ (Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian 2 July). In the Referendum’s wake there has been a 500% increase of hate crimes reported. The Observor thought that the UK looks destined in stages to become ‘poorer, weaker, lonelier and uglier’. I spoke to campaigners in the Independent Scotland camp which has illegally re-entrenched itself behind the Parliament. ‘What kind of patriotism is this, that believes in an undiluted British sovereignty so precious it’s worth the sacrifice of Britain itself?’ asked Freedland, referring to the new pressure on Scotland to break away from UK. Fintan O’Toole thought that Brexit had ‘planted a bomb’ under Ireland’s peace settlement. The now almost unnoticeable border will have to become a full scale immigration border in order to stop EU migrants crossing into UK. Good old Queen met up with MP Martin McGuiness the former IRA leader – they are both now peace-makers.

In the light of all this, is there some divine synchronicity in the timing of our book launch this week? St. Aidan’s Way of Mission: Celtic Insights for a Post Christian World BRF £7.99 Ray Simpson and Brent Lyons Lee contains these words:

As enthusiasm grows for more autonomy for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, some have urged that the United Kingdom as a whole, not just its constituent lands, should have its patron saint. National Newspapers have carried articles that put forward Aidan as an ideal candidate. Born in Ireland, trained in Scotland, a missionary bishop in England whose oversight extended to Welsh speaking Britons– who else represents such unity in diversity? Aidan transcends nationalism. Christians who throw obvious idols out of the front door can allow the idol of nationalism in through the back door. Aidan, like so many of the Irish ‘pilgrims for the love of God’ selflessly laid down his life down for a neighbouring people in sacrificial mission. There is a vital role for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland in making real a heart union of these peoples; leadership in the spirit of Aidan can make a difference. Countries anywhere may reach their full flower if, freed from bitterness, victimhood and false self-sufficiency, they embrace that Aidan spirit that seeks to make other peoples great.

Posted at 05:12am on 7th July 2016
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