Thought for the week – from the Rev.David Jones
‘To ‘bong’ or not to ‘bong’ – It looks as if the arguments will go on as to whether Big Ben should peal out our departure from the European Union on 31st January. Already there’s a ‘Crowdfunding’ appeal to meet the estimated cost of £500,000 and whether or not this is raised there are others who are against any ‘bongs’ seeing it is triumphalist and unnecessary. This, of course, is reflected in the depths of arguments and debate which has dominated the last three years.
The margin of the referendum result was so narrow and therefore of the view that our exit should be more reflective and without any excess of celebration. The opposite view is that our departure is one of the most historically important events of our modern history and should be celebrated accordingly with ‘Big Ben’ in all it’s glory! One thing’s for sure come February 1st we will see the beginning of a new political era whether we like it or not.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said that our political differences are not intended to separate or to alienate but rather to be the means of us realising our need to learn from one another. Many in our world suffer because of totalitarian and oppressive regimes that seek to alienate and destroy any semblance of diversity of political ideology or religious faith. No hope of any freedom of expression here – no peal of bells to celebrate new beginnings rather the cruel oppression where life is ‘cheap’ and expendable. That’s why we have much to celebrate whatever our view on Brexit. We have expressed our mind in the ballot box and by doing so have affirmed our will and whether or not our will has prevailed we know that we will get on with each other because that is our way, grounded in the truth that we are all equal under God.
These last three years of fierce debate and often raised voices have inspired us to even more treasure the freedoms we enjoy and for which many in the world can only long for. We have the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ grounded in Biblical principles which give honour and respect to every individual and where toleration and free speech without fear or favour has historically bridged many divides – ‘Bongs’ or no ‘bongs’ there’s much to celebrate!