The Revd Steve Wild and Jill Barber, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have released the following joint statement following the EU referendum.
The people have spoken through the democratic process. We recognise that the result will cause pain to some people who voted with passion and integrity and that now is the time to move forward together with goodwill. The structures have changed but our hopes for a fair, just and equal society continue. We must now gather the political will to tackle poverty, climate change and the refugee crisis.
This Referendum has shown both the best and the worst of our democracy. It is to be celebrated that major constitutional change has happened peacefully and transparently; something that is all too rare in the world even today. We are saddened that the referendum debate has at times promoted feelings of fear and even hatred and racism. We do not believe that most people, however they voted in the referendum, wanted this. It certainly does not represent the kind of country that Britain wants to be. We must be careful now that these narratives do not shape the way that we do politics in the future.
As the future of our role in the EU is negotiated, we cannot cut ourselves off from Europe. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Europe, and particular in our sister Churches, and assure them that our love and commitment towards them is undiminished.