New blog from Church of England and Church of Scotland
Reimagining Europe, with the sub-heading “our shared futures”, a multidisciplinary blog hosted by the Church of England and the Church of Scotland with the editorial support of Crucible, the Christian Journal of Social Ethics was launched today, 1st September. Its central aim is “to create a space for Christian reflection and debate on Britain’s future relationship with Europe ahead of the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the EU.”
There are two complementary streams of reflection and deliberation:
- an in-focus conversation on current themes involving experts from a range of theological and political backgrounds from around the UK and Europe; and
- a more popular Postcard from … series involving shorter one-off contributions and reflections from around Europe.
Reimagining Europe’s working premise is that many of the issues that shape Britain’s relationship with the EU require a wide-ranging debate of comparable depth, seriousness and intensity to that which took place in Scotland prior to the independence referendum of September 2014. Although RE acknowledges that the process was far from perfect, it believes that “it did include a vibrant debate in homes, businesses, churches and public spaces about a range of social, political, identity, constitutional and economic questions”.
It has no editorial line other than a commitment to communicating Christian reflection and commentary in ways that enhance public understanding on an issue that many find both confusing and divisive; its sole only editorial requirement is “whatever the chosen topic, its contributors must be able to write articulately and persuasively from a Christian ethical perspective and to keep in mind that the blog exists to help others to think through the presenting issues ahead of any referendum.”
There are a number of expert contributors including: Justin Welby; Dr Angus Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner; Suzanne Evans, Deputy Chairman of UKIP; Jonathan Chaplin, Director of the Kirby Laing Institute; and Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds (for the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales. It also welcomes others contributors to the on-line debate, on a regular or occasional basis.
The site stresses that “[i]t is not the place of this blog to tell people how to vote in any referendum,” and states:
“The role of the Church of England and Church of Scotland in hosting [the] blog is to act as the curator of the views found on Reimagining Europe. It follows that the views and opinions expressed by the contributors to Reimagining Europe do not reflect the position of either the Church of England or the Church of Scotland.”