Bishop says Britain should be leading in Europe, not leaving

The case for remaining in the European Union has the backing of the Bishop of Croydon, who says that Britain should adopt a greater, leading role in Europe.

Bishop Clark:

Bishop Jonathan Clark: the European Union promotes greater understanding

Jonathan Clark, who chaired Croydon Council’s Fairness Commission, has this week published what he was at pains to point out is a personal view, “not the view of the Diocese of Southwark, still less the Church of England”.

But it is nonetheless an influential voice from one of south London’s senior and respected prelates.

“If you’re going to have peace, you have to have relationship. Distance creates suspicion and distrust,” Clark says.

“I spend my life helping build healthy communities, and dealing with situations when things go wrong in them, so I hope I have something to offer here,” he writes.

Clark states that he has “become more and more convinced that it is in our best interests to stay in the European Union”.

He writes, “Human beings have a natural tendency to assume the best of themselves and the worst of others – it’s one of those human traits Christians call ‘sin’. The best way to overcome it is to get to know ‘the others’ – so that they are no longer an anonymous and threatening enemy, but a group made up of individuals really quite like us.

“And this is important: peace between nations is not inevitable. Right up to 1914 there were people saying that war in Europe was unthinkable, inconceivable. I’d rather have us round the table arguing about farm subsidies than sitting sullenly apart and getting ever more anxious about what ‘they’ are plotting. Let’s stay together and continue to build a peaceful Europe.

“I have also seen that communities that turn in on themselves do not thrive. It can feel so much safer and more secure to lock the doors and ‘keep out the foreigners’. But in the long term (even in the medium term) it doesn’t work. The flow of new ideas, new energy, new ambition that outsiders bring increases the liveliness and energy of society as a whole. Yes, it means that there is more competition, but we shouldn’t be afraid of that. We have the talent and the ability to rise to the challenge and thrive.”

Bishop Clark:

Bishop of Croydon: leading, not leaving

And Clark concludes by airing the view that the best interests of Britain would be served by playing a strong role within the European Union.

“A community that is strong knows it has something to offer beyond its borders. The UK is a growing and prosperous country – except, often, in our own eyes. We have a huge amount to offer to the rest of the European Union. We do not have to regard ourselves as passive victims of ‘EU directives’ – we have the capacity to make a real difference, to change things for the better.

“We should be talking about leading the EU, not leaving it.”


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2016 EU referendum, Bishop of Croydon, Church and religions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Bishop says Britain should be leading in Europe, not leaving

  1. Germany lead Europe. The UK has on 72 occasions objected to an EU policy and on 72 occasions have been defeated. We have NO say on how the EU works, and only fools believe that we do.
    The EU is a money pit that we need to be out of.

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    • Rod Davies says:

      On how many occasions has
      UK proposed EU policy and been supported by the majority?
      UK opposed EU policy and been supported by the majority?
      UK proposed EU policy and been defeated by the majority?
      UK opposed EU policy and been defeated by the majority?
      The fact is that in the majority of occassions UK votes with the majority in the EU and gets its proposals through. No other EU state is as successful as UK in securing exceptions for itself.
      Of course we have a say in how the EU works just like every other member.

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      • davidjl2014 says:

        This is absolute nonsense. You cannot give a singe example of a policy that the UK has proposed in the last 3 years that has been agreed by the EU. Simple because every one, without exception, has been thrown out!
        I’m sure you think we have more success in assemblies of the World Trade Organisation.

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  2. Rod Davies says:

    Allegations in today’s Daily Mail that far right and fascist groups are involved in the Brexit campaign are worrying. The article is illustrated with a photograph taken of some of these people in Croydon, at a tram stop.
    While the Daily Mail may claim that these people are “hi-jacking” the Brexit campaign, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that they are involved given the xenophobic undercurrents and the emotive claptrap that has characterised the campaign.
    It is a moment for some quiet reflection for those thinking about voting OUT about what they might be inadvertently voting IN….

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    • davidjl2014 says:

      The only people that have hi-jacked the Brexit campaign are those like Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, both of whom have suddenly become prominent for the advancement of their own political ambitions. Why is it only now we hear their ideology? The true leaders of this campaign who hold the facts as to why we should leave this expensive and bankrupt club have been forced into the background. I wonder why? If Harold Wilson was still alive he’d be able to tell you. History is repeating itself.

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  3. davidjl2014 says:

    We all agree that politicians should stay clear of education issues. Let the teachers teach. So when will the religious hierarchy keep their noses out of politics? No mention of the EU in the bible, so the Bishop of Croydon should do likewise, and leave politics to the politicians.

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    • Unless, of course, his stated view chimes with your own, in which case you’d undoubtedly welcome his intervention and not seek to deny the Bishop as much of the use of free speech as you enjoy by posting your views on this website.

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    • Rod Davies says:

      What an idiotic comment, there’s no mention of Britain in the Bible either. Does that mean he should surrender his passport, and has no right to comment on any aspect of nationality? What is in the Bible is politics, or haven’t you read and understood it?

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      • davidjl2014 says:

        Sadly you haven’t understood it either. What single factor has caused more wars, political unrest and hatred in the history of mankind? I think you’ll find the answer in one word….. Religion.
        Forget the Bible for a minute and think again about my comment. I couldn’t give a monkeys what religion the Bishop of Croydon is, I clearly said that religious hierarchy should keep their noses out of politics and that “hierarchy” stretches to ALL religions. And as far as his opinions chiming dischords with mine is neither here nor there. I’ve yet to find anyone wrapped up in any creed successfully hold their own in any political argument that they’ve mistakenly got themselves into. But I’m sure you’ll tell me otherwise!

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