With the shadow of the referendum still heavy upon us, is the Union of Welsh Independents is going to invite churches across Wales to join together to protect human rights, social harmony and Christian values after Brexit. The Annual Meetings at Llanuwchllyn near Bala heard that Wales faces the most challenging period since the Second World War. Delegates agreed to establish an interdenominational Commission with a view to influencing new legislation at a Welsh and UK level.
The motion was proposed by the Revd Dr Noel Davies (below left) and seconded by Revd Hywel Wyn Richards (below right) on behalf of the Union’s Christian Citizenship department.
“The Union of Welsh Independents appreciates the unique role of the European Union. It has made a significant contribution towards maintaining peace between the major European countries for possibly the longest period in its history. It’s been instrumental in nurturing a generation of younger people who are able to move freely between the countries to live, to work and to be educated. In addition to being a force for good both economically and socially, it has formulated laws to protect people in a wide range of fields – from working conditions to the rights of minorities.
“Due to the wish of the majority of the UK people to leave the EU, we face the greatest period of uncertainty since World War II. Leaving the EU opens a chasm in the constitutional and legal structure of the United Kingdom. We believe it’s vitally important that whatever fills that chasm protecting the traditions, rights and civilised aspirations we enjoy now.
“As the situation changes, we consider it incumbent on the churches to do all they can to protect those matters which are compatible with our faith and our values as Christians. These should include:
- protecting the status and rights of the vulnerable and disabled, our elderly and our children
- ensuring that our young people have educational and employment opportunities in the more uncertain economic times ahead
- reassuring ethnic minorities who feel insecure or scared about the future
- welcoming the stranger and the needy
- protecting the rights of individuals and workers
- protecting the rights of minority languages such as Welsh
- continuing to protect the environment and deal with climate change, as well as protecting local food producers
- being a good neighbour to other countries
“In striving to achieve this, the Union of Welsh Independents agrees:
- to form a Churches Commission on Political Patterns in partnership with Cytûn to consider these issues and to participate in the process of developing policies and structures following the implementation of Article 50 by the UK Government;
- in particular, the Commission should consider, in light of the above values, the policies that should have priority in the new arrangements, the role of the Welsh Government in the new political arrangements and the priorities of the UK Government as the transition from Europe to the UK occurs.
- to prepare an interdenominational list of appropriate people who’d be representative of churches and who’d be able to contribute from their experience of public life in Wales to Christian thinking on these issues;
- to be ready to convene the Commission using the Union’s resources in partnership with Cytûn
- to consult widely with churches and denominations in Wales, through the Cytûn, to ensure a sound basis for the interdenominational Commission to act immediately on these pressing issues.
The Resolution was passed unanimously.