Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Church leaders plan prayer hour for Brexit reconciliation

Church leaders across Cumbria have encouraged congregations to unite in prayer for reconciliation as a Brexit milestone approaches.

EU leaders have agreed in principle to extend Brexit until 31st January 2020, meaning the UK will not leave as planned on Thursday. A prayer hour is planned from 7pm to 8pm on Thursday, with Christians across the county asked to pray that "healing, love and respect be demonstrated by all, to all."

The diocese of Carlisle said congregations can light an Easter candle or three candles in a church to represent one for themselves, one for their neighbours and a third for those with whom they may disagree about Brexit.

In a joint statement, church leaders from across the denominations, said: "There is no doubt that, regardless of political standpoint, the Brexit process has been divisive, with opinions still polarised.

"As we approach the 31 October - what has been seen by many as a 'Brexit milestone' - we are charged as Christians to reach out in love to everyone, in a spirit of reconciliation, with a listening ear and a deep respect for others' views.

"Our hope is that those with faith, and indeed those who may have no faith, are able to come together in their place of worship to pray for each other, their communities and the nation and to light three candles.

"The lighting of candles underlines that this is rooted in our Christian faith and our understanding that Jesus is the light of the world and that those who follow him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life.

"This is the beginning of a process of praying for reconciliation which together we will look to build upon in the coming weeks as the situation becomes clearer."

The prayer hour is an interdenominational event with The Salvation Army, Quakers, Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist Church, Church of Scotland, United Reform Church, and Baptist Church all taking part.

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