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Viewpoint from Fr Philip Shryane 24/06/2016 

Philip ShryaneFr Philip Shryane
St Mary’s Catholic Church
You could almost hear a collective national sigh of relief this morning that the Referendum and its campaign is over, now we must live with the result, in or out we have had our say. Now we will find out for real and not via the politicians’ or economists’ forecasts

I have always been on the Remain side because I think we are stronger and safer remaining within the family of the EU. Part of that is because I think that God created us as sociable people, generally we do better relating with others than separating ourselves from them. For me it is also part of my Catholic history, I feel comfortable in Catholic Europe, although it is not so Catholic these days. For me there is a sense of familiar, I recognise statues and know the feast days so I am not surprised that shops are shut on certain days

dove leftBut, in the past, the Catholic community in England was served by priests trained in Europe because they could not be trained here during the Penal times of the 16th and 17th centuries. So I have a feeling of gratitude as well, you may not agree with that, but that is my history and viewpoint

But what of today, the result is known, the dye is cast. Now, after all the campaigning and rhetoric, whatever the result, we must pull together to make the best of what has been decided by the people of Britain. That means achieving the best we can for our people and for others who are more in need than we are

Dove rightThe Christian message is about reaching out, caring for the needs of others, and sharing what we have with those who have nothing. In or out, we must continue to do this. If we withdraw to ourselves we will be diminished; many of you will have experienced meeting people who are very poor and been embarrassed by their generosity, it seems those who have nothing are better at sharing than those who have too much

In or out, we must continue to be the people we have always been, generous, welcoming, hospitable and supportive of others. That is who we are and that is who we must remain, Christian, Muslim, believer or non-believer. I believe that we are made in God’s image and likeness and God reaches out to us in love, we must do the same to our fellow humans