On June 23rd, the UK will engage in the most important referendum vote in recent British history. The result will shape our country for generations to come. The issue at stake is whether Britain should remain as part of the European Union or whether we should exit.

This short blog is not about offering an argument one way or the other. That decision is for each individual to make. I’d simply like to encourage us to be knowledgable and intentionally aware about the issue concerned – and to be sure we all exercise our vote on the day. Voting is a right we enjoy because millions of people lost their lives so we could have it. So let’s use it wisely.

It’s not unreasonable to say that the referendum debate has thus far been poorly conducted. The scare tactics used by both sides have contributed little or nothing to the substance of the real issue up for discussion. Those involved in speaking for the ‘remain’ and ‘exit’ sides would be wise to measure their words carefully, be sure to speak factually and refrain from personal attacks on those of the opposite persuasion. Such divisiveness does nothing for our nation or for the reputation of politics. They would also do well to offer positive reasons FOR their argument as opposed to negative attacks AGAINST their opponents.

I’d like to offer two simple pieces of advice for all of us to think carefully about before June 23rd.

1) Do your own research

Don’t just listen to the spin of either side. Research the pros and cons of both arguments. Take it seriously. Try to get hold of the facts regarding the implications of this vote. Find out as much as you can about how it will impact our economy, our democracy & our future. Do not wallow in ignorance. It is no friend. A mere emotional decision is not a luxury any of us can afford either. Forget personality and focus on principle. What are the facts? Then base your decision on that. I highly recommend an excellent article posted by Audacious Church in Manchester which provides a whole range of links (balancing both arguments) to relevant information on the referendum debate. You can read it HERE.

2) Pray about it

Why not? As Christians, we believe in the power of prayer…right? So a large dose of wisdom would certainly not go amiss in this debate! But in our praying, let’s also pray wider than just the referendum vote. Pray for our country – that God will help us. Pray for a greater sense of unity – that divisions will be healed. Pray for our friends in Europe – that we will be kind and compassionate neighbours whatever the outcome of the vote. Pray for peace – that God will protect us from those who seek to disrupt our way of life. Finally, pray for a great spiritual awakening across the UK and Europe – that millions more people will experience the reality of God’s presence in their lives.

Be sure to vote on June 23rd!