Many millions to pray for Europe (& the U.K.)?

52% of the U.K. electorate voted for Brexit – to ‘Leave’ the European Union last Thursday while 48% of us voted to ‘Remain’.  The picture of Europe by night suggests that whatever political arrangements we have, we have more in common than divides us.

Some Brexit voters saw beyond the migrant issue, but are properly concerned about the dangers of ever-closer union without democratic accountability.  Most of England with the exception of London went for Brexit (Newcastle and Tunbridge Wells among a few other honorable exceptions).  Now we wait to see if Scotland joins the EU and separates from the U.K., maybe the elections in France will produce a Frexit vote (etc) so there won’t be much of European Union to join.

Maybe, E.U. leaders will wake up to the fact that relatively few of us want any more political union, just  closer genuine working together.  And most especially, maybe Christians across Europe will wake up and make the Great Commission a priority.  Maybe Christians from across the pond will help to wake us up, as hopefully a million gather in Washington National Mall in two weeks time to pray for the USA.  See

  • The organisers want a million people to agree to show up in person.  But how many more millions could link up on line?

Great is Thy faithfulness…

Another month passes since my last blog. Yesterday a fortnightly home group/ Bible study group, it seemed as if the last one was only 2/3 days before.  “…And later as I older grew, time flew…”  so the poem goes, referred to previously.  Last night before sleep, I was reading my occasional journal of 50 years ago, and was thinking about God’s faithfulness before and since then.

The Grange

This evening, Hilary and I hope to show old Morden friends Marion and Peter Stephenson around the garden of the ‘two before last’ rectory in the village, near neighbour to the house my parents stayed in nearly 80 years ago, on furlough from China,  I think ‘The Grange’ was the rectory during the English civil war in the 1630’s, not a bad Living then!  (A Living is the old name for a rector’s job, a rector received rents from farmland).

Enough of ancient history.  Just 50 years ago will do for now – when God the Holy Spirit first connected in my mind the idea of churches together in evangelism in the North-East of England, with prayer at the centre – as I had experienced as a teenager in Northern Nigeria’s “New Life for All” campaign.  By July 1966, I had connected that with the idea of inviting Billy Graham to head it up.  Then 40 years ago this summer, as the new vicar of Newbottle  I was joining early morning prayer meetings for a Dick Saunders Crusade being organised in Houghton-le-Spring.  I have already blogged about how in 1982-5 Billy Graham headed up Mission:England, North-East, as well as in several other regions of the U.K.

Tomorrow, the U.K. referendum about the European Union: ‘Brexit’ or ‘Remain’?  Not quite a re-run of the Civil War of 370 years ago, but Boris Johnson appeals for a new Independence Day, his successor as the new mayor of London, Saddiq Khan putting up a passionate argument for Remain.  Maybe this evening, “…no longer gracious ladies walk in gardens in the sun…” That is a line from a song Chris Griffiths and I wrote for a musical in Elswick, Newcastle in the early 1970’s (it may well be raining tonight for our garden visit).

With regard to the Kingdom of God, how desperately churches together across Europe need to take more seriously their Great Commission, witnessing to the unique forgiving power of the Cross of Christ.  How to encourage prayer across the churches, to that end?  And not only of course praying about our witness to other native Europeans, but to all those from other cultures and faiths living, or wanting to live, among us.