Keep Calm and Carry On – reflections on bringing people and communities together after the EU referendum
In the wake of one of the biggest political decisions for generations, Livability’s Assistant Director for Community Engagement Corin Pilling offers his reflections on the way forward for us and our communities in the UK.
We are in unprecedented times. The political environment continues to shift on a daily basis and is some distance away from finding equilibrium.
As many of us voice concerns about the nature of the campaign that preceded the result, we’ve become aware of a deep-seated dissatisfaction at the root of it all. In response, we might sense anxiety about the future as the shocks reverberate through our communities.
In times of disruption my preference in life is to wait for the storm to pass. I’ve found I’m pretty good at enduring when I need to by battening down the hatches. Then, when it all quietens down, I’ll set about inspecting the wreckage and seeing what needs to be rebuilt.
Yet, I think that at this point in time, there’s a call to us to be carefully listening to the Spirit whilst in the eye of the storm. I think we need to find ways to do this collectively, rather than waiting in our individual shelters until it’s time to come out and examine what’s left.
There is a particular opportunity for us – change is impacting us in new ways. These changes are affecting us on a personal level, and resonating in our communities and in turn, our nation.[x_blockquote type=”left”]There’s the chance for something new, and a call to carve out new ways of listening and building bridges within our communities.[/x_blockquote]
I’ve been heartened this week by examples of people gathering together to listen and express their need to act, in the spirit of unity. Gatherings organised by Citizens UK at London tube stations to raise awareness of the growth of racial incidents or conversations that create the room needed to listen, rather than react. A wonderful example of how this occurred in Sunderland is one to draw inspiration from.
As Christians in our communities, then let’s take this opportunity to seek to discern what might well be a new calling in a changing environment. Together, let’s find ways to ensure we ‘Keep Calm and Carry On… with something new.’
Corin Pilling is Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Communications for Livability.
Prior to supporting churches connect with their communities at Livability, he worked on projects to help homeless people progress into employment. He lives in King’s Cross where he attends a small church on a large estate.