The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr William Henry, has written to Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP to congratulate him on is appointment as Prime Minister, following last week’s General Election.
In his letter Dr Henry also offered his ‘continued support and encouragement’ in the process to restore the devolved institutions. The Moderator said, “Notwithstanding the other issues that you face, I trust that you will take a keen and personal interest in the talks, which will require courageous and compassionate leadership from everyone involved to end this damaging political hiatus that has affected Northern Ireland for too long…”
Below is the full text of the Moderator’s letter to the Prime Minister –
On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, I would like to offer my congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister, following yesterday’s General Election.
When I wrote to you after you first became Prime Minister in July, I spoke of how the absence of devolved government was affecting the lives of the most marginalised people in our society. The crisis since then has deepened. Across so many areas of everyday life decisions that need to be made on our health service and our schools, for example, are not being taken. Without an Executive, thousands of the most vulnerable people will also be affected when the Welfare Reform mitigations run out in March.
While there needs to be a willingness from all parties here to compromise for the common good of all citizens to move forward, it is my sincere hope and ardent prayer that together with the Secretary of State, progress will be made in the fresh talks that are scheduled for next week. As we have done in the past, the leaders of Ireland’s main churches will continue to support and encourage the process to restore the devolved institutions. Notwithstanding the other issues that you face, I trust that you will take a keen and personal interest in the talks, which will require courageous and compassionate leadership from everyone involved to end this damaging political hiatus that has affected Northern Ireland for too long.
You return to office at a very challenging time as you progress plans for the UK to leave the European Union. What has been clear to me across of all my engagements in the border, in particular, is that while much of the wider discussion has been about the economic factors around Brexit, what is equally important is the impact on people and relationships. I have been reminded that at the centre of all of this are people who are simply trying to do the best for their families, employees and communities. I hope that building relationships, especially after the cut and thrust of this General Election, will be at the forefront of your mind as well.
As you resume your responsibilities, and the challenges that come with them and your office, you can be assured of my prayers and the prayers of many throughout the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. May you know the wisdom, grace, peace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
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