Shortly after the announcement of the result of the EU Referendum in the UK, resulting in a narrow margin (The UK voted by 51.9% to 48.1%) to leave the EU the Bishop of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe, Rt Rev Dr Robert Innes sent this message to church members in his diocese which covers continental Europe;
“The UK referendum campaign has been a bruising one, and I hope very much that there will now be a period of reconciliation and healing between those on different sides of the debate.
“The news that a majority of those in the UK wishes to leave the EU does not lessen the fervent desire of the Church of England Diocese in Europe to work co-operatively with our brother and sister Christians in Europe.
“The vote will, however, have particular implications for some members of our diocese. Of course, the vote itself only signals the intent to launch a long process of negotiations with the European Council. It is only as that process gets underway that we will know exactly how UK citizens living in Europe will be affected. Meanwhile, I want to assure our ecumenical partners in Europe of our heartfelt and continuing commitment to them.”
The Diocese in Europe (full formal title is "The Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe") is geographically the largest diocese of the Church of England and the largest diocese in the Anglican Communion, covering some one-sixth of the Earth's landmass, including Morocco, Europe (excluding the British Isles), Turkey and the territory of the former Soviet Union. It has over 300 congregations and more than 150 licensed clergy, working with other authorised clergy and lay leaders. The diocese works closely with ecumenical partners in Europe, including the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, The Old Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church of the USA, and churches within the Porvoo Communion.