As Stormont springs back into life, pray for our politicians

Thousands walked in silent protest against changing Northern Ireland's abortion laws(Photo: NI Voiceless)

The Evangelical Alliance welcomes the fact that a new Northern Ireland Executive has been formed. We pray for good and sustainable local governance and hope to meet with parties in the days ahead as they consider their programme for Government.

The deal is bold and brave, both in content and ambition, covering issues as diverse as health, education, dealing with the past and reform of the structures of government.

We welcome the commitment to strategies around tackling poverty, mental health, childcare and educational underachievement. We welcome commitments to reduce waiting lists, extend welfare mitigations and reduce carbon emissions.

There are also some notable absences in the deal. As a direct result of there being no Executive, the law on abortion was changed dramatically by politicians Westminster back in October and the subsequent public consolation on a regulatory framework closed just last month.

There is no mention in the deal of abortion nor support services to help women and unborn babies in crisis. We will be seeking a meeting with the new Minster for Health to discuss this matter urgently.

In these crucial days we pray for our politicians and civil servants as Stormont springs back into life. We pray for wisdom and integrity and a deep shared concern for the most vulnerable.

We pray for new and reimagined relationships, resilient enough the withstand, and even flourish within, the inevitable political pressures which lie ahead.

David Smyth is head of the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland.