People have 'lost confidence' in politics, says Bishop of Salisbury

(Photo: Unsplash/Kafai Liu)

Britain's tumultuous exit from the European Union has shaken people's confidence in the political process, the Bishop of Salisbury has warned.

Bishop Nicholas Holtam said in a message broadcast on BBC Radio Wiltshire that the uncertainty around whether Brexit would be good or bad for Britain has left people feeling anxious about the years ahead. 

Reflecting on the 'lack of predictability' over Britain's future, the bishop called upon people to 'care for one another', be kind and have one another's interests at heart. 

'The uncertainty about whether Brexit is going to be good for us, the lack of predictability about what is going to happen in a world where politicians see disruption as a good thing, makes us anxious about how the year ahead is going to pan out,' he said. 

'In these circumstances we need to take great care of each other and secure our values so that at least we know the benevolence of one to another".

'Many people seem to have lost confidence in the political process. Brexit or no Brexit we are in the midst of the most difficult peacetime politics for decades. We need to build trust and confidence.' 

He also reflected on the difficulties of 2018 for Salisbury, when the city became caught up in a deadly Novichok poisoning scandal. 

He said the 'lowest point' of the year came with the death of Dawn Sturgess after coming into contact with the nerve agent but he said the tragic events had created a sense of 'connectedness and shared vulnerability' within the city's residents.

'The response of police, fire and ambulance services was magnificent, and so was the hospital and the military and the staff at Porton Down [defence research laboratory]. Salisbury really pulled together,' he said.

He added, 'When bad things happen most people want good to come out of them.'