Wales’ free churches concern about tone of Brexit debate

The Free Church Council for Wales has expressed its concern at the tone of the public debate on how and when the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Meeting in Cardiff on November 17, representatives of the main Nonconformist Christian churches in Wales said they were worried that some leading UK politicians were making aggressive and inappropriate comments about people from other nations and about women.

The Moderator of the Council, Revd Peter Dewi Richards, said “The representatives were deeply concerned that well-known politicians, who should be setting an example in this regard, were instead taking advantage of a poisonous public atmosphere to make offensive comments about people from other countries. As a Free Church Council, we believe that respect for people of all races, nations and cultures should be pivotal to our public debates, and that this Christian principle is not altered in any way by the result of the referendum – nor by the result of the Presidential election in the United States.”

The Council also agreed to support the responses of the Churches’ Working Party on Wales and Europe to the consultations carried out by the Welsh Affairs Committee of the House of Commons and the Joint Committee on Human Rights of both Houses of Parliament. These responses emphasize that the change in the UK’s membership of the EU should not affect in any way the commitment of the nations of the UK to human rights and fair treatment for all people, and that the new situation cannot affect our relationship with our fellow Christians and people of all faiths and none on the European continent, of which we remain part.

Notes for editors

1.      The Free Church Council for Wales includes representatives of the Union of Welsh Independents, the Baptist Union of Wales, the Presbyterian Church of Wales, the United Reformed Church in Wales, the Congregational Federation in Wales, the Methodist Church in Wales and the Salvation Army in Wales. In total, these denominations have about 65,000 adult members in 1,600 churches throughout Wales, worshipping in Welsh and English.

2.      The responses of the churches made through the Welsh Churches’ Working Group on Wales and Europe to the UK Parliament’s consultations on leaving the European Union can be found here: (Joint Committee on Human Rights) and here: (House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee).

3.      For further information or to arrange interviews contact: Revd Gethin Rhys (Tel. 07889 858062 or

Click here to download the press release as a PDF (bilingual)