Sunday, 3 July 2016

The little room of Westminster

From today's Sunday Times by Robert Harris, this:

"Late one night in 1917, at the height of the First World War, Winston Churchill beckoned to a fellow Liberal MP to join him for a final look inside the deserted Commons chamber. Everyone else had gone home. “All was darkness,” wrote the MP in his diary. “We could dimly see the table, but walls and roof were invisible. ‘Look at it,’ he said. ‘This little place is what makes the difference between us and Germany. It is in virtue of this that we shall muddle through to success & for lack of this Germany’s brilliant efficiency leads her to final disaster. This little room is the shrine of the world’s liberties.’”

It was the 'little room' at Westminster that was in my thoughts at our prayer meeting tonight at St Anne's.

Brilliantly led by Ed and Mary-Jane, we prayed for the nation at this moment of turmoil and upheaval.

For me the events of the last week or so, and the tragic events previously concerning Jo Cox, and meeting our own MP at the Somme commemoration on Friday, have all made me think of the imperfect but precious treasure of parliamentary democracy.

We get to choose our own representatives, and then, in that little room in Westminster, they get to decide the way forward for the nation.

It was also Churchill who said that democracy was a very bad system of government, but all the other systems were worse, so thank God for parliament, and may God give wisdom, grace, restraint, and unity to our members of parliament at this critical time for the nation.

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