The Church of England is to urge congregations to take part in five days of prayer as Britain approaches the deadline for leaving the EU.
It is the poorest people who face the biggest risks from the economic uncertainty posed by Brexit, the archbishop of Canterbury said on Saturday, and the prayers are likely to focus on reconciliation and the needs of those most vulnerable.
Justin Welby told the Church of England’s General Synod: “We cannot ignore the warnings that have been proffered about the possible profound impact that the next months may possibly have on the poorest of our society.
“We must be ready for any difficulties and uncertainties, and not allow any destructive forces to create further divisions in our society.
“It is true that no predictions on the economy are certain. That is not project fear, it is saying that where there are risks it is the strongest, not the weakest, who must take the weight of the risk. That is not currently the way we are going.”
If attention was not paid to the “pain and exclusion” of some parts of society revealed by Brexit, greater division and strife would result, Welby said in a debate on the state of the nation.