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Mission after Brexit

September 2, 2016

BrexitThe four co-editors of Vista are all British missiologists with a love for Europe. In our first post-UK referendum edition of Vista we take a distinctly personal approach to what has been, for us and for many across Europe, a deeply-felt and disturbing moment in our recent history.

The sense of disappointment, disbelief, anger, grief, and embarrassment, has mellowed somewhat but the note of lament is evident in every article in this edition of Vista. But just as evident is our unshaken confidence in the gospel and the need for deep reflection on the implications of this decision for Britain and the rest of Europe.

The two lead articles by Darrell Jackson and Jonathan Chaplin encourage church and mission leaders to use this moment to ask fundamental questions about their values and practice and their future political engagement in Europe.

Chris Ducker looks at the role that identity played in the decision and what this means for mission post-Brexit, and Jim Memory considers some of the controlling narratives that may have motivated many British Christians to vote Leave.

This edition of Vista concludes with three shorter articles: an abstract of a Redcliffe MA dissertation exploring the attitudes to mission in mainland Europe in UK Anglican churches; a review of “God and the EU”, Chaplin and Wilton’s collection of essays on political theology and the EU; and a personal piece by Jo Appleton that reminds us of the sovereignty of God even over Brexit and all its implications.

A future edition will feature non-British perspectives on this issue but, for now,
we would really encourage you to leave your comments below.

Download Vista 25 : Mission after Brexit 



Europe and the environment

May 13, 2016

The First Commandment

Pollarding a willow A Rocha Zwolle (Rogier Bos) web

According to the creation narrative in Genesis 1, the very first commandment that God gave was to birds, whales, fish and other creatures to “be fruitful and multiply”, to fill the seas and skies with God’s creatures (Gen. 1:22). His first commandment to humans was to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

For most of human history the subjection of creation was a daily struggle for farmers, herders and every human, as they toiled against the awesome power of nature. The industrial revolution changed all that, and today global ecosystems are increasingly “subject” to human influence in all sorts of negative ways.

It is only very recently that evangelical Christians have woken up to the part that Creation Care has in God’s mission. Chris Walley of A Rocha provides our lead article—a case for evangelicals to engage in environmental conservation then Darrell Jackson reviews mission agency engagement with this issue.

We then focus more specifically on Europe. Martin Hodson of The John Ray Initiative gives an overview of the impact of climate change on Europe, and I then give a national example, setting out the particular challenges of climate change for Spain. Jo Appleton concludes this edition of Vista by reviewing attitudes to the environment among Europeans.

We pray this edition of Vista  challenges you to think again about God’s first commandment to us.

Download Vista Issue 24 May 2016

Refugees in Europe: a fence or a bridge?

February 5, 2016

For details of the EEMA’s conference this year, which focuses on the current refugee crisis in Europe and the ongoing impact for the church in Europe, visit their website

The conference runs from 21-25 June and will be held in Bucharest, Romania

The year of the migrant

January 29, 2016

EmailLesbos-4Did you know that 2015 was the ‘European Year for Development’? The goal was to focus on the EU’s “external action and Europe’s role in the world.” Ironically, it seems the world arrived in Europe in 2015. It might have been better titled ‘The European Year of the Migrant’.

The figures speak for themselves: 920,000 arriving by sea, and a further 34,000 coming by land. This compares with a total of 214,000 by land and sea in 2014. (figures from International Office of Migration).

This issue of Vista tries to capture something of what happened, with stories from all stages of the journey, from arrival in Europe to transition and destination. Along the way we discover the vital role of the smart phone and stand back to take a wider, European perspective.

Despite this being the longest ever edition of Vista, it is only a very small representation of how Christians across Europe have responded, and are continuing to act on behalf of the migrant.

But we don’t just want to look back. The problems and tensions are here to stay. As Christians we can act and pray. Throughout Vista we point you in the direction of resources to use and share. By accessing them you can become better informed and equipped to respond to what is happening where you are.

If you have articles, news, prayer needs or opportunities,, why not use the EEA’s new facebook page
as well as commenting below.

Download Vista 23 here

Jo Appleton

Nationalist Extremism in Europe

October 15, 2015

Nationalist Extremism in EuropeWhen we first began to plan this issue, concern about nationalist extremism was rising across Europe, fuelled by the Charlie Hebo attacks in Paris.

The UK was about to have a general election, with UKIP expected to do well in the polls, and elsewhere in Europe rising numbers of voters were appearing to favour politicians with more extreme views.

The summer brought a tide of immigration, with compassion fuelled by images of the human cost of trying to enter Europe. But there is no guarantee that once the refugees and migrants settle, their presence will not be yet more fuel to the nationalist fire.

This issue of Vista explores the issue of nationalism in Europe, and challenges us to think through our response.

Darrell Jackson leads with an overview of the common features of extremism. While these could describe Islamic or other brands of religious extremism, they are equally  relevant to extreme nationalist views. Jim Memory describes four forms of nationalism that can be found in Europe today.  And Rosemary Caudwell challenges us to consider our missiological response to this crucial issue.

Finally, with the migrant crisis in mind, we have printed a recent press release from the EEA, calling Christians across Europe to step out of our comfort zones and welcome the stranger—whatever their nationality.

We hope you find this issue of Vista thought-provoking and insightful—please do get in touch with any comments or ideas for future issues.

Jo Appleton

Download Vista 22 here