Brexit and Mothering Sunday Survey

Date added: 09/08/18

Half of Christians believe Britain should stay in the European Union, with only 20% intending to vote in favour of leaving. In a survey launched by Christian Research on 1st March, the respondents who said they intend to vote for a ‘Brexit’ in the referendum on 23rd June claimed it was mostly because they either felt the EU to be too bureaucratic and wasteful, or the EU’s laws to be threatening to British sovereignty. Of those who claimed they wanted Britain to stay, the majority said it was because they felt Britain benefits from the free movement of trade (27%). By comparison, 23% said they felt the debate was dominated too much by anti-immigration rhetoric.

Furthermore, 29% of the survey’s participants said they would define themselves as ‘European,’ while 44% said they ‘occasionally’ would. Only 25% of those surveyed said they would never define themselves as ‘European.’

54% also said they agreed with a statement in a report released by the religion and society think-tank Theos, titled ‘A Soul for the Union.’ Theos claimed that ‘Christianity defines the culture, values, history, legal structure and sense of self-understanding of the space we call Europe.’

61% of those surveyed also said they thought the most important part of the EU’s mission was ‘promoting peace,’ above protecting human rights and improving living standards. However, 56% also said they thought the EU had been ‘somewhat effective’ or ‘very ineffective’ at promoting religious freedom and tolerance.

The survey also asked participants’ views on the role of mothers, both within the family and in Christian ministry, in the run-up to Mothering Sunday on 6th March. The vast majority, nearly 70%, of those surveyed felt fathers to be just as good at parenting as mothers, while 57% felt fathers did not get enough recognition for their role in family life. Only 27% felt they did. More women than men – 45% vs 36% - felt Father’s Day to be just as important as Mothering Sunday.

58% of the respondents also said they felt roles for mothers and fathers should not be fixed. 38% said they believed traditional roles (fathers being breadwinners and mothers being carers) should hold most of the time, but that it was also dependent on circumstances. Out of those who voted this way, 54% were women while 46% were men. Only 3% said they believed traditional roles should always apply.

When asked about the role of mother’s in ministry, clergy were less likely to say that women’s ministry was ‘very positive;’ 30% of those who said so were ordained, while 67% of those who said so did not have clergy roles.