On the 24th May 2019 Theresa May announced that she would be standing down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Birmingham, who is Convenor of the Lords Spiritual, issued the following statements in response:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:
“During the last three years of leading our nation through times of profound change and uncertainty, Theresa May has shown determination, resilience and a sense of public duty that has never wavered. That is a service to us all that deserves our admiration and gratitude.
“As Mrs May prepares to stand down from office over the coming months, this is a moment to pause and pray for her and her husband, Philip, whose support has been unwavering, and for all those around them working to ensure a smooth transition into new leadership.
“Every day in churches across the country, we pray for our political leaders. We pray that they be guided and strengthened in wise leadership that strives for the common good. We pray too for their protection, safety and wellbeing in the roles they take on for the benefit of our communities and our nation. We also pray for their families who with them carry the burden that being in public life brings.
“In these critical times in our shared national life, people of faith should commit to pray for all those who lead, all those who are led, and work together with all of goodwill, especially for those who are vulnerable and on the margins. As Christians we pray that our society would be shaped around Christ’s hope-filled vision of abundant life for every person.”
“Theresa May has given dedicated and committed public service to the country during very difficult times. I wish her and Philip well as they prepare for life beyond Downing Street.
“I am especially grateful to the Prime Minister for the priority she has given during her time in Government to addressing the evils of modern slavery, and for a focus on global freedom of religion and belief.
“In her statement today Theresa May reminded us of the importance of compromise. Now more than ever we need political leaders and Parliament to focus on what unites us, especially when it comes to a way forward with Brexit.
“That will be the biggest task facing our next Prime Minister. My hopes and prayers are for an orderly transition and for all those who continue to give themselves to public service in national and local life.”