In a joint statement, the Bishops of Lincoln, Grantham and Grimsby admitted that “months of often bitter and damaging debate” had taken place before the referendum which resulted in the UK voting to leave the EU.
The Right Reverends Christopher Lowson (Lincoln), Dr Nicholas Chamberlain (Grantham) and Dr David Court (Grimsby) urged people to “respect the outcome of the referendum” and work together to promote community harmony.
“On Thursday, June 23, 2016, the people of Greater Lincolnshire voted overwhelmingly in support of leaving the European Union,” the Bishops said.
“The country followed a democratic process and all of us who voted did so in good faith.
“Those of us who are disappointed should not cry foul just because the decision did not go our way, (while) those who are pleased and excited should work hard to understand the concerns and principled position of those who voted to remain.
“All of us must respect the outcome of the referendum and not seek to diminish the views of those with whom we disagree.
“We witnessed months of often bitter and damaging debate, with half-truths being peddled on both sides of the argument.
“It is our duty now to work together to provide reassurance and to strengthen cohesion in our communities, not further to divide them.
“The people who were our neighbours before the referendum vote are still our neighbours today.
“We must continue to care for our neighbours, whether in our own communities, in our country or around the world.
“No person is more or less deserving of safety, happiness, prosperity, respect or peace.
“Therefore, whether you voted in or out, we hope you will join us in recommitting yourselves to working together for the common good and to ensuring that our future in Greater Lincolnshire reflects grace and hospitality, compassion and love, and the justice of Jesus.”