Church leaders opt for three largest party conferences

By staff writers
September 16, 2013

Senior leaders from five Churches will meet with politicians at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party Conferences this month.

Once again, it appears that the nonconformist churches have chosen to ignore the Green Party conference, and to focus their attention on the three wealthiest, corporate parties.

A delegation from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, Quakers in Britain, The Salvation Army and United Reformed Church will discuss a range of issues including poverty, climate change, and the IF Campaign at the conferences of the 'big three' parties.

Dr Daleep Mukarji, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, has been invited to be among the people whom Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, will address when he delivers his party speech in Brighton on Tuesday 24 September 2013.

"This is an opportunity for us to build relationships with MPs and talk about issues of common concern," said Dr Mukarji. "We may not always agree with politicians, but we still want to talk and pray with them. The welcome we receive from Christians and non-Christians alike, and their willingness to talk about issues which impact the Churches, demonstrates that not only do we have faith in politics but that politicians have faith in faith communities."

At the three conferences, the delegation "will offer a visible witness of support for those involved in politics, co-operating particularly with the Christian groupings within the parties. Church leaders will also emphasise the importance of Christian engagement with politics', the Free Churches say.

At each of the party conferences, the delegation will participate in a fringe event sponsored by the Free Churches, in conjunction with the Christian groupings: the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, the Christian Socialist Movement and the Conservative Christian Fellowship.

The fringe meetings will each take the form of a breakfast followed by speakers, discussion and prayer on the Tuesday mornings of each Conference.

[Ekk/3]

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