Church leaders make General Election statement

By agency reporter
June 2, 2017

Leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have called for Christians to be guided by their faith in discerning what sort of society they wish the new government to create, and have issued the following statement:  

As we prepare for the General Election, we recognise that Christians across our nations will prayerfully vote for a variety of parties and candidates in good conscience. We celebrate the fact that Christian people are inspired by their faith to debate passionately – and to disagree well - on how the United Kingdom should be governed at this present moment.

While much of the debate around the election is rightly focused on individual policies, it is also our duty to ask what sort of society we would wish our government to build. As Christians we have to embrace the reality that our vision will never be achieved by humankind alone, and to look beyond our human time-frames to the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is this future hope that gives meaning and direction to present struggles.    

Jesus offers us abundant life, life in all its fullness, and we are called to reflect this eternal promise on earth as it is in heaven. If we believe that all people are made in the image of God, we must surely pray, work and vote for a society in which all people are enabled to flourish and live life in all its fullness in the here and now too.

This is a society in which everyone has enough food, resources, shelter and opportunity to succeed, and where people are not left behind or damaged by poverty and inequality.

This is a society where our common humanity is valued and respected, where people can find refuge, and where everyone can contribute towards the common good.

This is a society that acts to protect God’s creation, and seeks to be a peaceful influence in the world, promoting human rights, religious freedom and economic justice for all.

So we invite you to pray for everyone standing for office and for all voters. We pray that Christians across our nations entering the polling booth on 8 June do so as followers of Jesus Christ, seeking to take part in creating a society which reflects God’s kingdom of goodness and of justice. A society that encourages life in all its fullness.

 Signatories;

The  Rev Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain

The  Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

The  Rev Dr Roger L Walton, President of the Methodist Conference

 Ms Rachel Lampard, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

The Rev Kevin Watson, General Assembly Moderator of the United Reformed Church

* The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) combines the expertise of the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland in the area of public issues. The Team aims to enable our Churches to work together in living out the gospel of Christ in the Church and in wider society. It aims to promote equality and justice by influencing those in power and by energising and supporting local congregations  http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/

Ekklesia's General Election theme for 2017 is #Vote4CommonGood. This will be explored by writers and researchers from different perspectives and backgrounds, as well as analysis of the different party manifestos in relation to the principles and policies we have advocated for many years.

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