Bishop of London’s pre-election pastoral letter

Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, has issued this pastoral letter to the Anglican churches in his diocese, about the elections.

“Although its date has yet to be announced, it is certain that there will be a General Election by early June, and the political parties are clearly now well embarked on a pre-election campaign. We will all be thinking about how we respond to the call to participate in the democratic process, both in terms of the national and local debates that are to come, and of course in terms of how we eventually cast our individual votes. I know that some parishes will be organising their own hustings meetings.

“Churches Together in Britain & Ireland (CTBI) has worked with church bodies and agencies to create electronic resources to assist us as we approach the election. These include guidance for hustings meetings (and a registration system for events) and a substantial briefing document on wide range of issues, Faith in Politics, which suggests questions for candidates.

“In addition, the Evangelical Alliance has also created an election web page which will feature, inter alia, interviews with the party leaders.

“I commend both these resources to those who are organising or who plan to attend hustings meetings; and indeed to anyone considering their own vote. They do not attempt to represent a Church view or follow a party line; but they are a useful source of information for Christians, however they decide to vote.”

At least one church in Islington, St James Clerkenwell, has already contacted me about hosting a hustings meeting, provisional date 21 April. So it looks as if the Bishop’s guidance is already being put to good use.

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