AFTER the announcement that the General Election will be held on 6 May, church leaders have urged Christians to get involved in the political process.
The Bishop of Lincoln, Dr John Saxbee, said “representative democracy can only be effective when those in Government have a credible mandate,” and called on the electorate, particularly Christians, to vote in “a thoughtful and considered way”. “It is especially important for Christians to take this responsibility seriously at a time when representatives of far-Right parties are standing for election, the policies of which need to be roundly resisted.”
Christians are being targeted by the British National Party (BNP). In a letter sent to the editor of the Church Times, a “believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who had always been opposed to the BNP” but has now joined the party said that it was “light years ahead” of the three mainstream parties in promoting Christian standards and morals. “It is possible to support the BNP and keep a clear conscience before God,” he wrote.
The Bishops of the Church in Wales, including the Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, jointly called on Christians to take their voting responsibilities seriously, and to “focus on gospel values and consider the ‘common good’ when voting.”
The Archbishop of York has backed the Join The Party campaign from Christians in Politics, a neutral umbrella group set up by the Christian Socialist Movement, the Conservative Christian Fellowship, and the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, which encourages Christians to hold hustings with parliamentary candidates.
The Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, said that any cuts made by the next Government must not fall on those struggling with debt or unemployment.