THE Christian Socialist Movement (CSM) is to change its name to
"Christians on the Left", it was announced on Monday (Comment, 18 January;Letter, 25 January).
More than two-thirds (67.3 per cent) of CSM members who voted in
a ballot supported the name-change, while 32.7 per cent voted
against. Members were asked to suggest alternative names, and
Christians on the Left received "almost unanimous support" at the
organisation's AGM in March, a statement said.
CSM insisted that it remained committed to Christian Socialist
values, despite the name change. It said that a majority of members
had also voted to insert an explicit commitment to Christian
Socialism in the organisation's constitution, and that the
organisation would be running a "Christian Socialist basics course"
in the autumn.
But "potential members" had been "confused by the current name,
believing the Christian Socialist Movement to be a separate
political party"; or they had been "put off by the word 'socialist'
in the title, which has less contemporary resonance today".
The director of CSM, Dr Andy Flannagan, said: "The new name will
help us reach out to build a stronger bridge between Christians
concerned about the world around them and left of centre politics.
Christians on the Left is a name which makes it clear what we do;
it 'does what it says on the tin."
In a news letter delivered to CSM members, Dr Flannagan said:
"In no way are we leaving our Christian Socialism behind. . . The
bottom line with the name change is that as members we may notice
little difference, though we may meet some new members who think
the same way we do but were previously reluctant to join."