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‘British values’ affirmed amid concern for their survival

30 January 2015

BIBLIOTHÉQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE

Early democrat: Simon de Montfort, who called his founding English parliament 750 years ago

Early democrat: Simon de Montfort, who called his founding English parliament 750 years ago

A DECLARATION of what "British values" mean to one ecumenical Christian group, the Maranatha Community, was sent this week to hundreds of people in leadership positions in Britain, including the Queen and the Prime Minister.

The statement from the Community says that, "as a matter of historical record", British values originate "from Judaeo-Christian belief, thought, and practice", and that they define the British national identity. It says, however, that there is widespread concern that these values are endangered.

It affirms fundamental British values as "democracy, rule of law, equality of every human being before the law, freedom of speech, and the rights of all men and women to live free from persecution". It continues: "The central value in British history and culture, derived from our Judaeo-Christian foundations, is that every human being is created by God of infinite worth and with unique purpose and destiny. Therefore, every man, woman, and child is entitled to respect, care, consideration, and protection."

Values are first nurtured in the family: "the original and enduring building block of our society, where mother and father are duly honoured as the primary educators".

It encourages everyone to seek the common good over personal gain. "Our values", it says, "are evidenced in mutual trust, truthfulness, and integrity. Our word is our bond within all relationships, from the home to the marketplace, in civil society and in government."

It also encourages the virtues of commitment to hard work, steadfastness, reliability, and consideration towards others.

"British history", it says, "clearly authenticates the role and benefits of Christian teaching and practice." This is demonstrated, it says, "in the struggles to establish the rule of law . . . the establishment of the rights of conscience . . . the founding of numerous charitable institutions, and the upholding of dignity through the provision of education, health care, and welfare."

It concludes: "These values bring hope for all people because they reflect the character of the Creator. . . We call upon people of all faiths and none to subscribe to these values and to affirm and confirm them in daily life, general profession, teaching, and government."

To see the full statement, visit www.maranathacommunity.org.uk.

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