Churches aim to bring truth and justice to politics with latest resources

Four of the UK's major churches have produced a set of electionresources designed to better equip Christians to view and interpretthe policies and promises put forward by political parties in therun up to May's General Election. 

The "Love your neighbour: think, pray, vote" resource pack,produced by the Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist Union ofGreat Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church andthe Church of Scotland, includes short films, with accompanyingBible studies, prayers and postcards, all focusing on four keythemes of truth, justice, peace and wellbeing. The pack, which waslaunched at Saturday's Love yourneighbour: Think, Pray, Vote conference, costs just £7.50 (pluspostage and packing) and is available to buy here.

Commending the resources, the Revd Stephen Keyworth, Faith andSociety Team Leader of the Baptist Union, said: "The aim of thispack is not to put forward any particular political view, but tooffer the four lenses of truth, justice, peace and wellbeing whichChristians can use to view and interpret the messages and promiseswe receive from candidates and canvassers. While not exclusivelyChristian terms, we believe these get to the heart of God's purposefor human society. Our hope and vision is that every member of ourchurches will enter the polling booth on Election Day, consciousthat above everything else, they are called to be followers ofJesus."

"The words 'truth' and 'politics' are rarely used in the samesentence nowadays", added Dr Andrew Bradstock, the United ReformedChurch's Secretary for Church and Society: "A recent poll suggeststhere's been a massive erosion of trust in politicians in recentyears, making it more important than ever that people of faithengage in the political process and challenge candidates andparties about their commitment to truth-telling, keeping theirpromises and holding themselves accountable. We're encouragingvoters to ask candidates what their party would do to ensure thatthere is honesty and integrity within places which exercise powerin our country - in the worlds of business, finance, the unions,politics and the media, for example." 

The Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church and SocietyCouncil of the Church of Scotland, said: "Last year's Scottishreferendum showed that voters do fully engage with politics whenthe outcome is important to them and they believe their voice willbe heard.  We are hoping that this election will similarlyengage voters: this election matters - and when we enter thepolling booth as Christians, it is an opportunity to live out thegospel bias for the poor and vote in the interests of the commongood." 

Other election resources, including JPIT's Faith in Politicsbriefing - on a range of issues from housing to the economy, andfrom religious freedom to democracy - and the Churches Together inBritain and Ireland  guide to holding hustings, are availablefrom the JPITwebsite. 



1.       The Joint PublicIssues Team combines the expertise of the Baptist Union, the Churchof Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church inthe area of public issues. The Team aims to enable our threeChurches to work together in living out the gospel of Christ in theChurch and in wider society.  It aims to promote equality andjustice by influencing those in power and by energising andsupporting local congregations.


2.       The Love yourneighbour: Think, pray, vote election resource pack includes a DVDcontaining four short films suitable for use in Sunday services;prayers which root the message of each film in worship; ten copieseach of four postcards which carry reminders of the themes and fourshort Bible studies, each containing questions for reflection anddiscussion on one of the four themes of truth, justice, peace andwellbeing. These could be incorporated into a sermon, used inweekly Bible study or house groups, or as a devotional resource forindividuals.