Churches launch guide to prepare for the 2010 General Election

Eleven Churches and Church agencies have worked together tocreate an electronic booklet and website www.churcheselection.org.uk,which includes information on how to arrange a hustings meeting atlocal churches as well as a downloadable guide offering informationon the important questions of this election campaign.

The election materials do not support a particular Church view orpolitical party line, but aim to help people engage with a range ofimportant issues facing the country, however they may decide tovote.

Rachel Lampard, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the MethodistChurch who worked on the resources produced by Methodist Publishingand Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, said: "We hope thatthe website will really help Christians engage with the election.The Faith in Politics booklet covers a whole range of policyissues, written by leading Christian experts and campaigners.

The website also carries new guidance for groups wishing to holdhustings events during the election campaign, enabling people toregister their interest in organising a hustings event and be putin touch with others in their constituency. We hope churches up anddown the country will take advantage of these ecumenicalresources."

Faith in Politics covers issues including the economy, environment,health, education, equality and diversity, Europe, migration andsanctuary, poverty and criminal justice. The resource also providesa series of questions to facilitate personal or group reflection onpolitical issues, or which could be used to quiz electioncandidates.

The Revd Dr Malcolm Brown, Director of the Church of England'sMission and Public Affairs Division, said: "I really hope theseresources will be used by churches across the country to help themget ready for the General Election. They provide a rich range ofmaterial from which Christians and others can explore policy areasand form questions for their parliamentary candidates. The materialpoints to the breadth of the impact that Westminster politics canhave on the life of the nation, and I hope it will stimulatesearching questions that will in turn help people make an informedjudgement about how they use their vote."

The Revd Bob Fyffe, General Secretary of Churches Together inBritain and Ireland, said "These resources will provide a richsource of information for churches and Churches Together groupsacross the four nations. The combination of these resourcestogether with the online hustings information should ensure thatChristians around the UK can fully engage in discussions with theirprospective parliamentary candidates. The fact that the Churcheshave worked together to provide these resources is a strongstatement in itself, and we hope that local churches and groupswill fully engage in the democratic process."