This week I was at the Labour Party Conference ……..

…….. for 24 hours again as one of the Free Church leaders delegation.

The purpose of these delegations

  • To enable church leaders to meet Christians and other politicians within the
    three main parties, to offer solidarity and to build relationships.
  • To offer a visible witness of support for the ministry of those involved in
    politics, working particularly with the Christian groupings within the parties.
  • To emphasise the importance of Christian engagement with politics and to
    demonstrate that the churches care deeply about political life.
  • To bring to the attention of politicians some of the shared concerns of the
    churches, with a view to highlighting issues or influencing policy.
  • To strengthen ecumenical links by facilitating discussion around social issues
    between church leaders.
  • To learn more about political processes and issues in order to be better
    prepared to show leadership for the Christian community over the coming
    year.
  • To promote the work of the churches in this area.

We are well briefed on current issues by members of the Joint Public Issues Team who put huge effort into ensuring that there are a number of MP’s for us to meet and that we have information on their particular interests and responsibilities in order that we can use the limited time with them in the most productive way.

We also attended the Prayer Breakfast organized jointly by the Christian Socialist Movement, Release International and the Free Churches. Here we heard the Chief Executives of Release and of ChinaAid speaking on the subject of Persecuted Christians – we heard moving and challenging stories which were a stark reminder of the sacrifice which many of our fellow Christians make in order to live as faithful Christians.

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