Support the most vulnerable, says Churches in open letter to Prime Minister
Leaders from four major UK Churches have signed an open letter to the re-appointed Prime Minister, David Cameron, congratulating him on his election and encouraging him to hold ‘truth, justice, peace and wellbeing’ at the heart of the government.
With a focus on ’loving our neighbour’, the letter reminds the Prime Minister that a wholesome society should be concerned for the weakest and most vulnerable, both locally and globally.
The letter, signed by leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, highlights several of the key concerns that the Churches believe should be high on the agenda of the new government, calling for:
a full review of the impact of the benefits sanctions system
a postponement of further spending on Trident and a serious re-assessment of the need for nuclear weapons
assertive international action to uphold human rights and deliver humanitarian assistance in Syria
action to make freedom of religion a human rights priority in all aspects of foreign policy
“Remembering our neighbours is vital for a healthy society,” said Rachel Lampard, leader of the Joint Public Issues Team, which works on behalf of the Churches. “Whilst policies protecting the most weak and vulnerable of society may not always be the most popular, they are necessary to live out the common good, regardless of political perspective.”
The Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland added, “The very significant growth in the number of people voting in Scotland – up 7.3% from the last General Election – and the sweeping victories for the Scottish National Party means that the UK Government must engage with the Scottish Government and people as an absolute priority. The Scottish people have voted in huge numbers for change and that must be respected.”
“The implementation of government policies is always difficult when resources are limited,” the Revd Stephen Keyworth, Faith and Society Team Leader of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said. “Whilst we applaud some of the achievements of the previous government, such as the reduction in unemployment, a commitment to combat climate change and ensuring 0.7% of the national income is given in overseas aid, it is important for the new government to remember the key foundations for both domestic and global policies: truth, justice, peace and wellbeing.”
The Revd John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church, added, “Our churches are particularly concerned about the places and communities our society too often overlooks. We care that the needs and hurts of all our people should inform those who lead our country and write our laws.”
Read the complete text of the open letter here
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for some suggested ways to go about this from the Joint Public Issues Team.