Views from the Pews: Should churches and politics mix?

Rev'd David Everett
Rev'd David Everett

An unholy row seems to have broken out recently.

The leaders of our Church, the Bishops of the Church of England, have issued a Pastoral Letter to all its members encouraging them to vote in the forthcoming General Election.

It is also asking them to think about and join in conversations as the election approaches to seek out political leaders and challenge them to clearly articulate their vision for our country.

As Christians we are called to be engaged with the society, the country and the world in which we live.

We believe that we are all made in the image of God and seek to honour and encourage all that is done to build people up rather than knock them down.

This is not a party political issue but it is a political one because it impacts on and influences how we think that the God whom we believe in wants our society to be and our politicians, which we all elect, are given the power to decide on policies which will direct that society.

We pray in The Lord’s Prayer, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

Surely that means that we must, as Christians, do all we can to bring that about and that includes engaging in political debate and influencing our politicians.

So is it right that our Bishops have issued this Pastoral Letter?

From the fury voiced by some of our politicians and some elements of the press my immediate reaction is that it must have been right.

We are all called to be involved with the society and communities in which we live and this letter challenges us all to think about what society we want and as Christians what God’s vision of his Kingdom here on earth looks like.

This Pastoral Letter is very useful in helping us work this out.

If you would like to read this Letter it can be found at: https://churchofengland.org/media/2170230/whoismyneighbour-pages.pdf