Church leaders to meet with front bench MPs at Party Conferences
Senior leaders from five Churches will meet with politicians at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party Conferences this month.
A delegation from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, Quakers in Britain, The Salvation Army and United Reformed Church will discuss a range of issues including poverty, climate change, and the IF Campaign at the three Party Conferences.
The Revd Stephen Keyworth, Team Leader of the BUGB Faith and Society Team, is at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Glasgow. He said, 'There are opportunities to meet with MPs and ministers to enable deeper discussion and to raise concerns around particular issues.
'They are meetings at which the church leaders set the agenda, albeit only for a very limited time. But the fact that the delegation is received in this way is a mark of how valuable these meetings are felt to be for all parties.'
Dr Daleep Mukarji, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, has been invited to be among the people whom Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, will address when he delivers his party speech in Brighton on Tuesday 24 September.
'This is an opportunity for us to build relationships with MPs and talk about issues of common concern,' said Dr Mukarji.
'We may not always agree with politicians, but we still want to talk and pray with them. The welcome we receive from Christians and non-Christians alike, and their willingness to talk about issues which impact the Churches, demonstrates that not only do we have faith in politics but that politicians have faith in faith communities.'
At all three conferences, the delegation will offer a visible witness of support for those involved in politics, co-operating particularly with the Christian groupings within the parties. Church leaders will also emphasise the importance of Christian engagement with politics.
At each of the three conferences, the delegation will participate in a fringe event sponsored by the Free Churches, in conjunction with the Christian groupings: the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, the Christian Socialist Movement and the Conservative Christian Fellowship.
The fringe meetings will each take the form of a breakfast followed by speakers, discussion and prayer on the Tuesday mornings of each Conference.