Ed Miliband celebrates work of churches
Opposition leader Ed Miliband has encouraged church leaders to continue their work to support social justice ...
Opposition leader Ed Miliband has encouraged church leaders to continue their work to support social justice.
The Labour leader met with 200 church leaders at a Christmas reception organised by Christians on the Left.
Speakers at the reception highlighted the All Party Parliamentary Report on food banks. Ed Miliband said: "Politics still needs ideas because it is ideas that start movements. Food banks would not have been organised by a political party. It required a movement."
Labour wants to lead a coalition of such people working for change in society. The Labour Party, which was itself formed from different groups coming together to work for social justice, aims to lead a similar coalition today. Ed Miliband invited people to work with Labour in the run up to the next General Election and beyond. He contrasted Labour's policies to help people on low pay with the approach of the current Conservative-LibDem government.
Meeting at Labour headquarters, guests heard Ed Miliband highlight the work done by church organisations. The reception focused on the work of volunteers organising food banks, mentoring young people, and supporting minorities in Iraq and Syria.
Guests at the reception included church ministers, people involved in organisations campaigning for change in society, and those delivering change through extensive voluntary work. They were also welcomed by Iain McNicol, the Labour Party's General Secretary, Stephen Timms MP, chair of Christians on the Left, and Christians on the Left director Andy Flannagan.
Christians on the Left, the organisers of the event, aims to be a bridge between the churches and centre left politics. It counts amongst its members 40 MPs, a number of peers, and 17 parliamentary candidates for May's General Election.
Andy Flannagan, political communications officer at Christians on the Left said: "As we approach the General Election it is vital that political parties recognise the work being done by the churches throughout the country. Most of the food banks, which are a real lifeline for so many, are organised by churches and there are countless other examples.
"Our Christmas reception was a great opportunity for church leaders, with different political perspectives, to hear how the Labour Party values their work. Ed Miliband showed that he gets it."
As the General Election approaches, Christians on the Left will be increasing its efforts to build relationships between Labour parliamentary candidates and the churches.