Now churches must get stuck in, says EA leader
Evangelical Alliance UK leader Steve Clifford has called on Christians to pray for the new government, and to build on years of community engagement to play a leading role in public life ...
EA UK director Steve Clifford has urged churches to play their part in forging a fairer society in the future:
"It’s time for us to look beyond the party differences that divided us when we voted and work together for the future. I will be praying for David Cameron as he puts together his government and I encourage Christians across the UK to do the same.
"Let’s put aside cynicism and any distrust, and pray for our newly elected politicians that they might be honest, hardworking, fair and accountable MPs. Our new government has the opportunity to demonstrate the trust that has been placed in them. I hope we can see faith restored in politicians and in the wider political system.
"The failure of pollsters to predict the outcome shows how the political landscape is changing in the UK, and I would like to see this change draw politicians to work more closely with and engage the people and communities they represent.
"Protecting religious freedom and helping the poorest in society were the two issues that had the greatest impact on evangelical voters at this election. The Alliance will continue to work with MPs and the government to press for a concerted effort to protect religious freedom and help those in greatest poverty. We will hold politicians to account for the promises they made in these areas and others during the campaign.
"During the election campaign, churches led the way in engaging with candidates, holding hundreds of hustings and helping communities hear from candidates and find out what they will do for their constituency and the country as a whole. Now is the time for the Church to build on that. I would love to see churches up and down the UK investing time and energy in developing close relationships with their local MPs.
"This is not the end of our democratic duty, voting is just the start of our political engagement. Churches already do a huge amount in their local communities, but I hope that Christians across the UK will look to how they can take the next step into leadership in public life.
"Ahead of the election our Show Up campaign saw over 40 organisations push for increased engagement, and now the vote is over we need to continue to show up. Engaging in politics and public life is for all year round and not just for elections, and it is a vital part of our mission.
"By committing to building authentic relationships with politicians, supporting them in their work and developing a culture of public leadership, it is my hope that we will see a more confident, effective and trust-filled political system in the years to come."
Photo: Steve Clifford speaking at the 2013 Inspire Awards. You can nominate your unsung heroes for the 2015 Awards here