General Election alert: making the Cross count!
Christians are not 'of the world' but we should be well and truly 'in the world'. In society in general we are called to be 'salt and light'. And with a General Election looming we have an opportunity to do just that.
At the time of the last Highland Council elections Pastor Owen Morris (Citylife Church, Inverness) compiled a list of very pertinent questions which he then put to the candidates in his ward who were standing for election to the Council. The responses were revealing and many very encouraging. The non-responses also told a story.
This time around another church leader has made the suggestion that it would be good to do something similar for the General Election. It was recently remarked: 'I don't believe it is right for Churches to become political, but I do believe it is right that every believer should have the chance to know exactly where each candidate in an election stands on issues important to them, before making up their mind how to vote.'
Meanwhile, Bill Baird who heads up CARE for Scotland has also written to Christians Together:
CARE has over many years encouraged churches to run election forums / hustings in the run-up to national elections. Church-organised events usually address issues which might not otherwise appear in the normal round of campaigning. In addition, they enable local churches to begin to build a constructive relationship with whoever is elected as their representative. It has been our experience that candidates consistently say that church-organised hustings are the best events they attend.
CARE is seeking to work systematically to facilitate and publicise at least one church-based hustings in each Scottish constituency. This should enable church people around the country to be able to engage more effectively with their local candidates.
As has been the practice in the past, CARE will again be providing a comprehensive package of information to enable churches to put on a well-managed event. This information includes very practical advice for planning the event and for procedures on the evening itself, background briefings on key issues, and sample letters to send to candidates and the press.
Any church interested in receiving a pack should contact:
Bill Baird at CARE for Scotland Tel. 0141 332 7212
Please feel free to leave a note (on the 'Add your comments' facility) or e-mail Ian Ross or the Editor of Christians Together with any suggestions for questions to put to candidates. This way a collated and comprehensive list of questions could be compiled. Let's see what answers we would get from those who would aspire to lead us in our nation.