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Published on 29 January 2024

Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action (1 John 3:18)

A General Election has been called. On July 4 hundreds of new MPs will be elected and many previous MPs will return with different roles or refreshed mandates.

Just like a new school year, a new Parliament offers us the chance of a fresh start to build relationships with our MPs and show them what our church expects of them.

But what can you do before then?

During the next six weeks candidates and canvassers will be out and about vying for your votes. While they'll be keen to get across why you should vote for them, it's also a chance for you to stress what your church cares about and what they'd need to do to win your vote.

Look out for opportunities to talk to your election candidates

Is there a local hustings happening nearby? Is there a local church event where your candidates have been - or could be - invited? And what about when people come knocking on your door?

All of these are opportunities to impress upon your aspiring MPs the issues that you care about.

To find out about local hustings or events check the local newspaper, public notices and even social media.

If you're arranging a husting - Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have some great guidance.

If you're arranging a different kind of event and inviting election candidates - we've got a few top tips.

What should you say to election candidates?

The amount of airtime you have will depend on the type of event. At a hustings you may need to be quite concise, whereas at a coffee morning you may get the opportunity to say more.

Where possible talk to them about the stories of global poverty you’ve experienced, seen or heard. 

Maybe someone in your church has connections with global communities that you can draw on. Maybe there’s a powerful Christian Aid Week story you just can’t forget.

Either way, talk to your candidates about these stories and about why you care, and above all tell them that if they're elected you want them to help bring about an end to poverty.

Are there any key issues Christian Aid would like me to raise?

While the key thing is to highlight that you and your church want to see them act on poverty, there are some issues that we think the new government should prioritise to help make this a reality.

Namely, paying up for climate justice, bringing in new laws to cancel debt and using it's voice to be a force for peace in the world.

You can find more information on all these issues in our general election cribsheets.