At the beginning of Lent, the Bishops of the Church of England issued a Pastoral Letter to encourage UK voters to engage with the upcoming General Election. The Episcopal Café reported on the letter in February.
An online study guide has now been published to assist individuals and study groups in reading and digesting the Bishops’ letter. It also offers scripture for further study and prayers for the election:
Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities of living in a democratic society. Give us wisdom to play our part at election time, that, through the exercise of each vote, your Kingdom may come closer. Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism, guard us against the idols of false utopias and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling that serves the common good of all. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Although not intended to provide a substitute for reading the entire pastoral letter, the study guide does summarize its sections, and offers conversation starters for each topic:
Starting the conversation
• Thinking back: what did you hope might happen at the last election?
• How well do you know your current Member of Parliament and their record serving your constituency?
• Who are the people in your local community who are already talking about this upcoming election?
• Do you think faith has a role in how (or if) you use your vote?
How helpful do you think that the pastoral letter and/or study guide are to people of faith deciding how to engage with the political system?
Posted by Rosalind Hughes