“Listened well… but didn’t change her view”
This week we are celebrating some of the stories of congregations from our churches who have taken up the challenge to meet their local MP. Each congregation was able to demonstrate their concerns for the local area, express their hopes and dreams, and invite partnership and dialogue which would allow peace and justice to flourish – but the ways they went about it were as varied and creative as the communities they represent. Find out more about ‘Meet Your MP’
Wilmslow Methodist Church meets Esther McVey MP
Revd Katy Thomas explained how, at the Methodist Women in Britain Conference in 2018, the Joint Public Issues Team spoke about Universal Credit and the way it was having a negative impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our society. She and others were challenged to get involved in ‘craftivism’ by expressing their concerns by sewing messages on a napkin, then giving them to their MP. This was the inspiration to invite their local MP, Esther McVey, who at that time was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to meet with their church.
Esther spent an hour with them, listening to their stories, explaining some of the complexities involved and mentioning aspects which the Department for Work and Pensions were still working on. Katy reflected with us that whilst they may not have changed their MP’s view on Universal Credit, they were well equipped to highlight their concerns through some careful research and by giving Esther a bunch of napkins to take away, featuring their hand-stitched messages of hope.
Meet Your MP tips:
- Do your homework
- Allow lots of people to ask questions and express their concerns
- You might not think that you will make a difference but every voice counts.
This is our final story for Meet Your MP Blog week. Check out the side bar to find other stories.