The dust has settled and we now have a new Parliament with many new faces. Your Member of Parliament (MP) has the opportunity to influence decisions at the heart of government and she or he is your link to engaging Parliament in the issues that you care about.
We’d like to encourage you to take the time to contact your MP, even if they have not changed, to congratulate them on their election and assure them of your prayers. You can contact them by email, post or phone. You can find their name and contact details here.
A personalised letter or email from you goes a long way to showing them that as their constituent you care enough to take the time to write. As your MP part of their job is to represent you and your views and so it’s worth the effort! It’s important to say why the issues matters to you and what you want them to do about it. Don’t be put off if you are already aware that they take a different view to you on certain things, it’s important for them to hear your concerns and the more those concerns are expressed the more you have a chance to influence the outcome. Why not make an appointment to go and see them in person during one of their constituency “surgeries” which usually take place on Fridays, or invite them along to an event at your church?
There will, no doubt, be many local concerns you would like to raise with your MP, but if you would like suggestions, then here are some of the issues which the leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the Church of Scotland raised in open letter to the Prime Minister:
- our concerns about the damage caused, particularly to vulnerable people, through the benefits sanctions system and our call for the government to undertake a full review
- our hope that the Government will consider a deferral of a decision on Trident in 2016 to enable the UK to play its full part in new multilateral disarmament initiatives
- our concern about Christian and religious minorities facing persecution and asking the Government to make freedom of religion or belief a human rights priority in all areas of foreign policy.
For more ideas and resources you can explore the Joint Public Issues Team website
You could also join with people from across the UK, all converging on Parliament in their masses on June 17 2015 to take part in a day of action on climate change. More details of how to get involved are here.
Most importantly, let your MP know that you will be praying for them. Whether or not they are a person of faith, you can assure them that you will be praying for their wellbeing, even if you disagree with them on policy issues. You might want to include the following in your prayers:
- that MPs will have the physical, mental and emotional strength to cope with the pressures of parliamentary life, and for their families and friends
- that they will have wisdom, insight and perspective when dealing with complex or ethical decisions
- that we will all pursue the common good and hold onto the vision of a society built on truth, justice, peace and well-being
NB: You can write to your MP at The House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or the parliamentary switchboard is 020 7219 3000 if you have any questions about getting in touch with them