The General Election is on Thursday 8 June.
This section of the site will keep you up-to-date with locally organised events, election news stories and helpful resources and information for churches in the run up to the election,
None of this material is intended to promote any one political party.
Bishop Nick encourages all to engage in the General Election
As the campaigns for the General Election on 8 June get under way, Bishop Nick has written to all clergy in the diocese. He asks them to consider hosting hustings in their churches, as well to encourage all in the diocese to pray for the election, to engage in debates – and to vote.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Prime Minister’s decision to call a General Election on 8 June took most people by surprise. I am sure that you will already be thinking and praying about our role in the election and the way we, as Christian leaders, can play our part. May I suggest that the following are important at this stage and these can be widely communicated in our parishes and deaneries:
Encourage everyone to pray for the election, both individually and corporately during public worship over the coming weeks. There are some excellent resources from CTBI, prepared for the 2015 election, but still largely relevant. They are available here:
Please keep an eye on www.leeds.anglican.org in case there is more from the church nationally as politicians’ campaigns get underway.
You may wish to revisit the House of Bishops’ letter which we issued before the 2015 election, called Who is my Neighbour. It contains a great deal of relevant and useful material.
Exhort everyone to engage in the debates and cast their vote. It is especially important that we encourage the young to register and to vote. A useful resource is Bite the Ballot.
For Area Deans, Lay Chairs, clergy and Readers it will be important to consult quickly with our ecumenical partners and to build on our previous practice of hosting hustings. We are still considered an honest broker by most people and can offer our churches and halls for these meetings. You will recall that legislation surrounding charities and hustings is very strict and we have made available essential advice from The Churches Legislation Advisory Service. They have issued an update to their advice from 2014 here with the earlier advice also available here.
With best wishes and my prayers,
Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds
Archbishops' Pastoral letter to churches highlights the place of faith
Faith has a central role to play in politics and this general election, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York say. In a pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu urge people to set aside "apathy and cynicism" and draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of "love, trust and hope".
Church Hustings Guide
A dedicated Church Hustings Guide website has been set up by the Urban Mission unit of the Diocese of Leeds and including rules and guidance to follow if you are organising hustings.
You can also send information about your hustings to an interactive map of the diocese.
Resources from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)
The CTBI’s special General Election website www.churcheselection.org.uk will soon be updated to provide guidance for the upcoming 2017 General Election on 8 June 2017, including a system to register and search for hustings (public meetings where you can put questions to the candidates).
A Guide to Churches and Charities on Lobbying and Campaigning
The Churches Legislation Advisory Service has produced guidelines on lobbying and campaigning here
More guidelines on campaigning, charities and charity law and employment here