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Webinar gives advice on how to hold a good hustings

First published on: 13th June 2024

How to cope with boos and hisses was one of the questions at a hustings advice webinar run by the diocese ahead of the General Election.

Bishop Smitha welcomed lay and clergy to the session on how best to facilitate good and respectful debates in our churches and halls.

“This is a period of social engagement before a General Election, when churches and community organisations often organise election meetings as a public service, to support the democratic process, to facilitate public debate and as a contribution to the common good,” Bishop Smitha said.

“As Christians, we are free to question and discuss great matters – you could say that meaningful debate it comes naturally to those of us within the Church of England.”

Diocesan Secretary Jonathan Wood presented the rules and best practice, including the importance of demonstrable impartiality in all the possible forms of debate, be that in-person events or online hustings. New information for churches on aspects of holding hustings may be found on our webpage here

Dean John Dobson was at the webinar and he will chair a hustings event involving all local candidates at Ripon Cathedral on Thursday, June 20th and he told of his experiences of holding such events. His advice to prevent partisan groups in an audience from booing or hissing candidates is to publically ask all candidates at the hustings to keep their supporters in check, thus making any misbehaviour their personal responsibility.

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