Moderator asks congregations to play their part in democratic process

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The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Chalmers, has written to every congregation about the General Election on May 7.

Mr Chalmers told parishioners there is a real opportunity for the Church to share its vision for society and to talk with candidates and campaigners about the issues which go to the heart of the Church’s work in seeking the common good.

“Our voice is often strongest and most real where the Church is working at a local level, in communities and neighbourhoods,” said Mr Chalmers, “it is also in these communities and neighbourhoods where MPs are elected to represent a particular constituency. I am asking ministers and members to consider how they will constructively and positively engage during this election campaign.

“The Church of Scotland is a broad church with many diverse views and opinions represented in its congregations. This was particularly highlighted during the independence referendum when Christians united through their shared faith participated in conversations about what is the best direction for our common future. This was witnessed at work in the lead up to, and in the aftermath of the September Referendum.”

Mr Chalmers added: “There will be many issues important in this election and you will be the judge of what is important, and which party is best aligned with your view. Vote, if you are eligible, no matter which party you support. It is important to play your part in the democratic process. A government elected on a low turnout will have less moral authority than one where there has been strong participation.”

In his letter to congregations, the Moderator encourages members to attend local hustings meetings, or to arrange their own, either as congregation, Presbytery, Churches Together Group or local organisations.