General Election, A Call to Cornwall

Bishop Philip and Revd Steve Wild
urge people to vote in General Election
and consider what kind of Cornwall they want

The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, has joined forces with his Methodist counterpart, Revd Steve Wild, to write an open letter to the people of Cornwall in the run-up to the General Election. The letter urges everybody to exercise their right to vote, but also to consider how they vote in the context of what kind of Cornwall they want to see.

It says: “We believe that in this General Election it is vital that all of us, in Cornwall, seek together the common good in the spirit of ‘One and all’.”

The letter also urges people to consider how they, as followers of Jesus Christ, vote in the context of four key issues: truth, neighbourliness, the environment, and justice.

Here is the full text of the letter:

General Election 2019
A CALL TO CORNWALL

As Christian leaders in Cornwall, conscious of our own weakness and failings, we nonetheless feel compelled to make the following statement.

We believe that in this General Election it is vital that all of us, in Cornwall, seek together the common good in the spirit of ‘One and all’. In particular we believe it is essential to ask: What kind of Cornwall do we want to be?’ in the context of asking what kind of country we wish to see, and what kind of world we wish to inhabit.

As followers of Jesus Christ we believe that the following issues are key in deciding how our future should be shaped – and therefore how we should vote:

TRUTH: Jesus Christ is ‘the way, the truth, and the life’. We are greatly concerned at the erosion of respect for truth in our political debate and discussion and call on all those involved in this election neither to misrepresent themselves nor others but, in the words of the old saying, ‘to tell the truth and shame the devil’.

NEIGHBOURLINESS: Jesus told us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves: he taught us too that our neighbours are not just those near us and like us, but also those who are different to us and distant from us. Shocked by the tone of some recent debate we call for a new respect in political dialogue and for a new commitment to neighbourliness with those with whom we share this country, continent and world, whoever they may be, whatever their creed.

ENVIRONMENT: the Bible speaks of Jesus as the one through whom this world came into being and who calls us to treasure it. We believe that the threat of environmental collapse is the most pressing issue of our time and we call on all political leaders to take it with utmost seriousness, recognising that it is the world’s poor who will face its most serious consequences.

JUSTICE: in this Advent season we remember that Jesus will come again as judge. So we urge everybody to seek justice in this election: that the persecuted might be protected and the vulnerable supported; that aspiration might be rewarded and the weak protected.

We urge those entrusted with the privilege of voting to exercise that right, and to support those candidates whose policies and parties consciously uphold the principles above. And we urge all those who share our faith in Christ to come to God and lift up those standing for election, the process itself, Cornwall, and our country, in prayer.

Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen,               Revd Steve Wild,
Bishop of Truro                                        Chair, Cornwall Methodist Circuit