EMERGENCY APPEAL. UK poverty is rising. We urgently need your help.
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General election update: less than two weeks to go!

Gareth: Hello. I’m Gareth McNab. I’m Director of External Affairs at Christian Against Poverty and I’m finding politics hard at the moment and I’m finding poverty something I’m still angry about, so I still wanna do something about it.

I’m finding the news, with journalists relatively unimpressed by debates, with there being stories and scandals in numbers of parties — it can be quite demoralising, can’t it?

It can challenge that apathy that I’ve spoken about before, and make you wonder whether politics is worth it. But I remain resolute that poverty certainly is worth it. Addressing it, doing everything we can with all of our power in every community, right across the UK. That’s still worth it.

And so, however demoralising or disappointing, the news cycles may have been for you for the last week or two, can I encourage you? And together we are building momentum and getting poverty on the agenda.

More than 400 constituencies have had their candidates ask key questions about poverty, and some responses that we’ve been able to see are really encouraging. They’re really humanising. And so, underneath the headlines, we get to engage with some humans.

Maybe you’ve already taken the action and had some responses. We’d love it if you think about maybe sharing some of them with us. If you found real encouragement, send them to us at [email protected], we’d love to have a look.

Maybe there’s something in the response that it has encouraged you that we could use to encourage others as we push into those 200 or so remaining constituencies where questions still need to be asked of candidates.

Maybe there’s something in there that helps us together understand candidates better, so that should one of them be successful in becoming an MP, we’re able together as Christians Against Poverty, as supporters in constituencies, as frontline workers and staff, able to work together to build good and meaningful connection with these men and women who are taking on a noble task at a really difficult time.

Reading through the manifestos has given me some encouragement. There are some bold commitments from numbers of the parties around poverty, some making pledges, some deciding they’re going to commit to some strategies, some making some real promises around the social security system or around wages or around reducing tax.

Clearly, the right instincts are there across all of the main parties to try and put more money in our pockets, using different mechanisms and perhaps putting different amounts of money in different people’s pockets.

We’ll all vote based on different judgments. And, again, we’ll never tell you or anyone else how you should vote or what should be most important, though I do believe the Scriptures encourage us who follow Jesus to do everything with others in mind. So as we love the Lord, our God with all our heart might soul and strength, and we love our neighbour as ourselves.

I think that’s going to be how Christians everywhere choose to vote, isn’t it? I certainly hope so. I pray so. It might be that it’s not so much the policies or the parties that are attracting you to politics at the moment. It might be the people that will help you decide what you want to do.

And so the Voting like Jesus’ resource our friends at Jubilee+ put out, just before the election, I really want to commend again because there’s a page in there on choosing a candidate and praying for the election. Choosing a candidate based on character and compassion, competence, community and kindness. I like it because it illiterates and I’m a communicator, but also because it talks about the character of God. It talks about who expresses God’s attributes the most, who expresses greatest care for the vulnerable, who demonstrates character and competence?

Have a look at it. We’ll make sure the link is refreshed in this update. And I trust that that resource will help you brothers and sisters.

May God bless us. May God heal a divided nation. May God raise up the poor and the broken. May God heal our wounds. May God guard and guide our leaders in Jesus name. Amen.

MATCH FUNDED APPEAL
Ruth holding a sign that reads 'There is so much need. I'm at my limit.'
Ruth, Co-Debt Centre Manager

We urgently need your support to reach every person in poverty.

Ruth holding a sign that reads 'There is so much need. I'm at my limit.'