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General election update: one day to go

A final message from CAP’s Director of External Affairs, Gareth McNab, as we each prepare to vote in tomorrow’s general election. 

Gareth: Hello. Gareth McNab from Christians Against Poverty here to update on our progress as a campaigning community in this election period, our underlying purpose of the different things we’ve been doing and to invite you to pray with me.

Our progress: we have started more than 5,700 conversations with candidates right around all four nations of the UK during this election period. We started those conversations in more than 460 constituencies again in all four nations of the UK. And we’ve had some beautiful responses from candidates from all kinds of parties and some independents that you’ve shared with us to the inbox at [email protected]. And if you’ve got responses sat in your inbox that you haven’t shared with us, please do, because our purpose of this progress, our purpose behind these three questions, it very much is to get ready for how we engage with MPs the other side of the election. See, there are policy proposals that my team and colleagues around the charity have been working on for some time that we would love to see advanced in and by any incoming Government.But our ability to speak that truth to that power is based on three particular things:

It’s based on understanding an MP s personal commitment to see an end to UK poverty. It’s based on our deep connection to a local place, through services, through partnerships with churches, through supporters and campaigners like yourselves and the MP’s connection with those groups too. And it’s based on a commitment to listen to the voices of people with lived experience of poverty.

You see, our policy proposals that my team and I will write up in advance, we always want to root them in the experiences of people who know what poverty feels like because they’re in it or have been in it recently. We want to root it in the experiences of colleagues here in Jubilee House in Bradford, our Debt Advisors, and the experiences of people in our frontline and partner churches who sit in the homes of people experiencing this brokenness and the challenges that come with poverty in all its forms. So we want to work to understand and then build MPs’ commitment to those three processes, those three commitments, and I see them as, like, three legs on a stool. And if they’re out of kilter, then that’s a wonky stool for me to sit on and speak this truth to these powerful people.

And so the first work, to do with an incoming intake of new MPs, around half of whom won’t have been MPs before, it looks like, is to understand those three things and then build those three things to a level where we know we can be confident that the policy proposals we’d advance will be heard and understood and able to be actioned.

So thank you for joining in that momentum building work to build pressure going into the election and to give a platform to colleagues around the charity post the election.

And we have something of a first 100-day plan in terms of that engagement with new MPs, and the first thousand days of that longer term, steady relationship-building work, the quiet work, that when moments come – and they surely will – to push for policy change. And we know who those allies are, those people most able to influence are.

So thank you for coming on this journey. We’re gonna keep going on this journey with this community, we’re gonna keep engaging with, after the election, probably on a fortnightly basis, with more information and inspiration and opportunities to act in ways that build our momentum to seek influence in the world in Jesus’ name.

So, prayer. We’re gonna pray. Our write to candidate’ action ends at the end of Tuesday, and Wednesday we want to pray for our nation, for our politicians, for our leaders, as the scriptures encourage us to, indeed, direct us to. So Wednesday evening, 7–7:45pm. The details will be in this email. 

We’ve got space for 100 of you to come and join me and some colleagues to pray for God’s will and purposes to be brought about through this election, by the Church, in partnership with all people everywhere who want to see an end to poverty in all its forms.

So do please come and join me and stay engaged with us the other side of the election as we seek to build this future where poverty is gone in Jesus’ name.

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.'