Your choice matters – register to vote

Bishop Christopher is urging people to vote
Bishop Christopher is urging people to vote

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BRENDA from Bristol became a media sensation when she responded frankly and freely, ‘You’re joking? Not another one!’ to the news of our forthcoming snap election.

It was a short exchange, but important.

She struck a chord. She expressed a general tiredness with the amount of politics occupying the airwaves.

It may be why there are more than a few who think that Christian leaders and bishops like me shouldn’t speak out at all on political issues.

Actually, I have a sneaking desire not to do so as well, it would make life much easier.

But speaking about people, and so sometimes about politics, is an important part of any Christian’s life.

That’s not because we want to promote a particular party.

It’s just that the Christian faith encourages us to care about politics.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have recently written a letter about this next election to address some of the major challenges of our time.

These include big questions like, what is going to happen to our currently United Kingdom?

What sort of housing can our children expect? Are we educating our young people to flourish and enabling our country to compete with those around us?

Are we able to provide safe healthcare for all our citizens?

They ask that marriage, the family and the household be nurtured and supported as the foundation stone of our communities.

And they remind us that all Christians are obliged to participate in the election and encourage others to do so too.

That may seem obvious. After all, men and women all over the world have been prepared to lay down their lives in order to get the vote, so we mustn’t treat ours cheaply.

But I think there’s also a deeper truth attached to one person, one vote.

And that’s the truth that we all matter.

The Bible talks about God storing our tears up in a bottle, counting the hairs on our heads, having our names engraved on the palms of his hands.

Jesus said that God noticed when even a bird falls dead to the ground, so he doesn’t miss anything that happens to us or anything that we think or say.

If you’re not already registered, you’ve got until May 22 to sign up at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Please don’t miss this chance to allow your voice to be heard.

Because your voice matters: to your community, to your country, and most of all, to the God who loves you.