Revd Sue Mann

5th December 2019

The latest news is that we are now on Facebook and Twitter. You can find us at: @HOBNOBChurches.

We will be using both of these forms of social media, as well as this website and our magazine, to publicise our services, and it would be lovely if you are able to join us at some, or all, of our acts of worship over the Christmas period.

Of course, before we reach Christmas, we will be travelling through the season of Advent, a period of preparation for the birth of Jesus, reminding ourselves that we are also awaiting Christ’s second coming and reflecting upon how we might cast off those habits which distance us from God. We will also be approaching our general election, following which will be a waiting period as we anticipate who will be leading our country for the next few years.

In my upbringing sex, politics and religion were fairly taboo subjects, either because they were deemed as ‘private’ or because they were likely to ‘provoke an argument.’ But as I have journeyed in my Christian life, I have realised that if we are to take our faith seriously, we need to be able to talk about all of these three things, to engage, prayerfully, in dialogue and discussion, even if it means disagreeing with our brothers and sisters, in order both to be challenged and, subsequently, to reach our own conclusion as to what the right Christian approach is.

And, so, our preparation for Christ’s birth and our awaiting his second coming should not be kept separate from our consideration of who to vote for. In fact, my belief is that these are inextricably linked, and, for those of us who profess to be Christians, the question of ‘what Jesus would  do?’ should be at the forefront of our minds. And, in this time of political uncertainty, this, most definitely, requires some careful consideration.

My intention is not to recommend an allegiance with any particular party but to offer the suggestion that our political thinking should consider the contribution of policies to the promotion of justice and the common good, both nationally and worldwide, rather than just to defend our own interests. Also, In this time of climate and ecological crisis, my belief is that we should reflect upon which manifestos best reflect a care for the creation with which God has entrusted us. And we should, of course, enter into this prayerfully and be prepared to read, listen carefully to all views and be challenged and change our opinions, if necessary.

Christian Aid offers some helpful information on voting. Their election manifesto is: ‘For dignity, equality and justice’ and they are calling for:

  • A new deal for climate justice 
  • A fairer global economy
  • Sustainable development as a human right
  • And for the UK to prioritise peace over war

And you can download their ‘Guide to the General Election’ at christianaid.org.uk which gives more specific information on these issues.

Of course, by the time Christmas arrives, and as we begin a New Year, we will know the results of the General Election. My prayer is that, together, we travel closer towards a world of peace. And, let us reflect upon the words of Paul in his letter to the Colossians, 3: 15, when he said:

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

I wish you all a peaceful, blessed and joyous Christmas and New Year!

With love and prayers,

Sue