13 December 2019
An Open Letter to the Prime Minister
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have written to the new Prime Minister, assuring him of their prayers and asking for clarification on key issues including climate change, poverty and social cohesion.
We wish to congratulate you on being given the responsibility by the British electorate to form a government, and assure you of our prayers and the prayers of the Methodist people as you take on that responsibility.
Churches are rooted in communities around Britain. It is our task to emphasize, from our ground level experience of British society, issues which we believe must be seen as key priorities.
Creation does not belong to us. Our task is to nurture and recognise our place within it. Many of our members see climate change and environmental degradation as the most pressing issues of our day. Can you tell us what steps you will be taking internationally and domestically to help the UK to reach its climate change targets? What kind of lead will you be taking at the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow?
Many of our churches and church members are involved in running foodbanks and offering support for people caught up in poverty. Foodbanks should not have to exist. Can you clarify for us what steps your new government will take to address the scandalous levels of poverty, and particularly child poverty?
The church is an inter-generational, multi-ethnic, socially diverse collection of communities. It is far from perfect. But we have seen in our communities growing forms of hostility, divisiveness and hatred, and have sought to support people who have experienced such discord. What active steps will your government now take to work towards healing and greater concord in society?
We wrote to you, Prime Minister, in July to express our concern that a No Deal Brexit was likely to impact the poorest communities very hard indeed. We wish to reaffirm our concern that the poorest in society face huge risks as our trading relations with EU are rewritten. We seek your reassurance that needs of families facing poverty will be central to the proposed trade deal and that should it not be in place before the transition period expires that comprehensive measures are put in place to protect them from the ensuing upheaval.
Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference
Professor Clive Marsh, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference