Thinking Anglicans

joint statement from archbishops on elections

Joint Statement from the Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury

“The European Parliamentary and local elections on June 4th will take place at a time of extraordinary turbulence in our democratic system. It is a time for great vigilance over how to exercise our democratic right to vote.

“The temptation to stay away or register a protest vote in order to send a negative signal to the parties represented at Westminster will be strong. In our view, however, it would be tragic if the understandable sense of anger and disillusionment with some MPs over recent revelations led voters to shun the ballot box.

“Those whom we elect to local councils and the European Parliament will represent us and our collective interests for many years to come. It is crucial to elect those who wish to uphold the democratic values and who wish to work for the common good in a spirit of public service which urgently needs to be reaffirmed in these difficult days.

“There are those who would exploit the present situation to advance views that are the very opposite of the values of justice, compassion and human dignity are rooted in our Christian heritage.

“Christians have been deeply disturbed by the conscious adoption by the BNP of the language of our faith when the effect of those policies is not to promote those values but to foster fear and division within communities, especially between people of different faiths or racial background.

“This is not a moment for voting in favour of any political party whose core ideology is about sowing division in our communities and hostility on grounds of race, creed or colour; it is an opportunity for renewing the vision of a community united by mutual respect, high ethical standards and the pursuit of justice and peace.

“We hope that electors will use their vote on June 4th to renew the vision of a community united by the common good, public service and the pursuit of justice.”

Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

This statement also appeared on the CofE website at 8.45 pm Sunday. It has yet to appear on the Lambeth Palace website.

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Ford ElmsCynthia GilliattRobert Ian WilliamsPluralist (Adrian Worsfold)Gerry Lynch Recent comment authors
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David Walker
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David Walker

I’ve just done a radio broadcast on this and found the interviewer, the other interviewee and the phoned in comments from the public all supportive of the line the archbishops have taken.

orfanum
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orfanum

Just who is advising ++Rowan Williams? I understand the sentiment, in fact, I pointed this out here a few weeks ago – the Telegraph is suspiciously utilizing the material for its own political ends seemingly (although that does not make the necessity to highlight what has been going on in Westminster less relevant or pressing, given in addition what we have also now understood about the ‘editorial’ process that was being applied to the material by Parliament before public consumption). However, I also discern here and in the statement about ‘humiliating’ MPs a supreme condescension towards and an irrational fear… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“There are those who would exploit the present situation to advance views that are the very opposite of the values of justice, compassion and human dignity rooted in our Christian heritage” – Advice from both of the Archbishops of York and Canterbury to all who have voting rights in the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections – Do these words strike a cord within those of us in the Anglican Communion who long for the Leaders of the Church (and all its members) to act with these values of ‘justice, compassion and human dignity’ in mind when dealing with women and the… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
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Gerry Lynch

Oh, dear. Sorry that I always seem to be so negative here. I loathe the BNP with every fibre of my being, and I’ve no doubt the Archbishops were entirely well intentioned in what they were doing. But giving the BNP free headlines 11 days before polling day is not smart. Does anyone in Lambeth Palace have any political nous?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold)
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If Dr John Sentamu had made this statement alone, people would have identified with him as a person and thought what their vote meant. That it has been made by both Archbishops, it becomes a statement of an institution, and these days institutions are not doing very well in the minds of the public. The Church of England is kept at arm’s distance, and people dislike being told what to do. It is an institution telling people what to do with their vote, and allows the BNP to play victim and draw on individual freedom again, whereas Sentamu alone would… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Trouble is David Walker ..a lot of people will vote BNP in secret. I think the BNP are going to eat into the Labour vote as much as UKIP did with the Conservatives.

It would seem RW and Sentamu have no qualms in voting for the other parties with equally obnoxious anti-christian policies. All for instance are pro-choice.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“Does anyone in Lambeth Palace have any political nous?”

From this Yank’s limited perspective, given what has come from Lambeth on other, church issues,I’d ask, why are you asking? It’s like Lambeth and the ABC are just tone deaf to issues of justice and glbt folk.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“It’s like Lambeth and the ABC are just tone deaf to issues of justice and glbt folk.” Cyntia, I understand the frustration that lies behind this statement, I feel it too. But what do you say to our conservative brethren when they point out that liberals seem to be tone deaf to the very real threat that Christians experience in some places in the world? Regardless of what I think, for instance, of +Akinola, it is still true that Christians in some parts of Nigeria face violence from militant Islam. Same in other countries. And saying that Christians in those… Read more »