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The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton

This month's letter from the clergy

Election Time

Dear friends,

It is a General Election this month. This is obviously an important event in the life of our country and we must all think and decide carefully about how we vote. There are Christians in all the major parties and I believe it is not my place to tell anyone which party to vote for.

But important as the election is, it is also important to keep a sense of perspective. Whilst governments clearly do make important decisions they are also limited. We are all impacted by global events and economics. The economy of China is having a huge impact on prices of raw materials. The tragic conflicts of the middle east and the threat of terrorism have a huge impact on us. And nearer to home what happens about Brexit will be determined as much by the rest of the EU as it is by whichever party is elected. And then there is the impact of the massive multi-national corporations. Christians have always believed in praying for the leaders of the world whether they be good or bad and that is an important part of our calling.

But it is not just the world-wide dimension that is beyond the control of individual governments. The most important dimension of our individual and community life is about our hearts. Are we selfish, greedy, jealous, spiteful? Or are we loving, kind, generous? Do we seek to build loving, caring communities or are we just out for what we can get from life? It is these things which make the biggest difference to all our lives. It may be a corny saying, but it is nonetheless true that ‘the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart’.  

And it is our hearts that Jesus came to change. Turning to Jesus, trusting him and walking his way offers the greatest hope for the future of our society, whoever is elected.