Reflection on the constituency Hustings

Today is polling day. Across the country, millions of people will be voting as part of the General Election, to determine our MP’s in Parliament and ultimately who will govern the country.

Spurgeon’s and St Frideswide’s, the two churches here at Water Eaton, played a part in this democratic exercise by hosting the Hustings for the Buckingham & Bletchley constituency in our church building. How did it go? St Frideswide’s Community Organiser and Spurgeon’s member Nudrat reflected on the event, which you can read below:

1 vicar (female), 17 volunteers adorned with appropriate lanyards, 1 real-life experience shared by the person facing the injustice, a full car park, 1 community organiser, 3 PCSOs and 120 community members – that’s the recipe for putting on a hustings!

The car park was full, the main hall was full too. It was clear, when the first people walked in half an hour before the event was to start, that the community were interested in hearing what our parliamentary candidates or their representatives had to say! The audience had travelled from across the constituency – some as far as Buckingham – to meet the six candidates.

A respectful, calm and positive atmosphere had been established as the chair, Rev. Catherine Butt, had requested. As an encouragement and an expression of the community’s desire to see a fair election, each candidate was given a Fair-Trade chocolate bar. Once the questions had been written, submitted and sorted, the candidates were given 90 seconds to answer each one. A number of people commented how valuable it was to see the candidates and put a name to the face, how it had helped them make important decisions about their vote.

Much was said, we all listened and promises were made publicly. For me the greatest victory of all was that a large number of people were willing to converse with strangers, share concerns and write them down on paper – what an act of solidarity!

For resources on how Christians should engage in the election, check out our post from a couple of weeks ago here, which includes links to CARE and the Baptist Union.


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