How to organise a breakfast with an MP
If we want to see a change in the way our communities operate we have to engage at both a local and a national level. In Manchester churches started inviting their local MPs to have breakfast with them in 1997. By building relationships with their elected representatives they are helping to bridge the gap between what happens in their city and what goes on in parliament.
Every six months one of the local MPs joins the church leaders for breakfast. This helps the churches learn more about what new laws are being passed and the opportunities for churches to make a difference. It also helps the MP hear what is happening in their constituency. If you want to hold a breakfast with your MP write to them well in advance and invite them to join leaders of churches and Christian organisations.
If you’re in a large city there maybe a few MPs who cover the area. In Manchester they invite them in turn. To give each breakfast a little bit of structure it might help to have a theme. It could be overseas development, or asylum and immigration, or perhaps a particular local issue.
At the breakfast, begin with one of the local leaders giving an outline of Christian involvement in the issue and then let the MP respond to the issue as well as talk about some key things they are currently working on. Leave plenty of time for questions and answers, both on the main topic and on anything else the MP has mentioned or the leaders are interested in. Finally, bring the meeting to a close with a simple time of prayer.
Meetings like this help to build relationships between Christian leaders and politicians. They also provide a space for information and views to be shared in a respectful atmosphere. It means we can challenge them if we disagree, but before we do, make sure we have followed the call to pray for those in authority. We need to be persistent in prayer and help the Church pray regularly for our leaders.