In a year that will almost certainly contain a general election, and in which political parties are devoting most of their time to early campaigning, and posturing themselves ahead of that vote, there is still a lot more happening in parliament.

For the Evangelical Alliance, a number of issues have climbed onto the parliamentary calendar all at the same time. This means that the first part of 2024 is an unusually busy time for us, and also a time when we will be asking more than we normally do of you, as members, to use your voice. 

In the next few weeks debates will take place in Westminster on conversion therapy and abortion and there’s a vital consultation currently taking place on issues around gender in schools. 

Coupled with the busy parliamentary schedule in Westminster we continue to work in the devolved parliaments in Edinburgh and Cardiff as well as in Northern Ireland, even though the Assembly isn’t currently meeting. 

Sponsored

The Scottish Government have announced plans to introduce legislation to end conversion practices (it’s somewhat confusing that governments in Westminster and Edinburgh use different terminology) which is also open for consultation. 

And on top of this we’re anticipating a draft of the Relationships and sex education curriculum for England to be published imminently. This topic is still under lively debate in all four UK nations. There are also lingering proposals for assisted suicide legislation in Scotland and rumours it could also appear early in Westminster if Labour win power. 

If that felt like a slightly breathless run through, then welcome to the world of the Evangelical Alliance advocacy team! It is notable that the issues we’re currently facing are some of the most contentious issues possible – issues of life and death, matters of sex and sexuality, policy areas where a traditional Christian ethic does not necessarily always find a receptive audience – and yet these are also areas where the importance of the evangelical voice is perhaps most needed. On some of these issues we won’t be the only people speaking out, it is notable how widespread concern around gender in schools has become in the last year, and assisted suicide is opposed by many outside-of-faith groups for the potential it has to undermine how life is valued, especially the life of the most vulnerable. 

"We are passionate about ensuring that evangelicals are engaged in politics and heard in the political arena."

These are also not the only issues that evangelicals care about – far from it. Our research continues to show that evangelicals care passionately about a very wide range of issues and are committed to tackling social injustices through practical and political action. There is much that we will continue to say on diverse issues as the year goes on and as we look towards the election. It is worth recognising that there is also divergence on how many of these matters are addressed in policy terms – evangelicals are passionate about tackling poverty but disagree on the policies to achieve this. Evangelicals are committed to welcome and hospitality but don’t agree on what immigration laws we should pass. We are passionate about ensuring that evangelicals are engaged in politics and heard in the political arena.

The Evangelical Alliance speaks up into corridors of power, bringing attention to issues that impact the church or infringe on our Christian beliefs and values and offer a way forward for all of society. In the next month we will be encouraging evangelicals to speak up in defence of unborn lives as parliament considers proposals to change the laws around abortion. We will be equipping parents and teachers to speak into draft guidance on gender in schools, and in Scotland, we will be helping you respond to the consultation on conversion practices.

We take seriously our responsibility to represent evangelical Christians in public life, but we know that our voice is strengthened if you speak too. That’s why as well as engaging with politicians to make our case directly we want to equip you to speak out. Together our voice can make a difference.

Campaign
Let your MP know attempts to decriminalise abortion puts women and unborn children at greater risk

Let your MP know attempts to decriminalise abortion puts women and unborn children at greater risk

Two amendments in the Criminal Justice Bill threaten to remove the last explicit legal safeguard protecting both lives in pregnancy.
Have your say on the government’s new ‘gender-questioning’ guidance for children and young people in education

Have your say on the government’s new ‘gender-questioning’ guidance for children and young people in education

The UK government are seeking input on their new guidance for schools and colleges in England Find out more