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United Reformed Church wants poverty to end and for everyone to vote as General Election is announced

May 23, 2024
Lindsey Sanderson

The United Reformed Church (URC) is encouraging all voters to engage in the upcoming General Election, to take place on July 4, 2024, and to use it as an opportunity to urge political leaders to end poverty in the UK.


At its 2023 General Assembly, the URC made a resolution that “calls upon political leaders to make a commitment towards the eradication of structural poverty in the UK”. It also encourages churches and church members to raise these issues with candidates in the lead-up to the next General Election”.


The URC is a member of the Let's End Poverty movement - Home - Let's End Poverty (letsendpoverty.co.uk) .

Let’s End Poverty was inspired by national movements such as the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Make Poverty History, where large coalitions of civic organisations and individuals were able to influence government policies for the common good.

The Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson, URC General Assembly Moderator 2023-2024, said: “I am calling for us to actively encourage our communities, staff and congregants to ensure they are registered to vote in the upcoming General Election.


“I make particular reference to those from demographics historically under-represented in the voting process, i.e young people, ethnically-minoritised as well as economically disadvantaged communities, renters, recent movers and non-UK nationals who are eligible to vote.


“Our advocacy for them and our participation in elections are a testament to our commitment to shaping a society that is mindful of its responsibilities towards fair representation and justice for all.”


The URC has more than 1,200 congregations across Scotland, England and Wales, including Local Ecumenical Partnerships and a digital congregation.


The denomination has a history of speaking out against injustice and of supporting people in need.

A recent report by the think tank Theos (2023) states: “A clear strength of the URC is its vibrant activism or, as one survey respondent put it, ‘its unrelenting generosity to the local community’ - URC-report-Final.pdf (theosthinktank.co.uk)

“All the churches we visited as part of the research had at least one project or initiative of building relationship with, and serving, its local community. In many cases, despite their small size, churches were involved in multiple projects, engaging a variety of groups and responding to a variety of needs.”


The Joint Public Issues Team, of which the URC is a partner, has released a number of resources for churches to help them engage with the General Election. To access the free resources, visit Elections – Joint Public Issues Team (jpit.uk)