I spoke on Sunday encouraging people to get involved in the selection process for the Bracknell constituency conservative candidate at the next general election. The meeting to choose the candidate will be held on Saturday 17th October at Blue Mountain Golf Club starting at 2pm, and is open to anyone who lives in the new Bracknell constituency. In order to go you need to register by 5pm on Monday 12th October - the easiest way to register (which I've already done) is by going to the relevant bit of the Bracknell conservatives website. Note that the boundaries of the Bracknell constituency change for the next general election - check on the website whether you live within the new boundaries.
You can see a list of candidates here. I'm not going to endorse any particular candidate, but would encourage people to go and listen to what each of them has to say on the 17th, and choose the candidate who you think would best represent the people of Bracknell. I will mention though that I've so far met two of the candidates. Julia Manning came to see me during the Willow conference and Ryan Robson was with us on Sunday at the 11am meeting. Both are Christians and currently live in London, but would move to Bracknell if elected.
I feel it's really important for us as Christians to get involved in this process. Andrew MacKay may have been very wrong in the way he handled his expenses, but in my experience he was a good constituency MP and I know helped a number of people within our church as well as in the wider community. We have no right to moan about our next MP if having being given the option we don't choose to get involved in the selection process.
I want to be very clear that I'm not endorsing the Conservative party, its policies or telling anyone who to vote for at the next election. That would be totally out of order for me as a church leader. However, I am encouraging people to engage in the democratic process, and for us a Christ followers not to withdraw from the world, as though it is somehow going to contaminate us, but be salt and light by making our voice heard.
Hope that makes sense!