Christian leaders in Cornwall have written a letter expressing their concern over what they say is "the erosion of respect for truth" in the 2019 General Election.
Rt. Rev.Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro, published the letter alongside Rev. Steve Wild - the head of the Methodist Church in Cornwall.
In their "call to Cornwall", the religious leaders said it was essential that key issues of truth, neighbourliness, environment, and justice are all considered.
In the statement, the two men said they are "greatly concerned at the erosion of respect for truth in our political debate and discussion". They called on all involved in the election "neither to misrepresent themselves nor others".
On the issue of "neighbourliness", the religious leaders said they were "shocked by the tone of some recent debate" and added:
"We call for a new respect in political dialogue and for a new commitment to neighbourliness with those with whom we share this country, continent and world, whoever they may be, whatever their creed"
In their letter the Rt. Rev.Philip Mounstephen and Rev. Steve Wild said they felt "compelled" to make the statement. They wrote:
"In particular we believe it is essential to ask: ‘What kind of Cornwall do we want to be?’ in the context of asking what kind of country we wish to see, and what kind of world we wish to inhabit".
Read the full letter below:
As Christian leaders in Cornwall, conscious of our own weakness and failings, we nonetheless feel compelled to make the following statement.We believe that in this General Election it is vital that all of us, in Cornwall, seek together the common good in the spirit of ‘One and all’. In particular we believe it is essential to ask: ‘What kind of Cornwall do we want to be?’ in the context of asking what kind of country we wish to see, and what kind of world we wish to inhabit. As followers of Jesus Christ we believe that the following issues are key in deciding how our future should be shaped – and therefore how we should vote: TRUTH: Jesus Christ is ‘the way, the truth, and the life’. We are greatly concerned at the erosion of respect for truth in our political debate and discussion and call on all those involved in this election neither to misrepresent themselves nor others but, in the words of the old saying, ‘to tell the truth and shame the devil’. NEIGHBOURLINESS: Jesus told us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves: he taught us too that our neighbours are not just those near us and like us, but also those who are different to us and distant from us. Shocked by the tone of some recent debate we call for a new respect in political dialogue and for a new commitment to neighbourliness with those with whom we share this country, continent and world, whoever they may be, whatever their creed. ENVIRONMENT: the Bible speaks of Jesus as the one through whom this world came into being and who calls us to treasure it. We believe that the threat of environmental collapse is the most pressing issue of our time and we call on all political leaders to take it with utmost seriousness, recognising that it is the world’s poor who will face its most serious consequences. JUSTICE: in this Advent season we remember that Jesus will come again as judge. So we urge everybody to seek justice in this election: that the persecuted might be protected and the vulnerable supported; that aspiration might be rewarded and the weak protected. We urge those entrusted with the privilege of voting to exercise that right, and to support those candidates whose policies and parties consciously uphold the principles above. And we urge all those who share our faith in Christ to come to God and lift up those standing for election, the process itself, Cornwall, and our country, in prayer. Rev. Steve Wild Chair, Cornwall Methodist District Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen Bishop of Truro