Archbishop writes on the importance of voting


Archbishop Stephen writes a message about the General Election in today's Sunday Express. This follows in full


When I say things that people agree with, they slap me on the back and say how good it is that the church is speaking out on ethical issues.

When I say things that people disagree with, they say that Christians should stay out of politics! 

It was Desmond Tutu who is reported to have said ‘When people say that the Bible and politics don’t mix, I ask them which Bible they are reading’.  

The Christian Bible is about the whole of life. Therefore it is about politics as well. 

The values and ideas I find in the Bible shape how I think about everything, especially the big things in life, like love and justice, mercy, or who is my neighbour.  

This is true for all of us. The ethos and values that we hold dear, be they Christian or from another religion or outlook, shape what we believe and how we behave.  

A General Election campaign is an opportunity for each of us to think about what matters and how what we believe to be right can shape the society and the world we live in.  

And I hope the politicians whose ideas we will consider will have clear, thoughtful answers for us.  I want to hear positive messages, not politicians knocking spots off one another.  

Therefore, when I vote I also want to do it positively, voting for the people and the things that I think are important, and will help our country and my fellow citizens succeed in the things that matter.  

Most of all, as a Christian, when I vote I am not just voting for myself, but for the needs of others and for the common good of all.  

No one political party has a monopoly on any of this. I also believe that all politicians and all those who are standing for Parliament deserve our respect and support.  

But this is a time when we are asked to make choices about what sort of world and what sort of a society we want. I believe that one of the ways we make our decisions is by considering the needs of the poorest and the most excluded, thinking what would make a difference for them. 

So it not for me to tell you who to vote for. But I really do want to encourage you to vote. To make your voice count.  

If you are entitled to vote, but not registered, then do something about this today. 

If you’re going to be away on 4th July, get yourself a postal vote.  

When you vote, remember that at this election you need to produce photo ID. If you haven’t got anything like a passport, a driving licence, a photo bus pass funded by the UK Government or a 60+ London Oyster Photocard funded by Transport for London (but check the full list!), then you need to register to vote first at: Register to vote - GOV.UK (  and then apply for what’s called a Voter Authority Certificate on You can also contact your local council for help or the Electoral Commission helpline at 0800 328 0280. And remember, you don't need a photo ID to vote by post and you don't need a Voter Authority Certificate if you choose to vote this way.

Decisions are made by those who show up and post in. It’s true! Democracy requires our participation. This is our opportunity to get involved.

In the Church of England as we reflect on these big questions we are encouraging Christians to do one thing in particular – to pray for the General Election and for all those standing and for all those who make the election process happen. We have produced a resource called Pray your Part, which provides resources for payer in the three weeks leading up to the General Election and with different themes for each day.

You can get a copy here: 

We are fortunate to live in a country where we can have a say in who represents us in Parliament and what ideas should shape our country.  

So I invite you to pray for our country and for the forthcoming General Election. But above all, I encourage you to exercise one of the greatest rights we have: the right to vote.   

Pray your part General Election 2024
4 min read