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Politics

Conservative Christian Fellowship mark 30 years with Jacob Rees-Mogg talk

The Christian wing of the Conservative Party has celebrated its 30th anniversary with a talk from Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

Each of the main political parties has a Christian group and last month the Labour Party's Christian on the Left celebrated their 60th anniversary, with Sir Keir Starmer congratulating them on their campaigning over the years. 

The Conservative Christian Fellowship (CFF) started in 1990 when a group of students wanted to address criticisms that the Christian faith and Conservative policies were not compatible. 

The CCF now has members who are constituents, MPs and Peers who, in normal times, meet together for prayer and gather to talk about how their Christian faith plays a part in their politics. 

On Tuesday, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, gave a talk on Zoom to over 100 members, including MPs Steve Baker, Fiona Bruce and Danny Kruger, where he followed up on comments he recently made in the House about the role of the state and authority of God. 

Rees-Mogg also spoke about freedom of speech, referencing a time where he spoke about his own views on abortion on TV with Piers Morgan, how he believes Christian values underpin the country but also the importance of respecting secular boundaries. 

The MP for North East Somerset also commented personally on how he cannot receive the sacraments, as a Catholic church attendee, and the difficulty of the current coronavirus situation for churches. 

Former Conservative MP David Burrowes, who co-started the Fellowship with Tim Montgomerie while at Exeter University in 1990, told Premier: "Over 30 years - and this is really through God's strength and provision - we've been able to get to the place where there are many on that call, who, through the Fellowship have come into Parliament - and there are those like me that have come in and come out again! And there's those that have got involved in lots of different areas of public life. And that's the thrill and we give thanks to our Lord that that's happened and long may that continue."

Burrowes, now the parliamentary director of CCF, explained where he sees the Fellowship going in the future: "There's an immediate aim that's very close to my heart...to ensure that there's continued good engagement with Christian MPs and to help them. There's lots of pastoral concerns they have, they're not excluded from the impact of Covid, and the impact of working relationships that aren't the same. And so, to ensure that there's those, like myself, looking out for them, and ensure they've got good fellowship."

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