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Government urged to work with Black church leaders in policy-making

by Kelly Valencia

A new manifesto calling on the government to recognise the role black church leaders can play in policy development has been launched today.

The National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) believe the black Christian community can help address many of the pressing issues facing the nation.

“The things that happen at a political level are things that impact all of us but they impact, particularly negatively minority communities,” Bishop Joe Aldred, an NCLF trustee told Premier.

“So it makes sense that we are not just the recipients of what happens to trickle down. But we are active participants in shaping how those policies are put in place. And if you're not in the room, your voice is generally not heard Your presence is not felt.”

With a potential general election coming up in 2024, the ecumenical agency wanted to put itself forward as an active participant in shaping policies affecting Britain’s black community and other minorities.

Bishop Joe continued: “Politics is largely about numbers. The fact is, in this country, there are at least half a million active black Christians, probably nearly a million. That's numbers.

“The politicians who want our vote should have to talk to dialogue not just to put out the occasional statement showing how we are disadvantaged, but actually sit with us at the table, discussing what life really is like, for people, what are our priorities. How do we see us moving together? So I think getting involved, participating in how things are shaped, I think is really important.”

The document builds on work published in 2015 capturing some key areas the group believes black church leaders can provide an insightful and valuable take such as health care and education among others.

The environment, the hybrid church and economics, are some of the new areas explored in the manifesto published today.

You can read the manifesto in full here.

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