Preparing for the General Election: a 2020 vision of the Good Society

Without a vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

Good Society logoWith the General Election fast approaching, 2015 is a year of decision. Our society is facing some fundamental challenges – rising levels of poverty, inequality and austerity, a housing crisis, challenges facing children and young people and the prospect of climate crisis. This isn’t new, but whoever forms the next government has a tough job and key decisions ahead. These will ultimately shape the type of society that we become.

In such circumstances, the churches have a major role to play – not just in hosting hustings meetings – but in sharing a positive ‘2020 Vision‘ of the kind of ‘Good Society’ we want to help create, locally, nationally and globally over the five years of the next parliament.

The best measure of society is how we treat the poorest and most vulnerable. A good society is one where the richest contribute most to eradicate poverty and improve society as a whole

For the past 40 years churches across the country have joined together to run hustings – public meetings where people can listen to and ask questions of their election candidates who hope to represent them in the UK Parliament.

In 2015, a broad coalition of Christian denominations and agencies – including Church Action on Poverty, Church Urban Fund, the Children's Society and Housing Justice – are encouraging churches across the country to take up the theme of a ‘2020 Vision of the Good Society’ with MPs and prospective candidates in the run up to the General Election.

A ‘2020 Vision of the Good Society’ statement has been produced under the auspices of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland out of a common desire to see a society that works for all – in which each of us are valued and which respects the Earth. In short – a society for the common good.

A good society is one where we all think about the impact of our choices on others especially those who are marginalised in any way

The 2020 Vision focuses on five key areas – wealth and inequality, home, children and young people, livelihoods, and the environment and climate. Whilst these are not the only fundamental issues of our time, they do represent areas where we collectively have something particular to contribute to public and political debate in the run up to the General Election.

As in other areas of life, much has been said about negativity in politics. There seems to be a growing awareness within faith and secular communities alike that if we truly want to create a more just and sustainable society we need a positive vision to work towards. Our starting point is therefore positive: a vision of the Good Society we want to live in by 2020, and how we can work together to build it.

A good society involves a sense of community, underpinned by justice, fairness and the inclusion of all.

We offer this vision to all involved in the political process in the run up to May 2015. In doing so we want to stimulate a wider, national debate about what constitutes the ‘common good’.

Click the links below to download resources and plan your own Good Society hustings event. If you would prefer printed copies of the materials, please email us and we will post them out to you.


Church Action On Poverty, Unit 28 Sandpiper Court, Water’s Edge Business Park, Modwen Road, Salford M5 3EZ

Telephone 0161 872 9294 or email info@church-poverty.org.uk

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