Friday, 12 February 2010

Food for thought

Today I had a good lunchtime chat with Edward Davies, my opposite number at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. We had lunch in the cafeteria on the Terrace of the House of Commons, followed by coffee in Wesley’s CafĂ©. Parliament is currently in recess so it was very quiet, apart from the occasional group of tourists.

Lunch with Edward was a chance to get to know him informally, as he has only recently started working in a new post for the Catholic Church. It was also an opportunity to discuss what issues we were working on and plans for the future.

We talked a bit about the widely-reported address of the Methodist President to the Church of England General Synod that was in a lot of the national newspapers today, as well as the state of the media and the reporting of religious news.

The forthcoming General Election is at the very top of both our agendas at the moment. With Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, we have helped to put together resources for local churches.

Now is the time is the latest example of collaboration between ourselves and the Catholic Church, and other partners. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the state of nuclear weapons in the world and is a call for action at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in the spring.

As far as future plans are concerned, the visit of the Pope later this year is likely to throw up a number of opportunities for all Christians to speak about political and social issues. We also talked about the challenge of political extremism in the context of approaching elections – and what all the churches might do together.