Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit Logo Link
Methodist  Circuit
Back home  /  News  /  Spring 2024 Pastoral Letter

Pastoral Letter from the Superintendent – Spring 2024

polling station

Dear brothers and sisters,

Who would you trust the most: an ordinary person in the street, a nurse or a politician? According to an IPSOS poll 88% of people trust nurses, 51% an ordinary person in the street and 9% politicians. Trust in politicians is at an all time low which is unfortunate for most politicians from different political persuasions who are committed to public service and work hard for their constituents.

It's worrying because in 2024, more than 2 billion people from over 50 countries will be going to the polls. Some of these elections will be in liberal democracies where legal safeguards try to ensure they are free and fair, others will be in places where opposition politicians and supporters live in fear of their lives.

There will almost certainly be a general election this year. Whoever we decide to vote for the question of trust must surely be important. My hope would be that everyone on the ballot paper would be someone I could trust.

Rev'd Ian Yates, a supernumerary minister in the circuit was recently elected as the mayor of Tewkesbury Borough. At a civic service he hosted at Churchdown Methodist Church the preacher, Rev'd Lesley Griffiths, reminded the congregation who were mostly local politicians of the seven Nolan Principles of public life. They are integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. These principles provide a basis on which trust can be built and allow no room for the politics of division and populism which prey on people's fears.

There is nothing new in these principles. The prophet Micah surveyed the standards that shaped the politics of his time. Eight centuries before the birth of Jesus, he reproaches unjust leaders, defends the rights of the poor against the rich and powerful and looks forward to a world at peace under the leadership of a king anointed by God. So, he says:

"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Some things that are worth bearing in mind in an election year.

With every blessing,

John Hellyer

This Pastoral Letter has been published in the  Spring 2024 Preaching Plan

Get In Touch
01452 415769

By post to:

Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit Office
PO Box 3303

Circuit Map

© 2024 – Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit