On Wednesday 27th April Member of Parliament Correspondents (MPCs) from Arundel and Brighton met with other CAFOD MPCs from around the country at Speaker’s House in the House of Commons . Min Merchant from Crawley commented that it was a fantastic event and really great to meet other MPCs .
The parliamentary reception which was organise by Caroline McKinnell MP, chair of the Parliamentary Friends of CAFOD was held in the very grand and ornate state rooms at Speaker’s House by kind invitation of Mr Speaker, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP. In his speech of welcome John Bercow MP paid tribute to the work that CAFOD does overseas and urged everyone to keep writing to their MPs as these letters ensure that the issues such as climate change are kept on the political agenda.
We then welcomed Lord Deben from the House of Lords who is the chair of the Climate Change committee. He praised the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ Care of our Common Home and urged MPC’s to remember to thank the MPs they write to when they have acted on their behalf.
Next Nick Hurd Under-secretary for the Department of International Development spoke about the work that CAFOD was involved in with its partners in Kenya which helped people use solar power to provide electricity in their homes. He reminded us that 1 in 5 people around the world have no access to electricity and he thanked those who had responded to CAFOD’s online action Power to the People.
After that Molly- Kate McCaffrey a university student spoke about her experience of being a CAFOD campaigner and how the attending the Climate Change meeting in Pairs had affected her. Finally Bishop John Sherrington (Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster) said that “MP correspondents are vitally important to stimulate and challenge MPs about policies. A letter sent with love and passion can profoundly influence the political process.”
It was a memorable evening and very exciting to be inside the House of Commons, a place that oozes history and grandeur. Many thanks to all those who attended the event and to all those who organised it. Jo Lewry
CAFOD MP Correspondents write to their MPs three or four times a year to ensure the voices of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are heard in the corridors of power. Through letters and meetings with MPs, CAFOD supporters have already helped change government policy. We’ve helped secure tough laws to tackle climate change, and ensure the UK is world-leading in its overseas aid contribution
If you would like to become an MPC visit the CAFOD website or contact Martin and Jo at the CAFOD Arundel and Brighton volunteer centre. 01483 898866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org