Joint Public Issues Team Blog

Joint Public Issues Team Blog

Meet Your MP – Adventures in Asking and Action (Day 3)

Posted: 17 Jul 2019 03:35 AM PDT

A deepening relationship and a letter of support

Over the course of this week we are celebrating some of the stories of congregations from our churches who have taken up the challenge to meet their local MP. Each congregation was able to demonstrate their concerns for the local area, express their hopes and dreams, and invite partnership and dialogue which would allow peace and justice to flourish – but the ways they went about it were as varied and creative as the communities they represent. Find out more about ‘Meet Your MP’

Avenue St Andrew’s URC meets Alan Whitehead MP

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A letter of support written by Alan Whitehead MP

Richard Harris, one of the team at the Avenue Multicultural Centre in Southampton and a member of Avenue St Andrew’s URC, described for us how his MP is aware of their work in the community with refugees and asylum seekers.

Alan has attended several events at the church and had no trouble is crafting a letter of support for a church member who was an asylum seeker re-applying for leave to remain in the UK. In this case, it was a brief visit to the MP’s surgery, bringing the relevant documentation and correspondence from the applicant. Richard was familiar with how to organise a booking through the MP’s Southampton office and knew that Alan would be sympathetic.

Alan Whitehead MP
[Photo: Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (]]

All in all, Richard reckons the whole meeting and preparation time, including the phone call to arrange it and the collation of materials, took one hour of his own time! Perhaps for those with less experience it may seem a daunting task but it certainly gets easier.

Meet Your MP tips:

  • A helpful and fruitful relationship is built up over time
  • Whatever the issue, keep your MP informed and
    keep yourself informed too
  • Even if you doubt your MP will be sympathetic, it is their duty to listen and respond.

Read more: A visit to the Avenue Multicultural Centre at Avenue St Andrew’s

Another Meet Your MP story tomorrow…

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