Bishops' Letter

General Election: Building Communities

24/02/2015 11:00 am


As human beings we share a common humanity and are members of a single human family.

We rightly have ties to our own families and communities, but are always called by the Gospel to a wider solidarity with others and to help build a society based on love and justice, where decisions are made at the most appropriate level - whether local, national or international.


The principles of solidarity and subsidiarity assist us in how to think about the future of Europe.

Where do your candidates stand in protecting these values in the debate about European institutions?

The Voluntary Sector

For some communities many factors make life more difficult, including rising inequality, increased loneliness for many older people, job insecurity and overstretched community services.

Building communities is something that can only be done by active citizens. It cannot only be left just to politicians or government.

Where do your candidates stand on the role of the voluntary sector and how its work can be enhanced?

Living Wage/Dignity of Human Work

The private sector also has a vital role. Business should see itself at the service of society, solving problems and meeting needs.

The market economy exists to serve humanity. People are not merely economic units to be exploited. The dignity of work should always be respected.

Do your candidates support a living wage and a thriving private sector committed to fair pay and the dignity of human work?

Asylum and Immigration

Violence and conflict have led to the massive displacement of people, many of whom seek asylum or refuge. There are also workers and students from overseas who contribute much to the common good of our country.

Indeed, most people who settle in this country find work in order to bring up their families and contribute to society’s well-being. Immigration is a highly emotive issue and every country needs a policy to control immigration, as well as a positive commitment to policies that facilitate the integration of migrants into the mainstream of society. There is a great danger of blaming immigrants for the ills of society.

We support policies which fairly regulate immigration and uphold the human rights of all, recognising the rights, dignity and protection of refugees and migrants.

Where do your candidates stand on issues of asylum and immigration?

Religious Freedom

In recent years we have witnessed a dramatic increase both in violent extremism and in the persecution of people on the basis of their religious beliefs. Many have suffered appalling violence. The recognition and respect given to religious belief is now a crucial issue in many societies including our own.

Catholics seek to recognise the signs of God's goodness everywhere, promote mutual understanding, defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all, including the right to practice their religion, both in private and in public, and the duty to strive to contribute to the common good of all.

Where do your candidates stand on these issues of religious freedom, mutual respect and the role of faith in God in contemporary Britain, and in defending fundamental human rights and promoting religious freedom overseas?


You can download a full PDF of the Bishops' letter on the General Election 2015 to the right of this page. Available in English and Welsh.

To read the letter online, click on the contents list below to navigate:


Respecting Life

Supporting Marriage and Family Life

Alleviating Poverty

Educating for the good of all

Building Communities
- Europe
- The Voluntary Sector
- Living Wage and the Dignity of Human Work
- Asylum and Immigration
- Religious Freedom

Caring for the World
- Overseas Aid and Development
- Climate Change and Sustainable Development


Get the latest from the Catholic Church on the 2015 General Election.


General Election 2015

elect15-bps-letter.pdf 927.27 kB

The Bishops' letter to Catholics in England and Wales about the 2015 General Election. 


Welsh: General Election 2015

election15-bishops-letter-WEL.pdf 929.36 kB

The Bishops' letter to Catholics in England and Wales about the 2015 General Election. Welsh language version.