General Election 2015 – Bishops’ letter to all Catholics in England and Wales

24/02/2015 11:00 am

Cardinal holds up the Bishops' letter on the General Election

The Bishops have released a letter addressed to Catholics across England and Wales about this year’s General Election. Over 500,000 copies of the letter have been sent to the parishes. The letter can be read in full here. It's also available as a PDF download in English and Welsh.

Letter to Catholics in England and Wales from their Bishops

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

The Gospel is radical and challenging. It is the saving message of Jesus Christ. It is a way of life. It teaches us to value each person: the vulnerable child inside the womb; the parent struggling with the pressures of family life; the person striving to combat poverty; the teacher inspiring students to seek the truth; the stranger fleeing violence and persecution in their homeland; the prisoner in his cell in search of redemption; the child in a distant land claiming the right to a future; and the frail elderly person needing care and facing the frontier of death.

As Catholics, we are called to work for a world shaped by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel proclaims the mercy of God and invites us steadfastly to love God and our neighbour.

Our relationship with God leads to the desire to build a world in which respect, dignity, equality, justice, and peace are our primary concerns.

Pope Francis tells us that we are ‘missionary disciples’ who witness to the mercy of Christ through the faithfulness of our lives and the world we wish to build. In the light of the Gospel we can be messengers of hope as we challenge the political candidates about the policies they wish to implement and the reasons why.

At this General Election we are asked to think about the kind of society we want here at home and abroad. Whom you vote for is a matter for you alone. Our aim is to suggest how you might approach this important question in May 2015 and to suggest some key issues for your reflection as you make your own decision.

Voting in a general election should seldom, if ever, be based on a single issue. Elections involve a whole range of issues, some without doubt more central than others, particularly those concerned with the dignity and value of human life and human flourishing. In this letter, we highlight some important issues – but not the only ones. In each case we suggest a question which you may wish to bear in mind.

“ ... Remembering the mercies of God... let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and mature.”
cf Romans 12:1-2


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.