Postcards to MPs - this weekend crucial

The Bishops have sent postcards to all parishes in England and Wales for people to fill out and send to their MP to ask them to vote against the "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill." This weekend is crucial because the second reading of the Bill will be on Tuesday 5 February.

John Smeaton has written about this on his blog and has suggested some practical ways in which the postcard campaign can be made more effective than simply leaving the postcards at the back of the Church (Archbishop Smith also encouraged such practical action.) Here are the points:
  1. Hand cards to mass-goers as they arrive for Sunday mass.
  2. Priests celebrating mass speak about the importance of defending marriage and of the bishops’ postcard campaign in their homily or at another appropriate moment.
  3. The name of the local MP (or MPs) should be mentioned.
  4. Pens & stamps – providing pens for people to fill in the postcards before they leave church, and stamps they can purchase to post them will encourage people to act.
  5. If this is not possible, please strongly urge people to post the postcards to their MP immediately upon returning home.
  6. Further details about the postcard are available at:
As a parish priest, I would add that the postcards (and the name of at least the MP(s) within the boundaries of the parish) could be put in the newsletter or on a note to be made available to people.

As an alternative to providing stamps, volunteers could collect the completed cards and post them in bulk, or deliver them to the local constituency office.

This is action that needs willing lay volunteers. It is no good at such short notice asking Father "Why don't you ...?" You need to be willing perhaps to come to two or more Masses to help, and to do the practical work involved. In my parish, people have come forward and made this possible. If you contact your priest today or tomorrow, make it clear that you will take on the spadework. Your parish priest may be completing the newsletter, writing his sermon, doing a wedding or a baptism. The question "May I help by contacting others, handing out the cards, providing some pens, getting the cards posted, etc?" will likely be more fruitful.

Remember too, that next weekend is not a total loss - if there are volunteers willing to drop the cards off at the local constituency office, the voice of many good people will not be lost.

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