The Labour Party began its conference in Manchester yesterday with the annual church service. Delegates joined local worshippers at St Ann's Church, where they heard Ruth Valerio, of Christian environmental charity A Rocha UK, call for people to aim to live consistently with their faith. Highlighting Labour's work to combat climate change while in government, she suggested the Party had gone quiet on the issue and that "Labour needs to be more noisy on climate change."
During the service, prayers were said for the people of Scotland following the referendum, and Tearfund representatives led prayers for the wider world.
The Labour leader Ed Miliband spoke to worshippers after the service. Mr Miliband praised the work of Christians on the Left in encouraging more people to become involved in politics, often people already active in their communities and supporting NGOs. He identified Christians on the Left as "the ethical beating heart of our movement".
On Sunday evening Christians on the Left held a candlelit vigil for Christians and other minorities persecuted in Iraq and Syria. Prayers were also said for the wider Middle East, including Israel/Palestine. Christians on the Left has delegates attending Labour Conference who are highlighting the plight of Christians and others in the Middle East.
Andy Flannagan, Director of Christians on the Left, said: "Starting conference with a church service is a good way to reflect and check our priorities ahead of a hectic few days. We heard a strong call to put our faith into practice in all parts of our lives, and to speak out too. Climate change is an issue we have a duty to address now, for future generations. Throughout the conference week, Christians on the Left are sharing how faith and politics go together."
If you would like to know more about the Labour Party's work, then please read Churches Update. The latest copy can be viewed here.