25 August 2022

'You can be a voice for the most vulnerable in your community'

The front cover of PAU's Campaigners Guide
PAU's Campaigners Guide
Public Affairs Officer Chris Hartley introduces a new opportunity for Salvationists to engage with politicians and seek social justice.

'Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow' (Isaiah 1:17).

Will you become a Social Justice Champion?

This is a call for Salvationists across the UK and Ireland Territory to work towards ending social injustices in the communities in which we live and work by becoming Social Justice Champions.

You will be trained to engage with your local member of parliament, whether face to face via email or over the phone, to highlight the impact of social justice issues.

Guided by faith, and the pioneering work of our founders William and Catherine Booth, The Salvation Army has been a voice for vulnerable communities and individuals for more than 150 years.

In this time, the Army has worked together to champion social issues, change the law and transform people’s lives for the better.

In the late 19th century, The Salvation Army was instrumental in campaigning for an end to harmful work practices in factories, making conditions better for the vulnerable girls and women who worked in them. Today the Army continues to campaign for social justice around such issues as homelessness, modern slavery and unemployment. 

Just this year, The Salvations Army’s Public Affairs Unit (PAU), working alongside Salvationists from across the territory, successfully secured an exemption for children from some of the most significant parts of the government’s Nationality and Borders Act.

A key factor in this success was the work of Salvation Army soldiers, officers, adherents and friends campaigning on this issue with their local MPs. We are urging Salvationists to continue this important work as we campaign on other issues that affect the most vulnerable in society.

What are the benefits of being a Social Justice Champion?

  • Learn new skills, or develop and put to use skills you’ve already gained in other walks of life.
  • Put your faith, values and beliefs into practice.
  • Gain experience in influencing politicians and other decision-makers.
  • Use your personal experiences to give a unique perspective and help provide a voice.
  • Channel your concerns and frustrations into making a real difference.
  • Support The Salvation Army’s mission of social justice and reconciliation.

How will we support you?

The PAU is very experienced in building relationships with and influencing politicians. We will support you with designated resources and tailored support to help you make a difference in your community. This will include:

  • Written guides and resources on how to be an effective campaigner.
  • Regular webinars with members of The Salvation Army and individuals involved in politics.
  • One-to-one support from the campaigns team and policy colleagues to support your work.
  • Regular email campaign updates with additional resources in response to policy developments.
A microphone in front of a crowd

Our mission

Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus consistently challenging injustices and role-modelling reconciliation. We do not have to look far to find examples of him confronting the powerful and advocating for the oppressed.

These counter-cultural Kingdom values are seen in action in his encounters with Zacchaeus (see Luke 19:1–10) and the woman at the well (see John 4).

Speaking into political discourse should not be all that we do. Political advocacy does not remove the need for God’s transforming grace or sharing the journey, practically assisting and doing the hard work of love. It is no more or less important than these things. It is, however, part of them.

As a Movement, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to challenge when we observe injustice and encourage when we see things that are good.

Our commitment to justice and reconciliation for those less heard is a deep-rooted part of our commitment to biblical living.

With the help of Social Justice Champions like you, we can really increase and elevate the voice of vulnerable people, while tackling the social injustices that are all too common in our communities.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Social Justice Champion, please email countmein@salvationarmy.org.uk or fill out the form on salvationarmy.org.uk.

Written by

Chris Hartley

Chris Hartley

Public Affairs Officer, Public Affairs Unit

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