There are many reasons why voting matters to me - firstly it is how people can participate in the way that society is organised and the way our laws are made.

It’s no good complaining that we don’t like how things are if we don’t join in an opportunity to make a difference. I am aware of the sacrifices of women and men who fought for the right of all people to have the vote, so not to do so would be to trample on their sacrifice and the honourable history that has made the UK an open and inclusive democracy.

Women like Dame Ellen Wilkinson, daughter of a Methodist Lay Preacher, and men like Thomas Arch a Methodist who founded the Agricultural and Workers Union, responded to their faith and commitment to the rights of all people, by engaging in politics and made a difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Finally, if reasonable people do not vote, it leaves room for those with extremist views to become powerful and very quickly the freedoms that we take for granted will be jeopardised and the poorest and most vulnerable in society will be at risk of oppression - that is the opposite of what my faith stands for.

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