A soul for the union

CZw8bIuWkAcVcS_.jpg‘Diversity can be an argument for unity’

Last night I had the privilege to attend an extremely thought provoking evening hosted by Theos and CPFE (Christian Political Foundation for Europe). The event was called Which Europe? and launched a report by Ben Ryan called A soul for the union.

With talks in the media of deals on Europe, referendums, disunity and the refugee crisis among other things, it was great to be at a discussion which didn’t focus purely on technicality or economy but asked questions around morality, dignity and faith.

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Executive Committee Elections

The Christians on the Left AGM will take place on 13th April, 5:45pm in the Chapel of Methodist Central Hall.

This AGM sees us elect half of the Executive Committee. Details of the 4 year long posts which are up for election are as follows:


  • To work with the Director and the other officers to develop strategic direction and policy for the Movement.
  • To chair Officers’ Meetings and, with Vice Chairs, EC Meetings.
  • To support the Director in their role as CotL’s chief spokesperson and assisting when appropriate and with consultation.
  • To provide advice and support to the Director through regular meetings.
  • To undertake the Director’s annual appraisal. To receive any criticism of the Director, address this with the Director and in the last resort initiate the disciplinary process.


  • To work with the Director to pursue effective management practice in the Movement and in the CotL office.
  • To work with the Director to oversee developments in the IT infrastructure in order to achieve this.
  • To ensure the Movement fulfils its statutory obligations with respect to HMRC, its landlord and any other relevant bodies.
  • Take minutes and  organise and communicate meeting times and places or identify an alternative in your absence.

Political Communications Officer

  • To compile and oversee the production of all the publications of the Movement including press releases, online content, pamphlets, publicity materials and have input into the fund-raising material.
  • To liaise with members of the wider media, (both Christian and mainstream) to ensure best presentation of our messaging.
  • To liaise with opinion-formers, blogs and websites on the left side of politics.
  • To ensure a high standard of presentation and content across all output.
  • To ensure strategic coherence of the content across all output.
  • To work with the Director to evolve an effective communications strategy.

Vice Chair for Fundraising

  • To fulfil a support and assessment role on the overall direction and management of the Movement.
  • To play a representative role by agreement with the Chair and Director.
  • To chair Officers or NEC meetings by agreement with the Chair.
  • To undertake certain personnel functions, including in the disciplinary process and in a support role with staff, as agreed by the Officers.
  • To co-ordinate the efforts of the fundraising working group to ensure the financial stability of the movement.  (Among other things, this will involve trust fund applications, fund-raising events, legacy strategies, key donor liaison, and membership work.)

Ordinary Members Job Description (three of four posts)

Ordinary members of the EC shall reflect and comment on the wider developments of the Movement and assist developments in ways that reflect their skills and time commitment. They will attend EC meetings 2 times a year and will seek to promote the organisation at all times.

National Regional Representatives (for Scotland, North East, East Midlands, Eastern and Greater London)

  •  To represent members at 2 executive committee meetings each year.
  • To begin to build a team of activists in nation/region, including identifying an alternate to represent them at EC meetings they are unable to attend.
  • To familiarise themselves with CotL people and activity in nation/region and help to build up existing branches and build new branches.
  • To identify wider religious/political activity eg. Church conferences/activities in area.
  • To help plan and prepare in consultation with the CotL office a day conference in nation/region at least once in a four year period.
  • Do a short annual report of nation/region for the CotL AGM (to be with the CotL office by March 1st each year)

Nomination Procedure

Individuals need to be proposed and seconded for any position. You can propose yourself but will need a seconder. These proposals and seconding will need to be made either by email or in writing but not by means of any verbal communication.

All nominations and seconds must be received by the CotL office (info@christiansontheleft.org.uk) by 5pm on Friday 15th January 2016.  Proposals received after this time/date will not be accepted and no exceptions will be made.

As part of the proposal, individuals will need to provide a short statement detailing why they are seeking election (150 words maximum) together with a photograph (passport style) to be sent out to all members.

Details of voting arrangements together with information about candidates will be sent out to members in the New Year.

I hope this information is helpful but if there are points you would like clarified please do not hesitate to contact me.

Finally, I should mention that this is not by any stretch of the imagination, the only way to be involved. We are always looking for writers, administrators, event organisers, prayers etc to help out.  If you want to explore this further, do get in touch.

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CotL Councillors seeking to be Labour candidates for the Scottish Parliament

We are hugely excited to see that three members of Christians on the Left are seeking to be Regional List candidates for Labour in May’s Scottish Parliament election. They are experienced Councillors with a strong commitment to social justice.

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The Office is Moving!

The office is on the move and we are very excited about what this could mean for Christians on the Left. However, we will need your help to make this happen.

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Open Doors - Live like a refugee

bf5e8067f0d0e2c30b6200222b59e87938a8a8d4.jpgAs thoughts turn to Christmas and media stories move on, we thought it would be good to share a great resource from Open Doors UK regarding refugees and a article looking at Syrian refugees in Lebanon. 

Open Doors have produced a resource called 'Live Like a Refugee' which introduces the topic, helps people to pray into the situation and encourages people to take action to better understand life as a refugee (as much as it’s possible for us to!).

Could you survive on a refugee’s rations? Can you live out of a suitcase? Would you be able to sleep in a tent or on a church hall floor? Could you live like a refugee? It can be ordered for free from their website here

They also have a great report from one of Open Doors local partners who visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The article can be found on the their website here 



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Sunday Trading - Update

After much discussion as to what form debating extending Sunday Trading hours will take - it now looks likely that it will be discussed in the House of Commons next Tuesday (17th November). The SNP have now joined the opposition to the Bill, so there is a very real chance of defeating the Government on this issue.

We at Christians on the Left would encourage you to contact your MP if you haven't already done so. You can find a handy tool for doing so here: http://www.keepsundayspecial.org.uk/get-involved/communities 

Whilst you are waiting for the Bill to be debated, here are some links which explain the situation as it stands.


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Come Work for Us - Amended Closing date

**Closing date for applications extended to 27th November 2015**


Maternity Cover - Office and Communications Manager

Reports to: Director

Salary:         £18,500 pro rata

Status:         Temporary Contract. 4 days/week

Based:         Labour HQ, Victoria Street, London

This is an exciting position for a dedicated individual with strong communication, administration and book-keeping skills. Working with the Director and the officer group, the post holder will be responsible for the smooth running of Christians on the Left’s office, during our current OCM’s Maternity Leave.

Christians on the Left (formerly The Christian Socialist Movement) is a movement of Christians active in politics to secure change for the common good. It is a socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party. Its membership is around 1600 including clergy, trades unionists, local councillors, local Labour Party activists, people active in their local churches and more than 40 MPs and peers. 

The strategic aims of COTL are:

(a) to be a clear voice for Christian Socialist values to the church, government, media, Parliament and

the wider labour movement;

(b) to educate and resource our members and others engaged in public life and policy debate;

(c) to highlight the spiritual nature of our work and be a spiritual resource for our members;

(d) to be a professional, democratic and efficient organisation in all that we say and do.



The post holder will work closely with the Director and will have good working relations with the officer group and the Executive Committee. The main duties and responsibilities of the job are to:


1. Support the Director in developing the movement, and in supporting the officer group and Executive Committee

2. Assist with the organisation and management of COTL’s work, including conferences and events, meetings of the officer group, Executive Committees and the Annual General Meeting.

3. Run COTL's office

1.1          Manage web-based office system and regularly update the website

1.2          Respond to telephone, email and written enquiries

1.3          Draft letters and reports

1.4          Maintain and update the database of members

1.5          Oversee office resources and merchandise purchases and sales

4. Manage the financial processes of the Movement (with guidance of the Treasurer)

2.1          Process invoices and make payments

2.2          Reconcile monthly statements with membership payments

2.3          Process petty cash each month according to set timetables

2.4          Bank all cheques and cash received

2.5          Set up and administer Direct Debits

5. Provide communications support to members, officers and committee members, particularly through the virtual office system.

The balance of these tasks will be determined by the requirements of COTL at any particular time as decided by the Director. COTL is a small organisation and staff may be asked to share, from time to time, in duties not specifically indicated in their job description.



Please refer to these points when you are making your application.

  • Degree or equivalent education
  • Minimum one year's experience in administration
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing, verbally and online
  • Interest and/or experience of web-based communications and networking
  • Excellent telephone manner and listening skills
  • Excellent organisational, administrative and time management skills, including an ability to meet tight deadlines
  • Knowledge of legal/financial issues associated with the running of an office
  • Experience of maintaining financial records and budgets
  • Experience of standard office software and accounting packages
  • Experience of payment systems (direct debits, standing orders, online payments)
  • Ability to plan and to work independently and within a team environment
  • Ability to establish effective relationships with members and supporters
  • Commitment to and sympathy with COTL's purpose, vision and values and a general interest in politics
  • Experience of organising events
  • Able to show understanding of the structure of the Churches and the Labour Party and the interests and activities of their members from their engagement and experience



  • Temporary Contract (Beginning at 6 months, with a possible extention)
  • Termination – two month’s notice on either side.
  • Salary £18,500 p.a. (at 4 days/week)
  • 28 hours per week, with time off in lieu for overtime worked
  • Annual review
  • 20 days annual holiday (pro rata) and statutory holidays. Three of these days should be taken between Christmas and the New Year. Holiday may not normally be taken in the period up to Labour Party conference in September or just before the AGM in March

 Please apply to Andy Flannagan, Director, Christians on the Left, (andy@christiansontheleft.org.uk), enclosing your current CV and a letter setting out how you are suitable for the job, referring to your own life experience and the above specification.

For further information about COTL visit www.christiansontheleft.org.uk

Closing Date: 9am, Friday 27th November 2015 (we will contact candidates that afternoon)

Interviews: Week Beginning 30th November 2015

Start date: Early 2016

COTL is an Equal Opportunities employer and is supportive of flexible working patterns. COTL’s offices are wheelchair accessible. Due to UK law, COTL is only able to employ people who are entitled to work in the EU/UK.

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Jeremy Corbyn seeks longer conversation with Christians on the Left







 Jeremy Corbyn greeted by Andy Flannagan (Director) & Stephen Beer (Political Communications Officer) outside One Church Brighton

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has committed to an ongoing dialogue with Christians on the Left.

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So who is Keir Hardie?


Many of you will have heard Jeremy Corbyn finish his speech today quoting and honouring Keir Hardie. As Christians on the Left and previously the Christian Socialist Movement, we have long celebrated this man whose Christian faith inspired his politics. Here Ian Geary explains...

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Jeremy Corbyn declares support for our Sunday campaign

Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected Labour leader, has announced his support for the campaign to change Sunday trading laws. At the Labour Party's church service, he wrote about his ideal Sunday, part of a campaign organised by Christians on the Left. Mr Corbyn wrote: "My ideal Sunday is a day of reflection and rest - everybody deserves that!"

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