Local Churches visit Parliament

July 26, 2007 5:51 PM

Local churches visited Parliament

A group of church goers from the Cheadle and Gatley area this week made a special visit to Parliament, where they were welcomed b their local MP, Mark Hunter. The group, some two dozen in all were members of the congregations of; Trinity Methodist and United Reformed Church in Cheadle, Gatley United Reformed Church, St James' Parish Church in Gatley, and St Chad's Roman Catholic Church in Cheadle.

Visitors from the churches attended a tour of Parliament, and had an opportunity to visit the new exhibition in Parliament, "The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People". The exhibition, located in the oldest part of Parliament, Westminster Hall, tells the story of the pressures and events both at home and abroad which influenced Parliament and led to the passing of the Act to abolish Britain's slave trade in 1807.

The idea for the visit came when Mark was invited to a special ecumenical service at Trinity Church, Massie Street, Cheadle last month to mark the centenary of the abolition of slavery. Mark used the original text of parliamentary speeches to perform the role of William Wilberforce, the abolitionist MP who was responsible for tabling bills to support the anti-slavery movement, .

The group then met Mark for a question and answer session with their local MP. The discussion covered many local topics of interest including transport, road charging and the lack of police on their streets. Some of the Church members were then escorted by Mr Hunter to see the Terrace in the House of Commons, while others visited the Jewel Tower.

Speaking after the event, Mr Hunter said, "It is always a pleasure to see constituents in Parliament, and I was particularly pleased to welcome this party facilitate their visit. It was great to be able to hear from all of the church members, listen to their views on local issues and answer their questions about both local and national issues. I am always extremely happy to see groups on constituents in London and I would encourage any local groups, schools, or societies of any kind to get in touch with my London office (020 7219 3889) to make arrangements to visit Parliament."

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