Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The Despatch Boxes - the UK's Christian Heritage

The Despatch Boxes in the House of Commons
Perhaps the grandest and most electrifying spectacle in the House of Commons is the sight of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition standing facing each other at Prime Minister's Question Time. As they argue, question and taunt each other they each lean on a wooden despatch box presented to the Commons by the people of New Zealand after the Second World War.

Kept within these despatch boxes are Bibles for the swearing in of new Members of Parliament. It is used then, because it is thought of as the book which by which God commands all men to tell the truth. How interesting that this book of books should have a position so close to the heart of governmental affairs and yet be marginalised and ignored in the deliberations and proceedings of the House. How astounding that men have boasted, lied and expressed hatred and contempt for each other over the book which commands us to love even our enemies. We would do well to pray that God's law, which is in a sense so close to the men and women who rule us, would rule their hearts and deliberations.