08 November 2011
Inspirational Christians to be honoured in Parliament
Ending female genital mutilation, providing shelter for the homeless, caring for cancer sufferers and running an alcohol-free nightclub for teenagers. These are just some of the ambitions of Christian groups who will be recognised in Parliament this month.
Nine individuals, churches and projects that inspire change through innovative projects in their communities have been shortlisted in the Inspire Awards 2011.
They will be honoured by MPs and representatives of leading Christian organisations at a ceremony in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 15 November, where the winners will be announced.
The Inspire Awards, run by Inspire magazine in collaboration with the Evangelical Alliance, celebrates the unsung heroes that are really making a difference in their communities.
The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, secretary of state for communities and local government, said: "Faith communities make a vital contribution to national life: guiding the moral outlook of many, inspiring great numbers of people to public service, providing support to those in need.
"The Christian churches, for example, have an extensive framework of buildings, experience, volunteers and 'reach' that can put them at the very heart of service delivery to the homeless and others in need. Churches and places of worship of other faiths have a particular role in providing support to people newly arrived in this country from all over the world, as well as to more established communities. I would like to congratulate all participants at the Inspire Awards 2011."
Throughout 2011, scores of people have been nominating the Christian individuals, churches and organisations they feel are the most inspiring. Now, the judging panel has decided on the final three in each category.
Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "As Christians, we are passionate about seeing our communities changed for the better. So hearing about the fantastic, innovative projects and initiatives being run by Christians in towns and cities up and down the country has been truly inspiring. We thank all of those who nominated individuals, churches and projects in the Inspire Awards."
Russ Bravo, editor of Inspire magazine, said: "Inspire is all about telling uplifting stories of God's work around the world and especially of Christians making life better in local communities. So we're thrilled to be able to honour unsung heroes making the world a better place because of the way they live out their faith."
The winners will be announced on Tuesday, 15 November, following the awards ceremony.
Christine Deponio, founder, Emmanuel House
Anne-Marie Wilson, founder, 28 Too Many
Kevin Vickers, pastor All Nations Revival Church, and founder of Love Mitcham
Green Pastures, Southport
Bournemouth Vineyard Church
Ebenezer Church, Halifax
Lifeline Church, Essex
Paul Slide, managing director, CPO
Krish Kandiah, executive director: churches in mission, Evangelical Alliance
Russ Bravo, editor, Inspire magazine
Dave Landrum, director of advocacy, Evangelical Alliance
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.