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09 November 2011

Inspired praise

Eric Pickles congratulates Alliance and Inspire Magazine award winners

The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, secretary of state for communities and local government has applauded the massive efforts of those to be honoured at the 2011 Inspire Awards being held at the Houses of Parliament.

Mr Pickles said: "I would like to congratulate all participants at the Inspire Awards 2011. Christian churches…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."

And despite tough times financially for many this year, the breadth of the work that Christians have been doing around the country has been wide. From working to end female genital mutilation, providing shelter for the homeless, caring for cancer sufferers and running an alcohol-free nightclub for teenagers, all the shortlisted candidates have attributed their faith as motivation for doing what they do.

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "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."

One woman who has been shortlisted for the awards said of her work: "It was a huge surprise, it really was. I'm kind of a one-man-band. And I don't look for anything. I just do what God wants me to do."

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.

Eric Pickles also commented: "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 winners will be announced on Tuesday 15 November after the awards ceremony at Westminster.

Said Russ Bravo, editor of Inspire magazine: "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."

  • To read the stories of just some of the hundreds of nominations see here
  • The shortlisted nominations are:

Inspiring Individual
Christine Deponio, founder, Emmanuel House

Anne-Marie Wilson, founder, 28 Too Many

Kevin Vickers, pastor All Nations Revival Church, and founder of Love Mitcham

Inspiring Project
The Ark

Green Pastures, Southport


Inspiring Church
Bournemouth Vineyard Church

Ebenezer Church, Halifax

Lifeline Church, Essex

More information on the Inspire Awards and how to make your nomination: Inspire Awards