raised awareness in the region of the churches' engagement with social issues. Regional conferences on climate change; People on the Move (refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers); A Place in the Country (rural affairs); and recently: The Church, Economic Uncertainty and the South West; have drawn in people from both churches and secular agencies. With Government funding we set up faithnetsouthwest in 2005, to support faith-based social action and bring people of faith together to help them work with local councils through Local
Strategic Partnerships and other groups, to make a difference in their wider communities.
As I have worked in various jobs over the years, my conviction has grown that private faith and public life cannot be separated. If we believe in the “Jesus manifesto”
of good news for the poor, release for the captives and freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4.18–19), we cannot avoid taking our cause into the public arena where decisions are made that affect people's lives.
Heather Pencavel www.faithnetsouthwest.org.uk
* See: Daily Service: How faith communities contribute to neighbourhood renewal and regeneration in the South West of England (University of the West of England, 2004) and Faith in Action in the South West – a survey of social and community action by faith groups in the South West of England (faithnetsouthwest, 2006).
An active rural life
Originally a Roman settlement, the ancient village of Medbourne is one of the most picturesque in the Welland Valley in Leicestershire with its medieval pack-horse bridge and traditional pub, stone cottages, large elegant houses and leafy walks.
This is home for Andrew Granger, who set up a practice of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in nearby Market Harborough during the last recession in 1989. The business now has branches in Leicester and Loughborough.
Married, with a son and daughter and two grandchildren, Andrew is well known within the village and in Market Harborough where his
business is located in the town centre. He describes himself as “passionate about the rural economy”. A practising Christian for most of his life he endeavours to express his beliefs and values through the way that he conducts his professional and public life.
He has served as a Parish Councillor, Church Warden and PCC member for much of his adult life. On reaching the age of 60 a few years ago, he decided to undertake more community work and slightly less professional work. That led to
becoming a trustee for Cottage and Rural Enterprises Ltd (CARE), an organisation providing support and
accommodation for people with learning disabilities. CARE is a national charity with one of its regional bases close to Market Harborough. He is a member of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership and was recently elected Chairman of their Strategic Group,
spending a good deal of nervous energy ensuring that the ‘rural voice’ is heard in the new sub–regional arrangements.
His personal faith led to his appointment as Chairman of the Diocesan Rural Group within the
Board for Social Responsibility and to serve as Chairman of the Cathedral Council.
Despite these and other public activities, Andrew remains firmly rooted in the life of the village of Medbourne, playing an active part in village and local church communities. As he says, “When you live in a small village people see your life and also know about the faith that makes you the person you are. That is a challenge but also an opportunity.”
public life public faith
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