Whereas some churchgoers think they shouldn’t get involved in politics, others believe that this largely passive role has led to the adoption of ungodly laws. It has also been said that if just one in seven Christians joined a political party, they could wield influence. But it is hard for Christians to agree with the mainstream parties in every respect, so some have joined the Christian People’s Alliance (CPA), which fielded 31 candidates across the nation.
Meet the Kent CPA candidates – and one Sussex independent – who decided to canvas for Christ’s sake.
Sid Cordle MBE, the Christian People’s Alliance (CPA) leader, covers the Hitchin and Harpenden constituencies.
Formerly a Conservative who worked in financial services for 30 years, Sid and his wife Bukky are leaders of City Chapel, Beckton, under Dr Jonathan Oloyede, and are closely linked to other intercessory and prophetic groups.
Sid says the CPA stands for “righteousness and speaking God’s word to the nation”.
Measures to prevent marriage breakdown and protect the 186,000 babies aborted annually are naturally part of the CPA manifesto and the party is pro-Brexit, but Sid recently stated: “While we largely support the approach of Theresa May to Europe, for us, this election is not only about the EU. We don’t support taking the disabled and mentally ill off benefits, or spending billions of pounds on Trident which is a weapon of mass destruction, while we could be focusing on putting in place the new technology that can divert incoming missiles into the ocean and make nuclear weapons obsolete.”
The CPA wants to make sure that big offshore companies such as Google, Facebook and Starbucks pay enough tax and divert foreign aid from countries which persecute Christians (such as Pakistan) to those in need in refugee camps.
Rev Iris Watson is a 76 year-old grandmother and writer who also distributes HEART in Margate.
She stood in North Thanet and told HEART: “Although our numbers appear small, it is God’s sovereign power that will be noted throughout the UK in the coming election. We are not looking at votes, but are God-inspired to answer his call and encourage every Christian to join with us, both before the election by voting for CPA and after, as we battle toward obtaining godly principles within Parliament as well as in this nation.”
Raised in a Christian family, pastor and youth worker John Wesley Gibson is a 29-year-old father of two sons and currently a full-time Schools and Youth Worker for Chislehurst Youth for Christ.
He stood as the CPA candidate for Chatham and Aylesford and also pastors, evangelises and teaches at God’s Elect Gospel Church, Maidstone.
Pastor Faith Fisher was called to Margate earlier this year after many years of exercising a prophetic ministry in the world’s mission fields.
Faith cares deeply about vulnerable people, women, children and orphans and says: “My mission is to see justice done in the UK and around the world, to see repentance here in the UK leading to revival, turning people back to God.”
Seventy-year-old Roger Peacock represents the CPA in Kent’s Gillingham & Rainham constituencies. The father of four and grandfather to six is also the agent for the Thanet candidates.
By day Roger is a care worker supporting adults with learning difficulties.
He has a burning desire to see the UK become God’s nation: “The CPA wants to bring prayer and righteousness back into private and public life, to love and serve Jesus in our families, community and society.”
Paul Sanderson MBE
by Sam Finniear
LITTLEHAMPTON ACADEMY CHAPLAIN and local Christian Paul Sanderson MBE is running as an Independent candidate in the General Election on 8th June. He hopes to become the next MP for Bognor and Littlehampton.
Propped up by his son Zack as his Campaign Manager, Paul is bringing his message “a heart for change” to voters across West Sussex. I caught up with Paul to chat through his busy campaign: “What I’m keen for as someone who likes to bring people together is to listen to each other and learn from one another. What I’m seeing is arguments. I’m seeing put-downs. I’m seeing negativity.”
In 2006, Paul was awarded an MBE by the Queen for founding The WIRE Project, a charity that organised a range of activities for young people in Littlehampton in response to low levels of community and disruptive behaviour.
Despite fighting for Remain during the EU Referendum, Paul spoke honestly about the problems with the EU: “Bureaucracy came in and scared people. If you run a European wide government it’s super expensive.”
He accepts the verdict of the British people: “Democracy is democracy and I lost by a small percentage. I respect that. I’m not someone who wants to see it reversed.” But, he also spoke positively about Britain’s future relationship with the EU: “God so loved the world and not just England or Great Britain.”
On the possibility of another referendum, he said: “We don’t know what the actuality of Brexit is and I think we need to leave that conversation open. I’m not advocating for there to be a vote, but I think there should be that option.”
Paul was clear that he wants to appeal to Christian voters from across the political spectrum: “When Jesus was walking around he was bringing people together, from the Samaritans to the Jews to the Gentiles. It was all about unity.”
The 48 year-old father of four was open about his Christian faith and did not shy away from how this influences his politics: “I’m a candidate who is a Christian. I don’t call myself a Christian candidate because I’ve not got a manifesto just for Christians. I think my faith permeates through all these things.”
A regular at Arun Community Church, Paul revealed that his manifesto is rooted firmly in his relationship with God, but that his policies could be attractive to voters from all backgrounds.
With an emphasis on the NHS, the environment and schools as areas in desperate need of funding, he said: “When Jesus talks about healing he wasn’t just talking about the incredible miracles; he was talking about the ability to care for people.
“I’m worried that we’re becoming a society that doesn’t care that much. I want to bring the caring back to politics because I think it’s got Jesus all over it. He cared for the criminals crucified alongside him as well those crucifying him.”
As we spoke about Jesus, it was clear that Paul felt passionately about his relationship with God: “I’m getting emotional. It’s not wooly and fluffy. It’s what we’re called to be. Care for our planet. Care for the people who are hurting. Care for the vulnerable. Care for the kids who can’t read and write. It overlaps our entire manifesto.”
Independent candidates rarely gain enough support in General Elections, but it will be interesting to see if Christians in Bognor and Littlehampton turn up to vote for Paul as he celebrates his birthday on 8th June.
You can check out Paul’s manifesto and all the latest news on his campaign at his website (paulsanderson.org) and Facebook page (@paulsandersonindependent).