Church on Sunday can feel worlds away from our day-to-day lives. We asked Christians to tell us how their lives connect with their faith for our new Whatever You Do prayer calendar. Here Nick Hards talks about his role as a Labour councillor.
I’ve been a member of Oxfordshire County Council for four years. I first became a councillor in 1995. I do it because serving the community in which I live has always been fundamental to my life. Every day I check my emails to see if anything new has cropped up. I follow up any phone calls and go and see anyone who has asked for my help. It’s important that I am generally available. I also read everything relevant to meetings which I will be attending (sometimes several hundred pages for one item of business). I make notes and prepare to speak when I need to. I prepare alternative ideas when the ruling group of councillors has in my view made a mistake.
Some of the best bits of being a councillor are the most challenging, like finding out that a new housing development has compromised the foul sewers and caused serious incidents. The new sewer has just been completed but the builders decided not to speak to me in the future.
Some years ago I managed to get a family with three children under five rehomed. They had been living in a nearly derelict caravan. It’s always about trying to solve people’s problems.
There are elections on May 4th and the electorate might decide not to re-elect me.
When I’m angry and frustrated I think of Jesus turning the money-changers and merchants out of the temple. A quick prayer and I calm down and work out (I hope) an answer to the problem. Also my Group Leader is a Christian and she often confides in me and seeks my advice. This definitely turns into a three-way conversation with God at the centre.
Prayer points:

  • For wisdom when the problem looks tough
  • For the power of concentration when I’m studying complicated paperwork
  • For patience when someone who I represent brings me a problem which they seem to have caused themselves.
  • For the ability to seem cheerful when things are falling apart.