How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian family where Dad was churchwarden and Mum a Sunday school teacher but although I made my decision to believe in God while still quite young I rebelled a bit in my teens and decided not to get confirmed until I went to university and was sure that it really was my personal decision.
Why did you get involved in politics?
I came into politics through Trade Justice. I was working in the sugar industry and became aware that European companies were dumping surplus production on world markets with export subsidies. This destroyed the market for farmers in developing countries. It is very difficult to bring change within the industry so I felt called to become a legislator. Today there are no European export subsidies for sugar.
How does your Christian faith make a difference in your work in Parliament?
My faith is a source of strength in a very difficult job. It provides a baseline against which to judge wrong and right. When a policy decision is controversial, I search my conscience and ask: “what would Jesus do?” I am not surprised there are more Christians in Parliament than in the population at large because it is principally about serving other people. Faced with a surgery full of needy people, I know my job is to do my very best to help them.
Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Meriden and former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She is also Second Church Estates Commissioner for the Church of England.