There are many reactions to public atrocity. Following so much bad news lately I have found I have been experiencing an increasing sense of helplessness, I want to help, I want to do something, but what to do. Eventually I resolved to go to the vigil at City Hall on Monday evening. It was a tiny act of solidarity, I know, I just felt the need to be there to offer my support and to say to those who rejoice in such atrocity that we will remain defiant. I am glad Ian and I went, there is something magnetic about a large crowd gathered for a common purpose.
One of the reasons I hold a catholic theology of the Church is its emphasis on the idea of community. As the Body of Christ, we discover the love of God in relationship. Whilst it is important to understand the individual nature of our relationship with God through Jesus, this relationship is ultimately worked out, made real, in community. ‘Me’ is replaced by ‘We’.
I think the increasingly individualistic nature of our society, reflected in our current political debate and manifested in so many destructive ways needs challenging. Old fashioned manifestations of community life, the Church, the pub, voluntary organisations are struggling, replaced by a virtual electronic world, goodness, even the bingo hall has gone electronic! Real community has been replaced by a virtual community. The problem as we all know, is that virtual communities are very selective, we only hear what we want to hear. Let’s campaign for the growth of real communities, real encounters, this is where the Church has so much to offer, to be a breeding ground
(to re-purpose an oft quoted phrase) for good.
Last Friday Susan Marshall and I did a trial of the Sponsored Walk we have planned as our next fundraiser on June 24th, in order to firm up on the details. It all went smoothly, the sun shone on us all the way and we enjoyed our walk. We arrived back at St Nick’s just before the heavens opened and it poured with rain!
Those planning to do the walk on June 24th can now obtain all the paperwork from Hayley in the parish office and register with her. We can then let Fr Andrew know how many walkers to expect down in Sunbury for bacon butties and a blessing. And do let us know if you need a lift down to Sunbury. Walkers can also set up their own Just Giving page, or pick up a sponsorship form from the back of church.
We hope that people who feel unable to do the whole walk will join us for the picnic in Richmond Park, just opposite the Pen Ponds car park. And if you are not sponsoring anyone else, the clergy would be very grateful for your support. Fr Simon and I will both be walking. Fr Alan would have joined us, but he will be on retreat, preparing for his ordination to the sacred priesthood on Sunday 25th. This is our sponsorship link:
So do put your walking boots on and get in training… alternatively we look forward to meeting up with you at our picnic, and many thanks in advance for your sponsorship!
With every blessing