What has been achieved in this year [by STP] is very inspiring and hopeful. People do care passionately about their local churches and local ministry based in the parish church is very often the most effective manner in which we can provide pastoral care and share the Good News of Jesus and act as salt, light & leaven in the world which we seek, by God’s grace, to serve. We need to keep reminding the hierarchy of this.
Actually, I quite surprised myself recently with the depth of my sorrow when I heard that the parish in which I went to church as a child has been merged with a neighbour (first step on the road to closure?). I haven’t worshipped there regularly for nearly sixty years, but my father had sung in the choir, my mother was a member of the MU, my grandmother used to speak reverently of the fact that people had worshipped God in that building for a thousand years. My great-grandmother (and no doubt other members of my family) was buried there. The merger still hurt me.
Reading a story in the Times recently about the Metropolitan Police discovering recently (!) that the best way to reduce crime is to have uniformed officers on the street, it occurred to me that our police forces adopted the equivalent of the minster model decades ago. Police houses and local police stations have been closed. Serving officers are based in central offices, often remote from the action, and snowed under with paperwork. The result is that only a tiny proportion of crimes now are investigated and fewer still are resolved by the conviction of those responsible and the recovery of any stolen property.
Rector of Cuxton & Halling.
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