Posts Tagged ‘Faith Goes Walkabout’
What happens in communities when funding for projects is cut back? When plans and development for new centres no longer happens and the traditional means of support is withdrawn, what is the real impact?
Image of Granard Children’s Centre with Maggie Darling, Daycare Trust event at Speaker’s House, London.
Many community based projects started to improve people’s lives and increase opportunities, especially in areas of need, have seen major cut backs in the last two years.
Many projects are still continuing, even without the support that was originally in place. People are people, and in England the spirit of togetherness and helping each other still exists, plans are still taking place.
Quiet revolutions have happened before, a film from Soka Gakkai International shows that even one person’s actions can make a dramatic difference. Narrated by UN Sec. General Kofi Annan and narrated by Meryl Streep, this prize winning film is worth a look.
“ …feeling powerless to affect the crisis facing humanity, many do nothing.
But a growing number of ordinary people are carrying out a quiet revolution.”
Our partnership, SmithMartin Partnership LLP, works directly with people in communities, we are committed to providing support and enabling achievement and aspirations.
There is a real sense of a quiet revolution, which continues the deliver the good work, to support families and young people, a revolution to bring people together but in a quiet and non demonstrative way.
From experience people do feel ‘let down’ by authorities that had been so supportive and now have changed directions. But a sense of community togetherness has been engendered and working together to support each other has been enhanced.
The Sure Start Children’s Centre initiative is a good example and recent news in ‘Children and Young People Now’ indicates there is a reduction of over 400 since the coalition government was formed. But of those 400, only 25 have actually closed and London has been the worst hit. Many centres have been combined and formed into clusters with one leader and reduced staff across the cluster, but the work, the contact and the initiative still continues.
Centres in London that we work with have seen major reductions in staffing which has inevitably led to some activities and services being reduced. But the centres are still vibrant and diverse communities, offering provision that is most needed by their families.
Looking ahead with a wider perspective…. there are opportunities to apply for funding for community projects and with the right organisation and structures in place chances exist to support projects, to encourage attainment and aspiration to help people’s lives.
A future through this quiet revolution is possible and will happen through people just like you and me.
Kalpana, aged 7, in Nepal on her way to school.
We support Kalpana and make regular contributions towards her school costs, from our children’s books website Dolphin Booksellers. We put aside monies to send to Kalpana for her education.
Her family live several villages away and Bhim and Kalpana walk for a day to stay with her aunt during school time. Bhim, her uncle, is a Himalayan guide, and communicates with us regularly when he is back from trips around Everest.
Our connection was started over two years ago when I went to Nepal, on a walk to Everest Base Camp. Two days from the Base Camp I developed altitude sickness and had to make a very long and hasty retreat down the mountain. There’s more info on my Faith in Nepal page. Helping me to get down was Bhim, an experienced guide. We talked a great deal on the 5 days down and I learnt all about Kalpana.
Tasmania, the most southerly state in Australia, an island, separated from the mainland by the Bass Straits. A beautiful place with huge diversity in the climate, landscape and wildlife.
Vast areas of wilderness and huge untouched forests with no roads or population are unchartered territory, especially in the south west.
We spent a week in Tasmania (see section on Faith Goes Walkabout- Walkabout Australia).From echidnas and wombats to Tasmanian Devils and Duck Billed Platypus, the wildlife is amazing. The temperate rain forests with the Tall Trees of Sassafras and Arras and beautiful beaches are stunning.
The history of Tasmania since the arrival of the white settlers doesn’t make good reading and the church was part of this difficult time. Tasmania was established as the place of last resort and conditions were really bad. Conditions were harsh and made worse by the elite class who continued to make large amounts of money. The aboriginal population was destroyed and any people left were made part of the settler’s way of life. There are many stories, and a recent book called Wanting by Richard Flanagan is about a young girl Mahinna around 1839 and her move into the governor’s house.
Maybe it’s when travelling that we are taken to places, not only beautiful but where we learn about life, that we start to increase in wonder and look back in amazement.
Tasmania, a great place and very far south on the other side of the world.
Rev’d Sue Martin Curate at Gayton group of parishes
Sponsored Cycle Ride.
What a fantastic day! With the sun shining all day and the hills(there really are hills in Norfolk!), it felt more like rural France.
£107 was raised to be shared between All Saint’s Church, Ashwicken and The Norfolk Churches Trust. A real fun way to support one of our local churches and the Norfolk Churches Trust.
All Saint’s Ashwicken, is our church in the fields, and at a high point where you can gaze out towards the coast. There is always a place to sit and rest, outside and inside. A special place indeed.
The Norfolk Churches Trust makes grants to churches and chapels towards repair and restoration costs. Since it’s inception in 1976, it has given over £3.8 million.
In total, we cycled 18 miles and visited seven churches, Grimston,Congham, Little and Great Massingham, Gayton Thorpe,East Walton and Gayton.
Look forward to next year but hope to do more cycling in the next few months, as summer turns to autumn.
Rev’d Sue Martin
The Olympics starts today! The opening ceremony is to be held at the stadium in Stratford, East London and promises to be the best one yet!
Listening to Radio 4′s Thought for the Day this morning, Canon Duncan Green, the head of multi-fatih chaplaincy for the London Organising Committee, talked about the excitement, the anticipation- the ‘are we there yet’ feeling!
It’s a great chance to listen to how this enormously mammoth event, through all it’s troubles and commercialisation still brings people from all over the world to celebrate and be together in harmony with a common purpose.
Thought for the Day is also a really good opportunity to listen to a number of speakers from many different faith backgrounds talking about current issues and happenings. It’s only on for a few moments at about 7.45 am every week day morning.
But you can always listen to it again, follow the link on Faith Goes Walkabout or direct from the BBC.You can also find your favourite speakers and listen to their broadcasts again or read the whole script.
Make it a favourite then you can always access the broadcasts.
So in between the events and when you have some space for reflection it’s well worth a second chance.
Rev’d Sue Martin
Curate at Gayton Group of Parishes
The Mustard Seed 2nd Sunday after Trinity
The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.
I have to say that the world is a pretty big place.
The vastness of the oceans, the great continents and land masses, no-one could say that our world is small.
And the universe, well there is something that is so vast it the size is beyond our comprehension. But is that really so?
A visit to Sydney Observatory, a close look at the craters of the moon through a very large telescope and a glance at the southern skies in the planetarium… how to find an emu in the black spaces or the winged fish in the southern cross.
This is quite a big universe we are part of.
But how big is the kingdom of heaven? Bigger than the widest ocean, taller than the highest mountain(to quote a children’s song). But yet it is as small as a mustard seed!
Our understanding of the size and dimensions of heaven can only ever be hinted at.
Jesus uses this story along with the other parables as a way of trying to makes sense to us and to the people he was talking to on the banks of the Sea of Galilee about the kingdom. A place for us all, so vast and yet no size at all or at least not as we know it.
Our world and creation is a wonderful place, but yet, is like a tiny part of that mustard seed.
Visit Trinity page on Faith Goes Walkabout.
Rev’d Sue Martin
Curate at Gayton Group of Parishes
January 6th and twelfth night means that the season of Christmas is finished for now.
Epiphany starts with the story of the Three Wise Men. Travelling across the desert and following the star, what a wonderful story.
Decorations down, Christmas trees put away or taken outside, tinsel and cards put into little boxes.
But we can’t do that with Christmas! It’s here for good!
The good news lasts forever.
When the winter continues and the days remain dark for a little longer yet, think back to all those messages of hope and light coming into the world…Jesus with us.
Rev’d Sue Martin
On September 29th as the day turned to dusk, a small group met at All Saint’s Church, Ashwicken by the south tower to celebrate Michaelmass as an Evening with the Heavenly Host.
St Michael is an Archangel and the guardian angel of autumn and he also looks after the element of fire. He helps the farmers with their harvesting. He is the angel of courage and strength. He helps people to reap rich rewards for their labours earlier in the year and to celebrate their achievements.
Often portrayed on churches and in paintings he stands proud in his red clothing, killing the great dragon as we have heard in Revelations. His function also is to be the leader of the heavenly armies and drive rebel angels from heaven.
For a September evening, it was very warm and as we sang our last hymn the sun set behind the hill.
A beautiful end to the day.
Sermon and more details on Faith and Practice.
Revd Sue Martin