village news

I write this as the French President visits the UK. There is much talk of refugees in Calais. More barbed wire, more security in what will be a vain attempt to deal with the situation, to manage the problem – to use the language of government. Maybe that is not going to get us anywhere at all; instead of treating refugees as a problem which we need to sort out, should we see them as a sign of a system that is broken? Across the world there are now so many displaced persons and refugees that in population terms it would create a country not much smaller than England. Barbed wire, detention centres, pepper spray and more policing is not going to help. We need to be far more imaginative and compassionate than that.
It was really heartening to witness the response of so many people locally to the plight of refugees – (we continue to receive many donations of clothes) – so thanks for that. We can feel powerless in the face of such suffering but every little helps and as importantly keeps us aware of the very human stories that lie behind headline figures of numbers living in the camps or on the streets. We will continue to collect through the Winter.
Maybe as Jesus was growing up, Mary and Joseph shared stories of their flight to Egypt, away from persecution and how they had been made safe in a foreign land. No wonder then that the last story Jesus told before he was killed urged those who were listening to respond to the most vulnerable.
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
With every blessing for the month ahead.

Jonathan Morris