Monday, 22 September 2014

The rubber hits the road

Last week as I was going home on Saturday night: in intended to stop in at the Collective (see below  important work),  I was waylaid by an important pastoral concern.   We stopped in at the Collective and had some soup. After I had been to the chemist, with my concern, and dropped her off...I witnessed an act of violence....a 20 year something guy...smacking a young woman across the face. Not once, or even twice!
I blocked the road with my lights on high beam...another youngish guy waved me through as if this is just what happened.
Thank goodness the taxi driver  on the other side of the road rang the cops (I hope).
Cannot help but think..........this is not like my last parish.!And the rubber  is hitting the road

The Collective of St Mary Magdalene
Week by week volunteers from parishes and schools meet with coordinators to offer a free meal to all-comers on Saturday nights. We probably don’t get how important this is. It allows some of the needs of people who are hungry to be met. It allows us who are well-supported, to be able to volunteer out of our wealth and good fortune to offer some sustenance to others. This is a good thing.
But it is of course not only the food (though that is important)  but the human contact. I have been struck in the few weeks I have been here how people know each other, and things about each other’s lives. So that there are meaningful and friendly conversations. How careful the volunteer coordinators are, also,  to respect the dignity of the guests. I think this, too, is just as, if not more, important.

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