FR. JEREMY’S TOPIC – MAIDENHEAD ADVERTISER 13TH JULY 2017
In my role as chaplain to the Maidenhead Street Angels, an initiative that is a night time project designed to bring a Christian presence to help prevent and diffuse conflict, help people who are struggling in any way and offering hospitality I hear some of the conversations that take place on the streets. On a Saturday night recently, as the Angels were offering, bottles of water, lollipops, flat shoes and listening to people with various needs, I heard one lady comment ‘You don’t realise how safe you make young people feel late at night’. Another person felt however that we would give the young people of our town a better sign of unity if we were a multi-faith group.
All Saints Church of England School shared a wonderful service at All Saints Church recently when they focussed on the life of Jo Cox who argued that we have more in common than that which divides us in society. Certainly, when it comes to hospitality and welcome different faiths can find I think, a common thread. In recent times, the Jewish community has challenged members of other faiths to come alongside them to find ways in which we can welcome child refugees into our communities in Windsor and Maidenhead.
Looking towards the Sikh community at Boyne Hill, if you were to visit them you would receive a welcome, drinks and food in their place of worship. The Muslim community has recently completed Ramadan. This is a time of fasting, and, also a time when they set aside the cost of a meal for each person in the family. So, if there are 5 people in the family they will give away the cost of a meal for five people.
Perhaps when speaking on the theme of hospitality and welcome, Jo Cox and the lady who shared with Street Angels may well be right. We have more in common than that which divides us.
The Rev’d Jeremy Harris, vicar of All Saints, Boyne Hill