Fr. Jeremy’s Topic – Maidenhead Advertiser 2nd July 2015
THE young people of All Saints recently watched the film 'Paddington'. At the beginning of the film a young bear from Peru arrives at Paddington station hoping to find someone to give him a home. He has been told by his aunt that Britain is a friendly country.
The early scene at the station shows people brushing past Paddington and ignoring him.
Finally the Brown family have pity on the bear and welcome him to their home and the story unfolds.
Both at the church and in the schools of Altwood and All Saints we discussed the question of 'How do we welcome new people?'
In our churches do we expect people to conform to the style that has served us for years or should we find ways through our worship and welcome to reach out to new people? Do we notice the outsider or the newcomer over coffee?
A more complicated question facing Britain and Europe is how do we welcome people to our countries? Is it right to welcome people seeking to improve their lives and you might argue Britain's welfare by working hard in this country?
What should our position be concerning people from war torn and poverty stricken countries?
In the Bible there are many stories of welcome.
The early Apostles welcomed Jesus into their home which lead to a resurrection experience at the Supper at Emmaus and of course the welcome of the father to the prodigal son is a resurrection hope for all of us at the end of our lives.
So then what sort of welcome will we offer in our schools, churches and country? Have we got the marmalade sandwiches ready?