Fr. Jeremy's Topic - Maidenhead Advertiser Jan 2023
Thought for the week – Maidenhead Advertiser (Jan 2023) .
In recent editions of the Maidenhead Advertiser we have read of the welcome and hospitality being offered to Asylum Seekers and Refugees. The Holiday Inn hotel has over 300 people from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Central and South America, parts of Africa, and as we at All Saints have had the delight to discover people from Iran.
On Easter Day 2022 I asked the congregation to say goodbye in their home language. With surprise and joy, we heard languages from Tonga, Japan, France, Spain, Poland, and India. Others were present from South Sudan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cyprus, Belgium, The Caribbean Islands and even one lady from the Mumbles in Swansea!
Perhaps the most joyful voices I heard that morning though came in Farsi. That was the day we first met with the Asylum Seekers from Iran. We have been able to share hospitality, English Classes, learning about the Christian faith and through Care4Calais find educational opportunities for the young.
However, if we are honest the people of Iran through their vitality, their hard work, their intelligence and friendship have given our community far more than we have given them. These highly intelligent people with varying gifts to offer, look with hope that they be given the opportunity to share those God given gifts in this country.
Yesterday we celebrated at All Saints the Epiphany and the visit of the Magi. The Magi were thought to be wealthy people from afar, maybe Arabia, people who were Gentiles. The Shepherds, the earlier visitors to Our Lord were from fields close by, poor and likely Jewish as was Jesus. Epiphany reveals that God has no favourites but welcomes people from any background and nationality and I believe we are all the richer for this.