Action Zones 

From Rev Frank Cliff September 2019

FRANK CLIFF27th August 2019

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life


As you read this short article, the parish will be preparing to celebrate the Harvest Festival on the third Sunday of September. This festival was originally designed by the Rev Robert Hawker as a way of getting his parishioners (whom he regarded as little more than pagans) to come to church on a Sunday

It is salutary to think that some 160 years later the church still has the problem and it is not for lack of schemes to bring people in the door. This has led me to wonder what we as the church in Great Yarmouth can do to show that this large building, within the centre our town, is not just for those who worshipped there but for all who live within her parish boundaries. How do we utilize our resources to engage more deeply with everyone in our parish?
As a Christian community, we are commanded to spread the good news that God loves all humanity with a love so deep that he opened his arms wide on a cross and died for us. This love is so deep that we cannot comprehend it but we can feel it day by day in all that we do or say or feel
Perhaps here is the key to engaging with the world which does not seem to care about their spiritual life, which seems indifferent to the wider ills which beset our community.  It may be that our little Christian community must preach the gospel in the way that Saint Francis tells us "preach the gospel and if necessary, use words".  Perhaps here is the key in this age of celebrity, fake news and broken politics
As the parish, we have made a small beginning by setting up the Pathway Café but I feel but we need to do more on a personal, day to day basis.  We need each and every one of us to show God's love in all that we do, say and feel, for it is here at the one to one personal level that people are affected the most, it is here that people have the greatest need
Our small community cannot solve the problems of poverty, climate change, a broken society but we can affect these problems within our town we can make places greener, we can help the homeless, we can fight for a fairer society at a local level
So when we celebrate harvest, think of what you can do to make next year's Harvest a fairer, greener celebration of all that God's creation has given to us
Fr Frank


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