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Viewpoint from Revd David Wells 20/08/2021

David WellsRevd David Wells
Rector, Caister-on-Sea

 

 
Many towns and villages have a local charity, set up in past generations for the “relief of need”.  Caister is no exception, and as Rector I serve as one of the trustees of the Caister United Charities.  One of our key responsibilities as trustees is to decide where should we focus our efforts - what does our community really ‘need’ today? 

To answer that question, we have just set up a forum (provisionally called Caister Cares) to bring together groups concerned with helping people and promoting health and wellbeing in our parish.  As well as trustees from the charity, it includes representatives from the churches, from schools, the parish council, and the playing field committee amongst others
 
dove leftWe are going to begin by asking people “where it hurts” - or, in other words, what is the most painful or difficult challenge in their lives?  We could make educated guesses as to the answers we might get - encompassing problems with debt and job insecurity, mental and physical health, loneliness and isolation for those who live alone, and relationship and family problems for others.  But rather than guessing, better by far to ask people, and to be guided by their answers. So we will distribute cards for people to fill in and return, there will be online questions for people to answer, and representatives from the forum aim to meet face to face with different groups within the community to hear their responses
 
Dove rightWe will look carefully at all the responses and then the different groups involved in the forum aim to work together so that we make the best use of all our resources to make the biggest impact in supporting our community.  Of course we will not be able to solve every problem, but by listening and helping where we can, we hope people will know that they are not struggling on their own, but living in a community that cares
 
Because it involves partnerships with secular organisations, none of the work of the forum will be explicitly religious - we will not be preaching the gospel, nor telling people that Jesus is the answer to all their problems.  Nonetheless, I believe God will be at work in what we are doing.  In the words of an ancient Latin hymn: Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est - where charity and love are, there God is


also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

 

 

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