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We need a vision of a better future


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We need a vision of a better future

Andrew Frere-Smith urges us to work together and share our assets in order to tackle the worsening cost of living situation

There is a famous verse in the book of Proverbs that in the King James version reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. As I look toward the coming months and years, the continual rise in the cost of living and the prohibitive price of fuel and energy, I think it is as relevant today as it ever was. We need a vision of a better future
The problems we face are not new. Some of us remember the oil crisis of the 1970s. We have seen inflation as high as 25%. We have known people lose their homes and struggle to survive.  However, what is new is that these problems are happening today in 2022. The world is very different from 1975 or any other age: old solutions won’t work. We have to find new solutions; we need a new vision
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Many people fear that, next winter, the media will be reporting stories of elderly people freezing to death in their homes and other horrors as families struggle to find enough money to feed their children. There is an urgency in our quest
Fortunately, there are people all over the country who are seeking to find new creative solutions. Recently, I attended a meeting hosted by the Bishop of Norwich that brought together Norfolk’s key leaders from the local authority, police, church, and charity sectors. It was an encouraging time. People were realistic but hopeful. A special kind of energy was generated as the discussion focussed on how we can better partner together, combine resources, and share ideas. It was recognised that even with national problems, the best solutions are often local
During the pandemic our focus was drawn to our locality, as lockdowns prevented us from travelling, and working from home anchored us to the places where we live. We looked out for others in our street and discovered that people from all spheres of life had very real needs. The notion of community came to the fore
I believe many of the solutions to our current and imminent problems will be found in sharing the assets we already have in our communities. Support from local authorities, statutory services, churches, and charities will also be essential, but effective change will happen as we pull together in our locality
A vision for the future will emerge as we listen to one another at every level - central government, local authority, parish, and neighbourhood. But as another translation of Proverbs 29:18 points out, what we really need is God’s revelation. The NIV puts it this way: ‘Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction’
The image above is courtesy of cottonbro on

This article has also appeared in Good News for Norwich and Norfolk.


AndrewFrereSmith750Andrew Frere-Smith is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together, based in Kings Lynn




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Reproduced from the Network Norfolk website. Used with permission.