Listening to each other in a society of respect

The Venerable Fiona Windsor, Archdeacon of Horsham

The Venerable Fiona Windsor, Archdeacon of Horsham

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So here we are, well under way with the new year.

Christmas decorations are firmly back in the loft.

The last of the food has been eaten (no more turkey curry or chocolate roulade in the back of the freezer, or perhaps that’s just me!)

January’s ‘Grey Monday’, apparently the most depressing day of the year, has been and gone. We’ve had snow and for once it wasn’t enough to stop the trains (probably a first!) – plus, they were already affected by the dispute.

Brexit is on the horizon and, whether you were a ‘remainer’ or a ‘leaver’, it must be time to recognise we are where we are, to respect the democratic decision, and move on.

It leaves me wondering, why can’t people just talk?

Perhaps I’m too simplistic but a problem shared is a problem halved.

Many have undergone months of difficulty getting to work, hospital appointments and interviews.

Business and jobs have been lost, people have even had to move house and relationships have broken down under the pressure.

There have been terrible family rows, community divisions, and unpleasant comments made.

To say it’s been difficult is an understatement.

Perhaps enough talking has been done, and it’s now time to listen to what’s actually being said?

As I read the descriptions of Jesus’ disciples in the Bible, they often seem to be hearing but never listening.

One such example would be when people were bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed but the disciples sent them away because they felt that Jesus needed rest.

As children and mothers were often considered to be of lesser significance, the disciple’s believed that Jesus would understand.

That’s despite them having heard Jesus, on many occasions, talking about the importance of recognising the needs of all.

They’d even seen countless examples of his encounters with women and children.

Yet they still hadn’t completely understood or really listened.

As a Christian, I believe that everybody matters and is valued by God.

So, listening to one another, and recognising each other’s pain and difficulties, should be paramount in a society where friendship, trust, respect, and kindness flourish.

Faith Matters

How to read the Bible (without switching off your brain.)

As part of the Year of the Bible, the Chichester Cathedral Friends’ ‘Book at Breakfast’ meeting with the Cathedral Chancellor is looking at Simon Taylor’s ‘How to Read the Bible (without switching off your brain).’ This breakfast meeting is on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th February from 9.00am – 10.00am at 4 Canon Lane, Chichester Cathedral.

Empowering Churches to support people with Dementia

Peace of Mind is holding a training event designed to help support people with dementia. Dementia affects many people. People with dementia struggle in countless ways and those who try to care for them have many different burdens to bear. This training event is designed to help congregations support those living with dementia and their carers.

The venue is St Paul’s Church, West Street, BN1 2RQ, on Saturday, 4th February 2017, 10am - 3pm. The course fee is £10 and participants are asked to bring their own lunch. Please contact Rev. Cynthia Park, 28 Peacock Lane, Brighton BN1 6WA. Make cheques payable to “Peace of Mind.”

Faith in Healthcare

Faith in Healthcare offers an opportunity for christians involed in healthcare to come together to share, to be inspired, to be encouraged and to pray. The event will be held at Asburnham place near Battle in East Sussex on Thursday 9th February, 7.30pm-9.30pm. The cost is free, or £10 including dinner (6.30pm) and advanced booking is required. For more information, please see www.ashburnham.org.uk