Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: Free indeed

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With Easter close by, a few acquaintances have shared their perspective on this important festival and all that it means.

The first of these good folks is Liz Walke, whose name will be familiar to thousands of people in the area.

“I was made Freeman of the Borough of Eastbourne in recognition and appreciation of my committed leadership and outstanding efforts on behalf of the Save the DGH Campaign - Eastbourne Borough Council’s words, not mine!!

“I am chair of the Save the DGH Campaign, along with some very notable group members, including senior representatives of all local political parties, churches and leading members of the business community, and not least women who have had babies at the DGH, myself included in the latter!

The campaign was set up in March 2006 to fight against any downgrading or removal of vital services at Eastbourne DGH. In 2007, precisely that was announced for our local consultant-led maternity unit to be downgraded, which we believed would seriously affect the safety of local women and babies. After fighting this, with the help of the local population, through political channels and legally, the Secretary of State for Health said in September 2008 that Consultancy-led Maternity was to stay in Eastbourne! Praise God!”

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WHAT DOES this recognition mean to you? And to your family and friends?

“I feel very honoured and privileged to be named among the likes of Winston Churchill and Martina Navratilova. However, I am aware that it was not just me and the campaign group; my husband, children, family and friends did a huge amount. Then there were the local churches and the local population, and not just Eastbourne. In fact, virtually everybody I meet locally was involved in one

way or another.

“God and people power – what a combination!”

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WHAT ARE THE responsibilities and privileges that go with the position?

“I don’t really know if there are any officially, although I try to attend the Eastbourne Borough Council full council meetings and all the local NHS Board meetings that are in public. I am also Eastbourne Borough Hospitals Champion, which is a position I was given to allow me the ‘right’ to get answers and hold the local NHS accountable to its local population. This is all voluntary, but

I feel it is a real privilege to represent such a superb town.”

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JESUS SAYS: ‘If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’ (John 8, 36). How do you relate to this?

“Freedom is a wonderful thing! I suppose in relation to my honorary position, I can’t go around and do what I like in Eastbourne. In fact, I don’t know what I can do in respect of the ‘freedom’! In the same way, as believers we can’t go around and do what we like. But there is a freedom which breaks the pattern of us doing things which would hurt others and ourselves, and knowing that

because of Jesus’ death and because he came back to life, we don’t have to fear death. I think that gives tremendous freedom, don’t you?”

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ANY OTHER information?

“There is still a threat over us. Please pray and start to prepare for battle.”