It’s the Festival season! Harvests are gathering momentum, but so is the Hailsham Arts Festival, the annual event for music, dance, theatre and all things arts.
It also means that Hailsham Festival is going live on 87.7 on the FM waveband. This is my first year of involvement but I am already really excited about it. Hailsham as a fast growing town attracting people from far and wide needs things which can draw its people together to build community, and a good radio station is one of them. It is something which the majority of people can access and encourages involvement through discussion, networking and encouraging participation in communal activities. Plans are already afoot to see if Hailsham can get a licence for all year round community radio.
That would be really exciting! I have had experience of local radio when as a green young curate I gave an interview to BBC local radio in our town’s market place and in a flash I had caught the bug! I went on to be involved more with recording interviews and preparing packages for broadcast. Eventually I was trained up to present a full programme, which was just at the point I moved to Sussex and opportunities weren’t around. So the skills that have lain dormant for so long are now being reawakened.
It feels as if it is all happening at once as last Sunday I led they short evening service in the EDGH chapel which is broadcast to around 400 listeners over hospital radio. It was a good warm up as I shall be on air a number of times through the Arts Festival week. Some might ask what has radio broadcasting got to do with being a vicar? I would answer, a lot!
The Christian Church is relevant to modern living. Our faith tells us that it is important to be involved and responsible members of our communities.
We should seek to help people in whatever kind of need they are. We do it through helping the Food Bank, or by offering facilities to help people in the community. Hailsham is a community with real needs and is at a crucial point in its life with all the new building going on.
The juggernaut of house building is not going to be deflected, so we need to make sure we come together as a community and have a voice where it matters. We can shout to make ourselves heard about the need for proper infrastructure or better road networks or more sports facilities for all ages. So being a vicar isn’t just about doing the spiritual stuff, vital though that is. It is also about helping the people of our communities and if being involved in radio does that then I want to involved. So listen in and get involved – Hailsham Festival FM on 87.7.