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Prayers for Moss Side

I started awake at 2:30 this morning, nothing unusual there, between nigthsweats and an overactive brain I rarely sleep through the night.  When I listened to the news later on, I learned that this was the time that Police were called to Moss Side following a multiple shooting.

I have a soft spot for Moss Side, mainly because when I was at Vicar School I lived on its northern edge.  For a year I worked with an Anglican church serving the Alexandra Park Estate - the Alex Estate as we called it.  Here people of many nationalities, races and faiths lived alongside one another, mostly peacefully, often in poverty and with a shared history of gangs, drugs and riots, police 'stop-and-search' and more.  I wel recall driving slowly round the estate looking for a house nyumber, to disocver I was being followed by a police car whose driver assumed I was up to no good...

For sure, it was black majority, my white face stood out like a sore thumb pretty much anyhwere I went. Yes, there were young men who carried guns or kept one under the bed. And, certainly, I attended the funeral of at least one gang-land murder.

But it was a place where mostly people were peaceable, peace-loving and decent.

Today my prayers are especially for the folk at St Eds and St James, the churches I knew best.  I also pray for Moss Side, for Hulme, for Lonsight and all the other neighbourhoods and communities in Manchester that, too readily, are labelled negatively due to the actions of a few.

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