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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.

  • Thank you...

    This landed onmy doormat (OK in my letter cage) a few minutes before this post.  I know that it is from someone at church, because we used these messages in our Not-the-Nativity Service and posted them out in January.

    I am touched that someone has kept their message and passed it on to me at a time when I am not exactly Little Miss Sunshine.

    So, whoever you are, thank you so much.  It was a lovely surprise and gladdened my heart more than you can know.  It's now pinned to the cork-board in my office.

  • Fascinating!

    Via social media someone sent me a link to part of a 15 minutes video from 1980.  It seems to have been filmed on a Sunday, with lots of people piling out of one of the nearby churches and a small number of people turning out of the street where the Gathering Place is located... so I wonder if anyone from there recognsises any faces?  Given these are mature people back in 1980 it's fair to say I almost certainly never met them!

    https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-great-western-road-1980-1980-online-online Hopefully if you click the link it'll take you there... Amusing to see where we currently worship as a building site...