Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is Inspired - London Listens To Young People #londonriots

The recent situation in London, Birmingham and beyond has proved to be quite a 'melon scratcher'. On the one hand I have lived just north of Tottenham and appreciate the underlying tensions between police and community, therefore an initial 'tipping point' can be percieved. However other cities such as Birmingham and Manchester are very different spaces and so 'copycat' actions can't so easily be viewed from this perspective. Overall as communities lick their wounds and seek to take action some different form of leadership has been required.

What has perplexed me most is a general lack of action from the church. Wherever in the nation you are, and have been affected, it should have been a time for people of faith to open their doors to the community, provide chances to listen, engage and show situations of hope.

I was delighted to see (this morning) that Westminster Central Hall in London is to host such an event - on Saturday. It’s aimed at young people and the idea is to get teenagers/youth talking about what has happened/is happening. It’s at Westminster central hall tomorrow at 1.30pm

As the name makes clear, the violence and looting wasn't done in the young people's name- yet as books such as the 'Gilted Generation' make clear, there has been a socio-economic storm brewing which has alienated generations of young people through lack of role models, aspiration and economic oppertunity.

Please, if you are in London (and involved in youth work etc) alert your young people to this fantastic looking event.  It's the sort of work that churches should be engaged in and shows everyones true worth....

Monday, August 08, 2011

Methodists to Offer Support in Tottenham

A press release from the Methodist Church...I don't usually repost in full their press releases....

Methodist Minister in Tottenham offers support to victims of London riots

The minister of St Mark’s Methodist Church in High Road, Tottenham, is among a group of Christian leaders offering support to the victims of the riots in Tottenham.

This afternoon Methodist minister the Revd Dr Valentin Dedji will visit the family of Mark Duggan who was shot dead on Thursday. The Revd Dr Valentin Dedji, who has been a Methodist minster in Tottenham for 11 years, said that the damage caused by the riots was horrendous.

“There are many families who have become homeless overnight,” he said. “Many public services and private businesses have been destroyed. The rebuilding process will be long.

“We work very strongly ecumenically in Tottenham. We think that it is our mandate to grieve with those who are grieving. We want to support the families and victims of the riots; to be with them and to pray with them whenever there is loss of life. We don’t know yet why or what happened; that is part of the healing process.”

This evening Christians will gather with other faith leaders in Tottenham to hold a peace vigil in Monument Way at 7pm.

“I have received calls from Australia, Canada, France and Kenya offering support,” said the Revd Dr Valentin Dedji. “The support from colleagues, ordinary community members and friends from abroad has been very uplifting. What we need is the continuing prayerful support from everyone. Above all, may God give us his wisdom, his spirit of discernment and guidance.”