Thursday, 8 September 2011

Stuck back in

The first get together of local clergy of the new term was more reflective and mutually supportive than these ‘Chapter’ gatherings sometimes are.

A well known alcoholic man has been imprisoned for breaking the terms of an ASBO which excluded him from the town centre. He was going to the Minster which knows how to deal with him without fuss and where he has traditionally found support. I presume the trouble he has caused for town centre businesses and visitors must have been substantial enough for people to have bothered putting an ASBO in place to begin with, but nevertheless it seems strange that nobody outside the church says publically that there is something wrong with this result.

It has been St Aidan’s turn to have a shock from the five-yearly architect’s inspection we are each required to have: half of the quarter of a million expenditure recommended is regarded as urgent. I’ve highlighted the parish here before: huge century-old building opposite the football ground two thirds of which was substantially developed across several new floors for community use in the 1970s or 80s at the centre of the often neglected but needy Sidney Sussex Ward. We kicked around the contacts, community funding and lottery possibilities which might exist even today for what is the only real facility in an area which has not had as much investment of this sort as others.

St John & Stephen’s, whose substantial youth work in the most deprived East Marsh Ward I’ve also highlighted here before, gained a diary item mention in the Guardian (which I haven’t been able to trace) about whether or not it is surprising that a place which does this work like none other should attract the level of police monitoring which it appears to do. We chatted about the way there had not been local looting; the church trusts that early attention to disaffected young people is an element in the non-development of gangs, and is not surprised that those arrested elsewhere usually have prior police records given how many of the responsible older young people who help here have something like this too.

The inscription is above a door in Stromness, and we enjoyed the confidence with which the carving began and the success in finally fitting it in.

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