CHURCHES: Good signals of hope

More than a hundred people attended this years Joint Pentecost Service at St Catherines
More than a hundred people attended this years Joint Pentecost Service at St Catherines

The recent storm blew down my TV aerial. My once perfect picture was all fuzzy. All the good signals are out there in the atmosphere, but without a good receiver nothing was getting through.

Once I got on my roof and fixed it back in the correct place, pointing in the correct direction, all was good again.

Paul Sanderson

Paul Sanderson

As I sat there on my roof, it got me thinking: what am I aiming for? Who am I focused on? What direction am I facing?

Big questions that took a strong wind and a bad picture to give me pause for thought.

We all send out signals; we all receive signals. Some of them are good, some of them not so good.

These signals have an effect on us. They can build us up or knock us down.

Imagine a society where we all send out good signals. Positive messages, words of praise, looks of encouragement, attitudes of hope.

Imagine if we all focused on someone that wanted the best for us, offered us unconditional love and would always be there for us?

We have seen so many difficult things on our screens over the last few weeks.

Bombs and vans, knives and fires, have all taken lives and caused so much pain.

Yet in all three locations we have seen the community come together, offer support, and help where they can.

Strangers helping strangers with a place to stay, a bite to eat or a shoulder to cry on.

In the worst of situations, the best has come out.

Hope is taking on hate and help is starting to heal.

Loving your neighbour has never been more real.

All of us will face tough challenges in our lives.

We will trip, we will fall, we can get pushed down. But it’s what we do when we are down that counts.

Do we stay down? Do we try and bring others down with us? Or do we get up; shake the dust off and keep on going?

16-year-old Ines Alves lived on the 13th floor of the Grenfell tower.

She escaped the fire with her mobile phone and her revision notes.

Six hours later she was sat in her school hall doing her chemistry exam!

Getting up can be hard, but with friends alongside us and being in a community that cares, strength can come.

There are good signals of hope when the world can feel so fuzzy.

Paul Sanderson MBE

Littlehampton Academy Chaplain

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Churches Together Pentecost service

Well over a hundred people from all the Littlehampton churches attended this year’s Joint Pentecost Service at St Catherine’s, one of three such services held each year in different churches in the town. Fr Dominic led this celebration of the birthday of the church and gave the address. Ministers and representatives of each of the churches led the prayers and gave the readings. Most people stayed afterwards for refreshments in the hall – a great opportunity for the different congregations to meet each other. The hall looked particularly festive, as the balloons and decorations for the surprise party for the tenth anniversary of Fr Dominic’s becoming a priest were still in place from the night before. The next joint service will take place at 6.30pm on Sunday, December 3, the first Sunday of Advent – the beginning of the church’s year.

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