DAY OF PRAYER FOR REFUGEES & PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
HELD ON SATURDAY 10th OCTOBER 2015
9.00am: Morning Prayer
10.30am: The Rosary
12.00pm: Mid-day Prayer
3.00pm: Stations of the Cross
5.00pm: Evening Prayer
The church will be open for both public & private prayer.
No doubt you are familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan as told by Jesus. A man left for dead on the side of the road was refused help by both a Levite and a Priest and the only person to come to the man’s assistance was a Samaritan, someone who would have been expected to have walked on by but didn’t. The Samaritan cared for the injured man, bandaging his wounds and leaving him in in the safety and comfort of a local inn where he paid all his expenses. When he had finished telling the story Jesus asked his audience, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” The answer came back, “the one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
When we see the need of those fleeing Syria and other war torn areas of the Middle East it would be so easy to find an excuse not to help them, to walk by on the other side. But if we did we certainly would not be acting like the Good Samaritan. Therefore, the Churches in Holt are seeking to make an appropriate response to the current refugee crisis across Europe by launching a community wide appeal to raise funds to help people in desperate need. While we fully appreciate that there will many different opinions and views about what constitutes an appropriate response, we feel that we cannot ignore or turn our backs on people who are left with no other choice than to flee their homelands and to seek safety elsewhere. Our fellow human beings, women, men and children are in need of our help.
It would be great if the people of the Parish could get behind this appeal to aid the refugee crisis overseas, nationally and locally. I am very grateful that both the Holt Community Primary School and Gresham’s School have already pledged their support and funds raised from their own appeals will go contribute greatly to the appeal.
Also, the Bishop of Norwich has recently written a pastoral letter to the clergy of the diocese to be read out in churches, urging people to respond positively to the need of the refugees. Bishop Graham himself has been invited to serve on the Refugee Taskforce set up by the Leader of the Norfolk County Council which will co-ordinate the arrival and integration of refugees into Norfolk.
Some of the monies raised locally will provide much needed help for those who find themselves in our county and our communities. If you feel so moved to help you can donate via the Parish Church or the Methodist Church with cheques being made to “Holt PCC”. The appeal fund will be a restricted fund managed by a group of people from the Churches and wider community and will be used to fund aid locally, nationally and internationally.
It is difficult to know how best to respond, but together with Holt’s Methodist Minister, Rev Jenny Pathmarajah and my fellow clergy we are not prepared to walk by on the other side. As Bishop Graham wrote in his pastoral letter, “The accumulation of millions of individual acts of compassion and generosity can change things, and even change us. While we cannot do everything that doesn’t prevent us doing something.”