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Viewpoint - Tony Mallion

Tony Mallion Chairman of Gorleston and Bradwell Churctony mallion2hes Together.
Colin Dexter deserves our thanks. He’s the author who not only created Chief Inspector Morse and his sidekick Sgt (now promoted to Chief Inspector) Lewis but also made a television star of the city of gleaming spires, Oxford.
The gently unassuming Dexter, like the film director Alfred Hitchcock and the James Bond producer Michael G.Wilson, always has his small moment of glory. If you know where to look you’ll see that he appears as an extra in every episode of “Morse” and, more recently “Lewis”. Blink and you’ll miss him !
But its that beautiful architecture which takes centre stage and,no doubt, has added to the number of tourists as a result – myself included. The city’s most recognisable feature is the round library building, the Radcliffe Camera, completed in 1748 which regularly forms a backdrop to the action.
Opposite this magnificent structure in Radcliffe Square is the University Church of St.Mary the Virgin, which is quite remarkable for its place in history. It was there the university began and flourished. It was there that Bishops  Cranmer, the author of the Church of England Prayer Book ,together with Latimer and Ridley were put on trial during a Protestant persecution in the 16th Century. Refusing to renounce their strong faith they were taken out and burned at the stake.
The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, preached there and formulated the ideas which were to help found the Meuntitledthodist Church. In the 19th Century the Oxford movement ,which in many ways changed the face of church worship, began there.
And it was at St.Mary’s in the early days of the Second World War that a small committee met to find ways to help refugees. The Oxford Famine Relief committee grew to become the worldwide organisation Oxfam. It’s remarkable how, with God’s help, something quite small can take hold in this way. Just recently, thanks to the dedication of one woman, our neighbouring coastal town of Lowestoft has become a Fair Trade town. Its a fact proudly announced on the town signs. Now Beccles has followed suit. Its an important statement and practical way of supporting people in the developing world.
Is it too much to hope that, before too long, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston might follow their example ?
On June 21st the actor Mark Topping, who has appeared on BBC’s “Songs of Praise” will bring his one man show about the Wesleys to Lowestoft Road Methodist Church. He will use the pulpit from which John Wesley himself spoke when he visited Great Yarmouth in the 18th Century !