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Viewpoint from Rev Brian Hall 06/05/2016 

Brian Hallas published in the Yarmouth Mercury

Rev Brian Hall
Vicar, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


Simple acts of kindness

Bristol has recently emerged as the home of the “Good Samaritan” after Co-op Food polled 4,000 adults in nineteen cities. The poll measured the average number of good deeds residents carried out. These included rushing to the aid of someone in need, handing back something that had been dropped, giving up a seat on public transport, taking in parcels for a neighbour or putting out their bins
Out of the nineteen cities polled, London came bottom (no surprise there!) and Norwich came tenth (room for improvement maybe!). The research also discovered that 18-24 year olds spend more time helping others in the community and are more likely to do tasks such as going shopping for someone else. A representative of the Co-op commented, “Showing kindness isn’t always about the big gestures but can be about the small, everyday deeds that people do ...”
dove leftSimple acts of kindness prove that “looking after number one” is not the only motto to live by. Simple acts of kindness present a different narrative to the selfishness and thoughtlessness that often characterises present day culture. Simple acts of kindness make a huge difference to the lives of both the givers and the receivers of these acts
It’s said of Jesus that he went about “doing good” (Acts 10:38). He ”did good” by teaching people the principles by which the kingdom of God operates. He “did good” by healing people who were sick. He ”did good” by feeding those who were hungry and comforting people who were in distress.
Dove rightCommenting on how Jesus went about “doing good” Joyce Meyer (popular Christian writer and speaker) says, “He (Jesus) just got up every day and did good. Everywhere he went, even though he had a purpose and he was headed somewhere, he let himself be interrupted by the needs of people. So often we study the steps of Jesus. Maybe we need to study the stops of Jesus. The things that he stopped for, the things that interrupted his plan, where he would alter his plan and help somebody here and there”
Down through the centuries Christians sought to follow his example by reaching out and helping people in need through simple acts of kindness
Having just moved to Gorleston from Nottingham, it’s meant a great deal to me and my wife that we’ve been welcomed to the area with messages of greeting, gifts of flowers, boxes of food stuff and simple acts of kindness from the church and from neighbours
 photo: courtesy of Stephen Gostick Photography