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Viewpoint from Tony Mallion 24/09/2021

TONY MALLION 10-2017 stephen gTony Mallion (photo: by Stephen Gostick)
former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter 
St Thomas' Church, Norwich


The Repair Shop has become a welcome and staple weekly diet on our TV screens. Promoted from the sleepy backwater of BBC Two daytime to the prime 8pm Wednesday slot on BBC One audience figures soared. Perhaps that’s no surprise given the show’s gentle nature where people turn up at the rural workshop clutching all manner of family heirlooms which are lovingly restored by a team of dedicated craftspeople. However rusty, ripped or broken the objects are the experts never fail; people bring their treasured but worn items because they recall special memories. When they return to collect them the unveiling regularly brings tears of joy. It warms our hearts too
dove left“The show works because it’s just a group of people being kind to others, and that touches a nerve” says presenter Jay Blades. And maybe it’s a picture of the way God works too. There are many examples in the Bible of people coming back to God which leads to restoration and repair of altars, temples and, in the case of prophets Ezra and Nehemiah, the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. There’s plenty of detailed descriptions of craftsmen at work to achieve it (check out 2 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 34:8-11 to get a flavour)
But first it’s the people who need to be restored, repaired, or renewed back to a right relationship with God. Psalm 23 famously reminds us The Lord is my shepherd...He restores my soul. Whatever our feelings of drifting away or letting God down, however much we feel beyond repair Jesus is there to gently and lovingly restore us. In the New Testament the disciple Peter who betrayed Jesus before his crucifixion is restored and goes on to lead the early church. Little wonder he writes with confidence in 1 Peter 5:10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation
Steve Fletcher the Repair Shop’s clock and watch expert also pointed out in a newspaper interview that another feature of the programme’s success is the fact that the cost of the repairs and monetary value of the item is never mentioned. The work is freely given. And so is God’s work of restoration and renewal in our lives if we let him


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