Action Zones 

Bringing warmth and light into the gloom


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Bringing warmth and light into the gloom

Andrew Frere Smith wonders whether our church premises could be used even more to bring some warmth and light into people’s lives during the coming winter

Each day I wonder how long this glorious weather can continue. I like to think it will last forever. If I wake up to a grey sky, I’m disappointed. Each day I expect to wear shorts, eat outside and use sun cream. I know it’s unrealistic, but I don’t want it to stop! I love summers like these

I think we all hope the good times will last for ever. In truth, we know life is not all sunshine; it can be grey, wet, and miserable. We cannot pretend that darker days are not ahead. Indeed, with the cost-of-living crisis and the further hike in energy prices just around the corner, we know that for many people, the days could become very grey and cold
We need to prepare for the winter and do whatever we can to support people in our community. It needn’t be complicated. In recent years public libraries have evolved into vital hubs for people in their locality. As well as providing books, journals, computers, reference and music libraries they often host social activities. Just a Cuppa drop-in, Children’s Games Club, Scrabble Club, Bounce and Rhyme, and a Job club are just a few of the activities hosted by King’s Lynn Library. For many people the library has become an important destination. It is warm, welcoming and interesting. It is a place where lonely people can socialise, and new friendships can be made. The best libraries evolved in this way because the staff listened to people in their community and responded with imagination and enthusiasm
I wonder whether this winter some of our churches or church halls could be used in similarly imaginative ways. That is not to say that we should replicate what is done elsewhere but simply be willing to open our spaces and listen to the people in our community. Recently people have started talking about the need for drop-ins that simply offer warmth and light - a warm welcome and a warm drink in a warm place. If we are facing a winter that is darker and colder than ever, surely the church can offer warmth and light?
Jesus taught his disciples that they should share their light. His words seem just as relevant today as they did 2000 years ago:  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”
Image by Kris from Pixabay

AndrewFrereSmith750Andrew Frere-Smith is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together, based in Kings Lynn



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