Friday, 13 November 2015

A nation will be judged by its treatment of the vulnerable

Picked up by chance the parish newsletter from St Martin in the Fields - and read a brilliant piece by Richard Carter, vicar there, whom I knew a bit when I worked at Notre Dame Refugee Centre.

A nation will be judged by its treatment of the vulnerable, he says, and I think it's worth typing out the rest of the pice. On 5 November St Martin's held a service honouring the lives of 194 people who had died homeless or in temporary accommodation, night shelters and hostels in the past year.  Sadly many of them have not had 'their stories told in funerals of gatherings of friends and relatives'.

"Homelessness and destitution is increasing in London. We live in a city which has thrived and grown because of the talents, energy and giftedness of those who have come from around our nation and the world to work here. The success of this city has depended on those hwo have served it - cleaned its pavements, mended its roads, swept its offices, waited in its restaurants, washed up in its kitchens, served in its stores, driven its buses and trains, collected its tickets, nursed and staffed its hospitals and its old people's homes.  We have been enriched not just by professionals with academic qualifications, but by people who have offered their work, their hands, their personality, their energy, their dedication.

"A city which has benefitted so much from its workers' labour also has a responsibility to care for its most vulnerable members - those who for whatever reason don't get the job, or don't have the place to stay, or the right documents, or got sick, or into trouble...."

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy