Concerted Acts of Kindness
Council prayers, fanatical secularism and the PM making statements about the UK being a Christian country… faith is certainly in the news again. I am tempted to say for all the wrong reasons – I don’t mean that, as all these things are important and it is good that there is a national debate, that’s what democracy is about after all.
However, beyond the grand-standing, I remain interested in what faith leads people to do. Last week, I was a guest at the opening of a new Food Bank in Sparkhill, Birmingham. There were people from all different faiths and cultures together, this was reflected in the lunch – pancakes and samosas. This food bank of course provides much needed help for those in need, but also a focus of those who want to help. This is an important part of the role of faith based organisations, they provide a focus for people’s altruism. Not so much ‘random acts of kindness’, as concerted acts of kindness.
This week, I was again in Birmingham for the Offender Health Conference sponsored by a number of DH strategic partners including FaithAction. We were struck by the dedication that Voluntary and Community organisations display in the face of very trying economic circumstances. It was interesting to hear that for a number of the participants, some of them ex-offenders, that part of their motivation was their faith.
So we don’t have much to say about council prayers etc., but we are keen on acts of kindness, justice and love; random, concerted or otherwise.