It appears to me, as Brexit rumbles on, one of the effects has been to increase the polarisation and divisiveness in our society. Differences always exist but there seems to be less willingness to listen to alternative viewpoints. Argument is replacing debate and becomes more aggressive and intolerant as we have seen recently in Parliament, the press and online. Complex issues are reduced to simplistic soundbites and we are all the poorer for it.

Jesus was no stranger to hate and intolerance. He went from hero to zero in the public’s eyes based on false evidence.  His message of love, and hope was twisted and led to his death because he was seen as a threat to the establishment.  He talked a lot about neighbours and it is in our local communities that we can demonstrate love and care for others – even those that are different and we disagree with.

Since retiring I’ve become a Trustee of Fleetville Community Centre. It is housed in a temporary wartime building in Royal Road opposite Morrison’s. It has faithfully served the local area with a loyal band of dedicated workers and volunteers since the 1980’s. How many children have passed through the playgroups and nurseries there over the decades? It also hosts an impressive array of organisations spanning the ages, cultures and interests in our community, demonstrating how we can work together.

The building is long past it’s sell by date and we are in the process of obtaining the freehold from the Council. We will then be in full planning and fund raising mode for a new building, so if you value community I urge you to get behind this exciting project.