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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

17 July 2019: John Callaghan, Life Church Petersfield

Are young people a problem?

Petersfield is such a great place to live! It must be, because it is one of the most expensive places in the country to buy a house! However, is this a good way to judge the quality of life here? Well, there are so many community groups, charities, people parachuting Teddy Bears from Church towers etc. Why then are there some young people who have lost direction and motivation and now cause a nuisance?

The same was true 25 years ago. At the time I was teaching at TPS and the complaints about youth in the paper were of a very similar nature. The answer then and I suspect the answer now, was not more CCTV but rather the response of hundreds of residents who together founded the King’s Arms. Yes, we had a few lively times but the young people recognised our aim was to meet their needs and so, eventually kindness and new facilities won them over. I have so many stories of lives turned around over the 20+ years KA has run.

Now is the time to reach out again, will you join us? Society I believe should be judged by the way we treat the weakest, most vulnerable and those without a voice.

Jesus says: ‘when I was hungry you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ His followers said ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’As the politicians are so fond of saying ‘let’s make Petersfield and the surrounding villages GREAT again!’

PACT Holiday Club is scheduled to start, with a new format and location, on Friday 26 July

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