frgavin on August 19th, 2011

Church of England Newspaper August 18

Sir, The looting of St.Mark’s parish from side to side and end to end left much to thank God for – no harm to any of our church family or their property, despite some needing to be rescued and escorted to their homes; no damage to the church buildings, despite the fact that the whole church curtilege looked like a car-boot help-yourself (rather than sale) for several hours; only limited fire damage; no violence since Monday night; a heart-warming evening of united prayer among local Christians and church leaders who joined us on Tuesday evening; the ‘broom army’ of hundreds, including manyof our own congregation, cleaning the streets; and a renewed conviction that our present vision to expand local community ministries, especially among the young, is utterly necessary and, in whatever way we can make some difference, right on track.

I witnessed grave failure in the leadership and coordination of the police effort over many hours of Monday night, but had many conversations with the most admirable, mainly young, responsible and professional police men and women – it was the apparent complete lack of leadership strategy, not the dedication of officers, which needs examining. Talking to many of the looters over several hours, trying to persuade them to go home, it was evident they were in carnival rather than belligerent mood. Read the rest of this entry »

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