Forthcoming Services at St.Matthew's

Service Time
Sunday 3rd July
All-Age Communion with Baptism

11.00am
Sunday 10th July
Common Worship Communion

11.00am
Sunday 17th July
Common Worship Communion

11.00am
Sunday 24th July
Common Worship Communion

11.00am
Sunday 31st July
Common Worship Communion

11.00am
Sunday 7th August
All-Age Communion

11.00am

Children's Church is always available at the 11.00 am service at Morley and at Smalley on the first Sunday of the month.

Events coming soon

THE FRIENDSHIP CAFE

Saturday 30th July 2016

WAR & REFUGEES

At a meeting in Derby on 10th May I was invited to be one of a number of people from different backgrounds and viewpoints introducing the subject of 'War and Refugees'. Having looked at the devastating impact on families and communities caused by recent and current wars, the aim of the meeting was to increase the empathy towards refugees coming to Derby and Derbyshire.

I said I could not pretend to speak for the Church as a whole, partly because I am a pacifist (as I wish more Christians and members of other faiths were). I talked about my first visit to a refugee camp in Jericho in 1967, through spending half a day last May at an ecumenical feeding station in Athens, to learning to cook 'upside-down-chicken' in a Bethlehem refugee camp this January. My 'street-cred' in Derby goes back to 2001, when I was chair of the Open Centre in Normanton and helped organise the first Holocaust Memorial Day; the same year I persuaded our new University to offer free places to two Palestinian refugee students.

My Derbyshire 'street-cred' goes back further: I made uncomfortable headlines in the Belper News when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 and I declared the uselessness of Britain keeping nuclear weapons; they had not deterred non-nuclear Argentina and they were unlikely to deter any other country. Today I still fail to understand who we think we are to stop (the much older) Iran or North Korea having what we have?

We British are lucky to have little experience of being refugees; but we have long been economic migrants - whether the young going to Australia or the old to the Costa Brava. I say "Welcome" to refugees; they will come anyway, so why not make them welcome sooner rather than later? Let us integrate them better, but let us also help them go home again when they can. Many Palestinians, for example, have been refugees for 68 years; they still long to go home - as thousands are now doing from Germany to the more peaceful parts of Iraq.

I am in favour of sanctions rather than war - certainly against Daesh (IS) and the illegal Israeli settlements; in fact I would support sanctions against the USA and Japan until they abolish capital punishment, but perhaps that is an issue for another day.

The Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall, Associate Priest.