Every second Tuesday afternoon we hold a craft club in the Church for anyone who is interested in exploring the delights of Crafting for God. Mostly it is us knitters, card makers and the odd male painter who sneaks in from time to time. Yesterday Robina (my ever patient 13-year-old daughter) joined us and spent the time happily listening in on the chat and painting her picture. Unfortunately, I did not get much of my prayer shawl knitted due to the fact that I had to go round the corner to our brand new Community/Primary School/Police Station to report a crime.
Some helpful person(s) thought it would be a jolly whizz to try to remove one of the light fittings, boot in the Red front door of the Church ( leaving a lovely imprint of a size 10 Dr Marten boot) and carve Jesus’ initials as well. At least that is what I think they were trying to write.
So off I trundled to the shiny new police station – couldn’t get in the front door because the new door bell was bust – and duly reported my crime. I don’t know about any of you but whenever I speak to a policeman I immediately feel guilty. I suppose that might be from having a naturally guilty nature and one where I simply cannot lie to anyone in authority.
This is due to the fact that my Grandfather was a Police Inspector with the Thames Division of Metropolitan Police in London. His claim to fame was that he set up the Police Diving unit back in the 1960s, but that is a tale for another day. What my Grandad Fred did was to install within me a healthy respect for those with the power to lock you up away from family, friends and a continuous supply of chocolate.
Anyway, this lovely PC took my statement, was very helpful and didn’t lock me up. Now all I have to do is sort out the mess through the insurance company and get the lighting fixed so that some poor member of the Seaton Community doesn’t end up electrocuting themselves walking into the church. What a wake up call and stirring of the Spirit that would be.
What else? Oh yes, as a priest my calling is one to prayer. So I will pray for the vandals whose lives are so empty they are reduced to hanging round churches for fun on a Friday night. Back in my youth that used to be called ‘attending the Youth Group’. Now all they find is darkened windows and locked doors. Times change and not always for the better. Prayers also for discernment as to what to do next, I think.