Carlisle is not a terrible place to live - claim
Last updated at 09:10, Wednesday, 18 September 2013
A vicar battling to raise awareness in Carlisle of social issues such as domestic violence says he is fed up of people saying the city is a “terrible place to live.”
The Rev Alun Jones, vicar at St Herbert’s Church in Currock, says problems should never be just swept under the carpet.
But the churchman believes it is high time the people of Carlisle adopted a more positive “can do” attitude.
“I get tired of hearing people say that Carlisle is a terrible place to live,” he said.
“It isn’t. But there are very real problems that need to be addressed here.
“It’s essential that issues such as domestic abuse and what is being done to improve the prospects for our young people are debated, rather than allowing them to be hidden under the social landscape of the city.”
The vicar, who helps to run the Rock youth project in Currock, and is also the urban officer for the Diocese of Carlisle, said: “There is too much publicity about the negative aspects of our city, though that’s not to say they should be ignored.
“I’d say that anything is achievable with the right nurturing, the right opportunities, and with a good positive attitude.
“There is good news about Carlisle and that is what will be reflected on day two of the conference. What is also important to understand is that God has a vision for this city.” Asked what that vision was, The Rev Jones said that the church in Carlisle needs to follow God’s advice to Jude as described in the Bible to “comfort his people.”
He said: “We need to comfort all of the marginalised, the poor, and the hard-pressed.
“I work in one of the most deprived wards in the city, with a crime rate second only to the city centre.
“It’s in the bottom ten per cent of educational attainment and 25 per cent of the children in Currock live below the poverty line.
“I think God’s goal for this city is to make it a place where those who are facing hardship get comfort and relief.”
He hopes the conference he is helping organise – being staged at Brunton Park on Thursday, October 10 and Friday October 11 – will highlight the problems faced by Carlisle and also examine how inspirational action can trigger change for the better.
On the first day, Thursday, delegates will hear about domestic abuse from Mandy Marshall, a trainer on gender based violence.
She founded the Restored organisation which is a Christian alliance aimed at ending violence against women.
She recently spoke to the United Nations in New York on this subject representing the Church of England.
Later Mark Bowman, chief executive of Inspira – which specialises in youth support service and career guidance in Cumbria – will talk on matters affecting local young people.
On the Friday, speakers include Cumbrian businessman Brian Scowcroft. He will be joined on the day by the Rev Greg Downes, principal of the Centre for Missional Leadership and an international speaker on the social justice and the Gospel. He will lead sessions looking at the challenges faced by the city and consider what God’s plan could be for its future.
The cost is £10 per day, but the Rev Jones said any person who would struggle to pay should contact him anyway.
To book a place call him on 01228 523375 or email at email@example.com.
First published at 09:03, Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
How sad that one of the kneejerk reactions to any criticism of Carlisle is that if you don't like it, get out! A sentiment which conjures up pictures of the villagers in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein brandishing pitchforks and lighted torches.
Why doesn't the Rev Jones GET OUT THERE and do something instead of just preaching about it !I have never heard of this chap even though I have been going to church in Carlisle for nearly 40 years.If he is a newcomer to the area - then why come here? Must have known what the area he is going to is like.If he has been here a while - then why has he not done something about it instead of letting it get worse.Come out of your pulpit and TAKE ACTION. Get your congregation motivated - and do something.
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