October 25, 2013 2 Comments
Last night I visited the Coleman Street Community Centre. This was at the invitation of the Southend Vineyard who were having an open evening. I was shown around by Revd. Andy Vincett and by an old acquaintance Darryl Faulkner. Andy is a senior pastor and talked me through much of the work they do there. Darryl, who have known intermittently for more than two decades, is the Storehouse drug and alcohol worker. I did not know Darryl worked there; it has been a few years since I saw him last. It was the “hello Julian” that announced his presence.
The Storehouse food bank is an impressive operation, run by Southend Vineyard from these premises. I have mixed feelings about food banks, not least because I wonder how we have got to the situation where such things are necessary. At a time where the rich are getting richer, a visit to a facility like this serves to reinforce my belief in a progressive taxation system. Whilst the super rich moved their wealth to wherever they can best avoid their taxation obligations, the rest of us are seeing our standard of living diminish. The food bank is a heavily used resource and one wonders what its patrons would do without it. Hunger is an ever present reality for far too many – shameful for a country that can boast that it is the sixth richest in the world.
Seeing the need and how it is being met I can only offer ‘spiteful’ as an adjective to describe the Government’s welfare reforms. It obviously plays well to the sub-editors at The Daily Mail, and the legion of the ‘right minded’. The rest of us are left disappointed, deflated and angry.